What Are Mythical Matches In Betting?

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For football fans, it is not uncommon to make out as if one thing happening means that another thing would definitely happen. That is to say, Everton supporters might claim that the fact that the Merseyside club beat Manchester City and Manchester City beat Liverpool means that Everton would also beat Liverpool. Obviously it doesn’t work like that, with any number of different things contributing to the outcome of a football match, but it is a fun way for supporters to pit sides against one another without them actually playing each other in the period of time in which the discussion is being had between fans.

Of course, bookmakers are smart people and they know that supporters who have a discussion about certain things might also be willing to place bets on it. In many ways, that is where the idea of the Mythical Matches wager might well have emerged from. It is a bet that essentially pits one side against another even though they’re not actually playing each other during the course of a game week. Instead, the goals that they score in the matches that they are playing are used to decide whether they would beat each other during the course of a Mythical Match, or whether they manage to get a draw by scoring the same number of goals.

How it Works

football tactics board with managerWhen it comes to Mythical Matches, the idea is actually quite a simple one. A bookie picks two teams that are playing during the same game week, but playing other teams rather than each other. It then offers a few markets for the match, with the goals that each team scores during the weekend being what will decide whether either team won the match or it ends in a draw.

If Team A wins 3-1 in their match, for example, and Team B wins 2-0 in their game, Team A would win the Mythical Match 3-2 because it is only the goals scored that count, not the goal difference. Whether you win your bet or not will depend on how each team gets on in its own game.

Imagine a situation in which you’re placing bets on a Mythical Match from Saturday 17th of February 2024. The matchups that were happening in real life were as follows:

  • Brentford v Liverpool
  • Burnley v Arsenal
  • Fulham v Aston Villa
  • Newcastle United v Bournemouth
  • Nottingham Forest v West Ham United
  • Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Manchester City v Chelsea

In the world of Mythical Matches, you can pick any two teams from that list and pit them against one another. You might, for example, decide to go for a London derby and therefore put Tottenham Hotspur up against Chelsea. You can then bet on the outcome of the match on the 1X2 market, with some bookmakers also offering odds on Match Handicap and the Over / Under markets on your mythical match. Here is how the results panned out over the course of the Saturday in question:

  • Brentford 1 – 4 Liverpool
  • Burnley 0 – 5 Arsenal
  • Fulham 1 – 2 Aston Villa
  • Newcastle United 2 – 2 Bournemouth
  • Nottingham Forest 2 – 0 West Ham United
  • Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Manchester City 1 – 1 Chelsea

Had you opted to take the Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea game for your Mythical Match and bet on either team to win then you’d have lost your bet, with the Mythical Match ending as a 1-1 draw. You would have won a bet on Under 2.5 Goals, as an example, but would have lost any Match Handicap bets in the majority of instances on that front.

What to Think About

football agent concept businessman in suit sitting at a laptop with football happy surrounded by charts and graphsWhen you’re betting on a normal match between two teams, you will weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and look at the likes of their form heading into the game. You’d consider the strong players and work out which ones are under-performing and whether or not someone is missing because of an injury or suspension. Sensible bettors spend a good amount of time doing their research in order to ensure that they know that the bet that they’re placing is as well thought through as it’s possible for it to be, all whilst accepting that they might well still lose the bet because of how football works.

When it comes to betting on Mythical Matches, you still need to do that, but for all four teams that are part of the bet that you’re placing. There is no use in only considering what is going on with Chelsea, for example, and ignoring the fact that the team that they are playing is Manchester City.

Equally, it would be easy to look at the information about Tottenham Hotspur playing at home and just assume that they’ll win, without considering the form that Wolverhampton Wanderers have been in and how well they’ve performed on the road during the season. You need to consider all aspects of the bet before placing it.

The good news is that there is a wealth of information that is out there for you nowadays. You can look not only at how each team has been performing in terms of their actual results but you can also explore the underlying numbers to their performances. The likes of Expected Goals is a huge area that you can turn to to see how well teams are playing and whether or not the results that they’ve been getting are a fair reflection of what the underlying numbers suggest.

A team with an xG of 35 over the course of the season to date that has scored 47 goals are likely to score fewer goals moving forward to come back to the mean, for example.

These sorts of stats are the perfect thing to look at in terms of the Mythical Match market, because the likes of Expected Goals can look across several matches to give you a sense of how well each team involved in the bet has been playing. You will want to make sure that you know how well they are likely to do in their own match in order to make assumptions about how well they’ll do in the Mythical Match.

Teams that have been out-performing their xG going up against teams that have been under-performing theirs might well lead to a closer Mythical Match result than the actual results they’ve been achieving recently might suggest.