What Does Over / Under 3.5 Goals Mean?

scoreboard showing 3-2 scorelineThe over 3.5 goals market in football betting is simple to explain. It is a wager on the total number of goals scored within a football match.

It covers the 90 minutes of full time played in a football match, so extra time is not part of the wager. To win this market, it doesn’t matter which teams score the goals. Both can participate in scoring, which is the idea behind football for a team to win over their opponents. Alternatively, if just one team scores, then this is also fine.

Over 3.5 goals means that at least four goals must be scored in a game for anyone betting on this market to win. If a game finishes in a result of 4-0 and you have wagered on the over 3.5 goals market, you win. In the same vein, if a match finishes in a 3-1 result, you still win, because a total of four goals have been scored. And once again, if a game ends with a 5-5 result, you still get a payout, because more than 3.5 goals have been witnessed within.

Conversely if you bet on under 3.5 goals you need 3 or less goals in the match.  If a team wins 3-0 or 2-1 you would win that bet.  If it was 2-2, for example, you would not as there has been 4 goals.

You can bet on over / under 3.5 goals in 90 minutes, which includes goals from both teams.  You can also bet on over / under 3.5 goals for each team individually.  Here that team would need to score over / under 3.5 goals irrespective of what the other team does.  Over / Under goal markets are also available in each half, e.g. over / under 3.5 goals in the second half.

Why Over 3.5 Goals and Not Over 4 Goals?

exact total goals market for a football match

It is common to question why the market is presented as over 3.5 goals and not over 4 goals. After all, a decimal point usually means a fraction of something, and as everyone knows, you can’t score part-goals in football. You can only score whole goals.

Yet the decimal points of .5 are present in all over/under markets at online sportsbooks. It is present to ensure the bet wins or loses and no stakes are refunded. A wager on an over 3.5 goals market will either win or lose. There is no in between. If the numbers were whole, so let’s say over 4 goals, then betting sites would need to add third betting option for people to choose from. This would be for if exactly four goals were scored in a match (these markets also exist and you can bet on exact number of goals in a match, as shown in the image in this section).

While exact goals markets do exist as alternatives to bet on, this option is not available when it comes to over/under markets of any kind.

When Does the Over 3.5 Goals Market Appear?

alternative over under goal totals

Any over/under goals markets exist most commonly with football match betting. It caters to football leagues and tournaments all over the world, including those with big followings like the English Premier League, FIFA World Cup games, German Bundesliga, and so on.

The over 3.5 goals market appears alongside a slew of others in a similar vein, such as over 1.5 goals, over 2.5 goals, over 4.5 goals etc. At the same time, their under counterparts are usually also present, like under 1.5 goals, under 2.5 goals, et al.

Betting on the over 3.5 goals market can present very different odds from match to match and league to league. It really depends upon the teams participating, as well as their general average performances in the past.

For example, if you know that a game is coming up between Manchester City and Luton Town, there is a strong likelihood that the former team will score many goals and you could wager on an over 3.5 goals market in reasonable confidence there it would be over 3.5. As long as at least four goals are scored in the game, then you receive a payout for it. Whether Manchester City claims all the goals or even if Luton manages to secure one or two for itself is immaterial. There just needs to be four goals scored within the game.

On the other hand, if two low-scoring teams are facing each other, you may want to think twice about the over 3.5 goals market. For example, if Crystal Palace is set to face Burnley, then you’re not likely to see four goals occurring within the game. It’s not an impossible outcome, but it’s less likely. Thus, a lower over market is a better option, or as an alternative, an under 3.5 goals market.

When to Bet on Over 3.5 Goals

over under 3.5 goals market shown for a range of fixtures

Placing bets on this market in football matches isn’t simply a case of wagering on it every single time and hoping you get lucky with the outcome. You should only proceed with this type of bet when you believe that you’ll get the best value out of it. Value equates to getting bigger expected odds on a selection that you believe will win.

Of course, that is subjective to each individual bettor. However, you can use a variety of sources to be able to locate value bets in this market. Make sure you view statistics surrounding each team partaking in a match. See if they have faced one another before and what the outcome of those matches was. Did they have a high number of goals scored in total each time? If not, then the over 3.5 goals market isn’t an ideal option to go with.

You should also look at recent form for both teams involved. Changes to players and managers will also likely influence how a team plays. Weather conditions have an impact, too. Make sure you consider everything before you go ahead with an over 3.5 goals wager.

Many punters like to use over / under 3.5 goals markets in accumulators, possibly mixed with over / under 2.5 goals, 4.5 goals or 1.5 goals from other matches.  Beware, however, that when you create accumulators you compound the margins for bookies and so the value of the bet goes down as a result.