Backing the full-time home or away win in a match in aggregation with both teams to score (BTTS) has become a popular market offered by many online bookmakers.
The very nature of selecting two variables in what is effectively a combination bet or ‘double’ means that the odds are multiplied creating an opportunity for higher returns than backing each outcome individually.
The attraction of higher odds and the perception that most games in modern football are free-flowing attacking affairs where both defences are likely to be breached have created a market for these types of combination bets.
You may also think that by ‘doubling’ the home or away result and BTTS, the wager is shrewder than simply picking the correct score of the match where the odds are higher but far disproportionate to the probability of a return?
Let’s take a look at these points in more detail.
We have previously looked at FT score distributions using a sample of almost 11,000 matches from nine different leagues.
If you open the screenshot there you will find that clean-sheet victories (1-0; 2-0; 3-0; 4-0; 0-1; 0-2; 0-3; 0-4, etc.) by either the home or away team accounted for 38.22% of all results.
Draws (0-0 through to 4-4) made up a 25.33% quota of all results.
However, for the sake of this article, we are interested in home and away wins where both teams scored. When tallied, these accounted for precisely 33% (19.76% + 13.24%) of all results:
A sample size of 10,723 matches is a statistically significant amount and a fair benchmark to gauge other leagues by.
In comparison, of the 1,900 English Premier League (EPL) games that took place in the five seasons from 2012/13, there were 646 matches (34%) when betting on one of the teams to win and both teams to score could have returned a winning bet.
From these indications, there will be ‘around’ a third (33%) of matches in a season in any top-flight league where the combination of BTTS and a decisive match result occur.
But, of course, this assumes that the right teams were selected to win. Without taking account of any assumed preference for the favourite, the probability is as low as 16-17% (50-50) for a winning return across those games.
Win and BTTS Odds on Offer
Typical odds in the market for the Win (home or away) + BTTS can be anything between 3.00 and 6.00 depending on the teams involved, but the average odds are around 4.00.
So, roughly speaking, there is a 1 in 6 chance (16% = 1 in 6.25; 17% = 1 in 5.88) of making a winning selection, which will, at average odds of 4.00, return winnings of three times your money.
But how does this compare with simply backing the correct score?
Correct Score Analysis
The EPL is considered one of the most exciting leagues in the world, but the most common result type, as it is in every league, is actually a (not very exciting) one-goal game (1-0 or 0-1).
One goal games accounted for 348 (18.32%) of the 1,900 EPL matches between the five seasons during 2013-18.
The second most common result is 2-1 either way. During the same five season period, the EPL recorded a 2-1 home win 142 times (7.47%), and a 1-2 away win 123 times (6.47%), equating to 13.94% of all results.
In comparison, adding the 2-1 and 1-2 occurrences in Table 2 above gives a total of 15.94%, but it is safe to say that, across the board, 1-0 and 2-1 score lines are generally the most common results.
Again, taking out any preference for favourites, and using the 50/50 measure to predict the right team winning the match 1-0 or 2-1, the probability of correctly predicting 1-0 either way are around 9% (half of 18.32% in our EPL example), and around 7% for predicting a 2-1 (half of 13.94%).
So, mathematically at least, there is a slightly lesser chance of winning with these bets. However, looking at the disparity in odds, the potential winnings in the Correct Score market are far, far greater.
Taking a typical weekend’s EFL Championship betting fixtures as an example, even allowing for favourites and serial 1-0 winners, the odds for correctly predicting a 1-0 win range from around 6.00 to 34.00, and average out at odds above 11.00.
So whilst there is statistically a 1 in 11 chance (9%) of making a winning 1-0 correct score selection, either way, the bet will on average return winnings of more than ten times your money, and potentially as high as thirty-three times the original stake.
All things considered, betting on the correct score market provides a much larger reward than betting on the combination of match result and BTTS.