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Mar 3, 2017
Mar 3, 2017

Both Teams To Score betting analysis

Which statistics can inform your Both Teams To Score betting?

Can bettors profit from BTTS betting?

Both Teams To Score betting analysis
‘Both Teams To Score’ betting has increased in popularity because it offers a simple binary choice, while data suggests an even distribution of either outcome. In Europe's big five leagues over the last five seasons, 51% of matches saw both teams score at least one goal, so you might as well flip a coin for Both Teams To Score betting, right?

When taking a more in depth approach to analysing Both Teams To Score (BTTS) betting, it is clear that there is more to it than the flip of a coin. Despite the almost 50/50 statistics from a large sample size, this type of bet is dependant on the two teams playing, how they play, their previous results and even when the game is taking place.

The importance of BTTS records

In the 490 team seasons covered in the aforementioned period, there is a wide range of BTTS incidence; from 26% for Bayern Munich (2014/15) to 79% for Hoffenheim (2013/14). It is clear however, when looking at the teams who were ever present in the Premier League over the last five seasons that in the long-term, clubs produce similar numbers of matches where both teams scored.

BTTS-chart.jpg

We can see that a team that hangs around in the English top flight for a while can be relied upon to see both teams score in between eighteen and twenty-one of their matches per season. What bettors need however, are reliable match stats that might indicate where teams are more likely to both score and concede in their games.

What to look out for with Both Teams To Score betting?

The following table uses Spearman's rank correlation to assess the relationship between both teams scoring and various stats for the last five seasons in the Premier League:

Spearman's Rank correlation with BTTS

StatisticSpearman's Rank correlation with BTTS
Total goals 0.616
Total clean sheets -0.471
Times failed to score -0.466
Total shots on target 0.385
Total goals scored 0.325
Total goals against 0.227
Total shots 0.133
Goal difference 0.032
League position 0.021

Goal difference may correlate strongly with league position, but neither are much good at indicating whether both teams will score in a team's matches. It's not a surprise to see that 'total goals' leads the way here but what else can we consider?

Looking at the 2015/16 Premier League, there was only a slight impact on the likelihood of BTTS based on whether both teams scored in the previous game. One or both clubs failed to find the net in 48.2% of Premier League matches last season, and if both teams had not scored in a team's previous match, then at least one didn't score in 51.1% of that team's next matches on average.

Do teams have Both Teams To Score form?

If both teams had scored in a team's previous fixture, then they did so again in that team's next match 54.8% of the time, compared to the overall average of 51.8%. This shows that knowing the outcome of a previous match can give you a slight advantage, though of course different teams will fit this trend more closely than others.

That said, every team in the division had runs of at least three games where both teams scored, and where both clubs failed to score, so you can assume that they are likely to have such a run at some point.

Despite the almost 50/50 statistics from a large sample size, there are numerous facotrs for bettors consider for Both Teams To Score (BTTS) betting.

For the record, more teams (ten) had a longer run of both teams scoring than it not happening, with only six having their longest run where one side failed to score, and every side in the 2016/17 Premier League has already had a 'both teams score' run of at least three matches.

Over this five season period, Everton had the longest BTTS run with 16 games in the 2012/13 season. The longest spell without both teams scoring was Burnley’s run of 12 matches in 2014/15.

Does kick-off time effect BTTS betting?

The time the match kicks off may be relevant too. The sample sizes are obviously not equal, as a lot of matches still kick off at 15:00 on a Saturday, but it's worth looking at a breakdown of last season's Premier League matches by starting time to see whether both teams scored.

BTTS-table.jpg

Early kick-offs can often be dull and uninspiring for fans and players alike, and the numbers suggest that you won't see both teams score during such a match too often either - this could be due to away team travel arrangements, both teams having less time to prepare or any number of reasons.

In 55.7% of 3pm Saturday kick-offs, both teams socred in the match.

As there is an almost even split of matches that began at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and those which did not, it's interesting that 55.7% of the regular kick offs saw both sides hit the back of the net, but only 48.2% of the other matches - something that will be worth bearing in mind when placing a bet.

Optimism bias and Both Teams To Score betting

As with all betting, it is essential to not let biases cloud your judgement - particularly in a market like this where a single bounce of the ball or a questionable refereeing decision can lead to a very fortunate goal (or unfortunate, depending on what your bet is).

The danger of optimism bias in BTTS betting is evident when analysing the lowest scoring sides record against the top six in the Premier League. You might expect games that feature teams that struggle to score (Aston Villa, Norwich and WBA) and top six teams to not be BTTS. However, both teams scored in nine of the eighteen matches between these teams last season.

Get the best odds on BTTS betting across Europe’s top five leagues, the Champions League and Europa League at Pinnacle.

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Andrew's career may have mysteriously taken him from earning a degree in Media to working for a bank, but his true passion has always been soccer. After observing how data has proliferated the sport in recent years, Andrew was quick to see what numbers could tell bettors about "the beautiful game". He is now pursuing a career in analysing football stats and has a keen interest in predicting match outcomes.
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