Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market Explained – Full Strategy

Written By: Conor Rafter
Last Updated: July 5, 2023

Whether your favourite team is fighting for the title or battling against relegation, the importance of goals will not sway. Some teams are packed with talented individuals, while others work as a unit. A select few boast quality players in every

With the ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ market, you can take advantage of your team’s habit of winning, losing or drawing. As most football matches end with two, three or four goals, the likelihood of taking home a profit is significantly higher when you bet on this market than others.

What Does Under 5.5 Goals Mean In Betting?

A bet on the under 5.5. goals betting market will win if the match ends with fewer than six goals. 

Under 5.5 Goals Meaning

According to William Hill, ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ is described as a prediction as to whether or not the number of goals in a match will be under the number specified. Below is the exact wording displayed on the bookie’s website.

William Hill description

Predict whether the number of goals scored in a match will be over/under the number specified.

Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - William Hill description

This means that any matches where less than six goals are scored will pay out winnings for wagers on this market. If exactly, or more than, six goals are bagged by either or both sides during a 90-minute match, the bet loses. 

Here are some winning scorelines for this type of bet:

  • 3-2
  • 4-1
  • 5-0

Five goals are scored in each of the above example scorelines. Games that end goalless will also result in a win for any punts on this market.

Strategy & Tips For Under 5.5 Goals Betting

There are two ways of looking at this market. You can play it incredibly safe and bet on games where a poor attack takes on a strong defence, or you can select fixtures where a talented forward line faces off against a frail defensive structure. The first option should be a winner every week, whereas the second one is less likely to prove fruitful.

Of course, you can always opt for a middle ground. It’s a bit of a lottery betting on teams you’re not entirely sure of, so we recommend researching their recent results and injury history before throwing money at the selection.

To help you to better understand which selections you should be choosing and why they may or may not work, we’ve developed a basic betting strategy. Feel free to edit this strategy to suit your needs, or add it to a plan you already utilise in your betting system. Regardless of how you decide to use our tips, the important thing is that you do follow some sort of plan. Doing so will give you the best possible chance to win.

Strong Defence vs Weak Attack

Bets on this market are almost guaranteed to win when you bet on this type of matchup. Teams with strength at the back, such as Liverpool and Manchester City, very rarely concede a flurry of goals. However, they are often a poor selection for ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ as most opponents are inferior in almost every way. 

Instead, you should look at teams like Chelsea. The Blues have a solid defence, a decent midfield and poor attacking options compared to others around them. Of the Big Six, it’s easily arguable that Chelsea’s frontline is the weakest of the lot. When they try their hand at beating sides like Wolves and Brighton, they could find themselves stuck in a bit of a rut. You may find that bookies offer better odds on games involving Chelsea compared to outings where other top clubs are playing. 

Other clubs we recommend keeping an eye on are:

  • Newcastle United
  • Everton
  • West Ham United
  • Roma 
  • Atletico Madrid

Strong Attack vs Weak Defence

This is where things can get tricky. Big teams have a habit of scoring bucket-loads of goals against poorly organized defences, as has already been evidenced during the early stages of the 2022/23 Premier League season. 

For instance, Liverpool annihilated Bournemouth 9-0 at Anfield, while Manchester City blew Nottingham Forest away with a 6-0 thrashing at the Etihad Stadium. Both the Reds and the Sky Blues boasted unified, world-class attacking talent. The weaker opposition simply couldn’t handle the pressure.

Bookies will offer more rewarding odds where teams like the above, as well as Real Madrid, PSG, Barcelona, and other top teams, are involved. This is because they expect dominant sides to rack up tonnes of goals throughout the campaign. You can choose to take a risk in exchange for better winnings or stick to more predictable matches between lower-ranked outfits.

An example that shows the clear difference between these two strategies can be found in SkyBet’s Champions League prices, listed below:

  • Maccabi Haifa vs Paris Saint Germain – Under 5.5 Goals at 1.17 (17/100)
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs Atletico Madrid – Under 5.5 Goals at 1.02 (1/50)
Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - Champions League prices

What are The Best Bookies & Odds For Under 5.5 Goals Betting?

Although almost every popular UK bookmaker can offer odds on this market, some do it better than others. We always look to the operators that upload their prices early, refresh odds consistently, and payout as soon as possible once the match has concluded in our recommendations. 

