English Premier League

Premier League Tips: How to profit from backing a 0-0

Alisson Becker in goal for Liverpool
Would you trust Alisson Becker to keep a clean sheet for Liverpool?

Think 0-0 scorelines are boring? Think again as Bet Angel's Peter Webb explains how to profit from backing a goalless draw in the Premier League...

  • Peter's guide to profit from backing a 0-0

  • Find out how many EPL games finish goalless

  • Use knowledge to find an edge and profit

Before betting or trading on a football match I try to work out how many goals are likely to be scored. This will show where you may be able to find an edge in the market, whether you are betting or trading.

If you are betting on over or under goal markets, knowing how many goals are likely is obviously useful. Comparing this to how many the market is expecting to be scored, will also be helpful.

Let's understand at how we can work this out using a simple method.

Goals or no goals?

Curiously, where we look first for goals is the complete opposite. Matches that have ended up with no goals. This is because we can use this as a basis for calculating how many goals there could be.

Last season, 22 (5.8%) of the 380 Premier League matches finished 0-0.

So you could say that any match in this competition had a roughly 6% chance of ending with no goals.

But that's a very a simplistic approach. It's important to remember that what we are doing here is predicting how many are likely to be scored on average. Football matches are very variable, so there will always be a range of possible outcomes.

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A more scientific approach is to look at the distribution of goals. By distribution, we mean how many matches ended up with 0,1, 2, 3, 4 goals and so on. From that we can work out the chance of any number of goals being scored on average against the actual number of goals scored overall.

I'll save you the mind-numbing maths but it's possible to take the average number of a goals in a league and use that to 'fit' the likely number of goals in a game.

When we apply this to last season's Premier League it forecasted 22-23 matches ending in 0-0. As mentioned, 22 matches ended 0-0, so we have a good 'fit'.

Reverse engineering

We can reverse engineer the score of 0-0 to achieve the opposite of what we just did above.

Instead of taking the number of average goals in a game to work out the chance of a 0-0, we take the odds on 0-0 to see how many goals are discounted into those odds.

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The graph above shows that this allows us to glance at the 0-0 and see what the market 'thinks'.

If you are a Bet Angel customer, this is roughly what the football specific tool, Soccer Mystic, does for you. So there's no need for you to do any complicated maths.

Using the knowledge to profit

If the odds for 0-0 are 20.019/1, then the market thinks that there will be an average of three goals in this game. It doesn't mean that there will be this number of goals, but if the match was played 100 times in the same circumstances, then an average of three goals would be scored.

Once we have looked at the markets and done our calculations, you can draw your own evidence from the match and statistics. This helps you understand if you think the market has it right and whether there is some value in going for or against the odds in the correct score or over/unders markets.

How to find an edge

Of course, anything can happen in football, but knowing what the market is thinking allows you to find a profitable edge and bet confidently based upon an accurate assessment of what the odds are saying.

You could use the odds on 0-0 as a rough proxy for the number of goals. Lower odds mean less goals and so on, but there is nothing better than using a bit of science to nail the number exactly.

Using this information, you can target matches that, according to the market, are likely to be high or low-scoring matches. This will give you a better chance of profiting from a betting or trading strategy that exploits these characteristics.


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.