One of the key ingredients to being a successful football bettor is never resting on your laurels.
Even if you have been profitable over a long period of time, and have found an edge that works for you, that could still be undone if you stop putting in the hard work – be it studying form, researching the stats, waiting for team news announcements and so on.
You should also commit yourself to never stop trying to improve. In that way, you should keep an open mind to new ideas and strategies that come along, and consider how you can use these to refine your wagering.
One such innovation is Expected Goals, which is also sometimes known as xG. Never before has a statistical model come along that has been so lauded by many and derided by some, but we’re here to tell you that you should be using this stat in your football betting.
What is Expected Goals?
Think of a football game you have watched recently. In it, you will have noticed that a number of chances were created by one if not both teams.
The great thing about xG is that it attaches a numerical value to each chance, with a number like 0.05 assigned to a shot of little consequence – think of a tame pea-roller from 30 yards, up to 0.80, which is typically used for a penalty kick.
— OptaChelsea (@OptaBlue) March 17, 2021
Immediately, you can begin to think about how this can help you betting – quite simply, it fills in the gaps that traditional data sets, think total shots or shots on target, misses. Just because a team has had ten shots on target, what does that really mean? There is no context, because all of those efforts at goal may have had little chance of resulting in the net bulging.
Content is key when monitoring both pre-match and in-play stats, and Expected Goals reveals more than the absolute vast majority of other data points ever can.
How to Use Expected Goals in Betting
There are two general strands to football betting – pre-match and in-play.
If you prefer to take best odds before a ball has been kicked, you can use historical xG data – let’s say the teams’ last six games – to see what kind of form they are in, both in terms of creating and yielding good goalscoring chances.
Then there’s live wagering. We know that football betting sites like Space Casino offer stacks of in-play markets each and every day, and xG data is fantastic in offering a context-driven look at how a game is going – remember, shots on target is a stat that means very little without added insight.
Where to Find Expected Goals Data
It will depend upon the kind of punter you are to determine whether you want to invest in Expected Goals data or not.
Sources such as OPTA are paid-for services, and even then you need to be accepted by the firm before being allowed to see any xG stats from around the world.
— Infogol (@InfogolApp) March 18, 2021
There are free sources that can be used, so bettors should be attuned to Understat, which offers Expected Goals data for both teams and players from across Europe, and InfoGol, an app that records in-play Expected Goals counts so that you can see which team is most likely to score next.
So no matter what type of football bettor you are, why not increase your understanding of the beautiful game with Expected Goals and see if you can profit accordingly.