The bookies we recommend when it comes to ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ are as follows:

  • SkyBet
  • Paddy Power
  • Bet365

Some bookies, like William Hill, begin to slow down their Over/Under offerings as the figure grows larger. Hence, we cannot recommend that you head to them before checking out any of the above three sportsbooks for ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ bets.

You’ll find competitive odds on all three of our recommendations. To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve taken screenshots of SkyBet, Paddy Power and Bet365 prices from the same game to see how they compare with one another. Hopefully, this provides you with some insight as to how the betting process works for selections in this market.

SkyBet – Liverpool vs Ajax at 1.13 (13/100)

Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market Explained - Liverpool vs Ajax at 1.13
Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market - Liverpool vs Ajax

Paddy Power – Liverpool vs Ajax at 1.11 (11/100)

Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market - Paddy Power Liverpool vs Ajax

Bet365 – Liverpool vs Ajax at 1.16 (16/100)

Under 5.5 Goals Betting Market - Bet365 Liverpool vs Ajax at 1.16

Bet365 offers the best payout, with odds for ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ standing at 1.16 (16/100). Resultantly, you could place the same stake at Paddy Power and SkyBet and get worse value for money. This solely applies to this particular fixture and does not reflect the overall trend, however, with bookies constantly tossing the ‘best odds’ baton back and forth. 

Terminology For Under 5.5 Goals

This market can provide an excellent launch pad from which new bettors gain experience. The odds are low, meaning you will need to enter a rather large stake to receive impressive returns, but that does not take away from the fact that the market pays out far more often compared to its sister markets. The low-risk, low-reward nature of ‘Under 5.5 Goals’ makes it an easy recommendation for any rookie punters looking to get in on some football betting action.

But it’s not all plain sailing for everyone. Becoming familiar with new markets can be difficult for some players, especially those that have never indulged in online sports betting before. That’s why we’ve broken down every time in the market’s title.

Starting from the beginning with ‘Under’, we can gather that there is a maximum number of times something in the football match can take place. The word ‘Under’ in this instance can be read as ‘below’, ‘fewer than’, and ‘less than’. 

Next up is a number. In this instance, it’s actually a pair of numbers separated by a decimal point. ‘5.5’ represents the maximum threshold that a particular in-game statistic can be accounted for, with statistics such as goals, shots, corners, and bookings often included in this type of wager. If the total number of occurrences exceeds the stated total, the bet does not pay out. Should fewer than six occurrences be registered, the bet wins. 

It’s also worth noting that the decimal point ‘.5’ removes the possibility of a ‘push’ bet or a refund. Such outcomes are only possible when the number in your selection precisely matches that listed by the bookmaker in the market’s title. For ‘Under 5.5’, you would need exactly 5.5 occurrences of a particular statistic to take place in the match. As football operates on a whole number basis, the number of corners, goals, bookings and shots cannot match 5.5. Rather, you’ll find that the numbers five (5) and six (6) are the closest figures to matching the set limit.

The market is cut up into three different sections. The final slice is vital, as it tells us the statistic we’re betting on. Here, the word ‘Goals’ comes after ‘Under 5.5’ to form the term ‘Under 5.5 Goals’. Therefore, you need fewer than six goals to be scored within normal time in a football match for the bet to come good. It’s a simple market with a promising payout rate.

What is the opposite of the under 5.5 goals betting market?

The opposite selection to betting on under 5.5 goals would be to bet on over 5.5 goals in the match.

The market is based off the widely popular under 2.5 goals and over 2.5 goals betting markets.

What Are “Goals” in betting?

According to The FA’s official football rules, a goal is scored when “the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar, provided that no offence has been committed by the team scoring the goal”.

Prior to the introduction of Goal Line Technology and VAR (Video Assistant Referee), match officials were forced to determine whether or not a legal goal had been scored with the naked eye. This resulted in many controversies for many years and, unsurprisingly, a plethora of goals were either mistakenly given or wrongly disallowed.

This meant that some bettors were out of pocket for no good reason. Today, you will have no such issues. Thanks to the technology at hand in the game nowadays, punters can rest assured that there is virtually no possibility to lose out on money that should have been earned due to a poor refereeing decision.

Conor Rafter
Conor Rafter

I’m a freelance writer who loves all things sports & betting related. Having worked in this field since 2018, I’ve experienced a wide range of intriguing bookmakers and online casinos. With this expertise, I strive to create helpful, honest articles. My primary goal is quite simple: to guide and inform readers using facts and analysis.

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