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Correct Score bets are some of the most popular football bets to place, and yet they are also some of the hardest to get right. As a result, the odds – and potential rewards – when you do can mean a decent pay-out in your favour.
A Correct Score bet, unsurprisingly, is a single bet on the final score of a game. As mentioned, it is one of the hardest bets to get right, but as a result you will get good odds on each selection.
Usually, the odds are shorter for lower scoring games – 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1 – and they increase gradually as you bet on more goals being scored.
While they are the hardest to get right, and you can often be waiting for some time for a payout, thanks to the increased odds available for a correct score bet the payouts are often well worth waiting for.
Providing you bet sensibly, you only need a handful of correct scores to payout each season to finish the year in profit and, as we will cover below, there are plenty of ways to improve your odds of getting a correct score bet right.
It is difficult to correctly predict the exact score of a football match, but there are many ways you can improve your chances of placing a successful bet. Study the form, look for games where less goals are likely to be scored and look at leagues where match outcomes tend to be easier to predict. Let’s take a closer look…
One of the first things you do when betting on the correct score of a football match is avoid picking games where you think plenty of goals will be scored.
Of course, the bigger scorelines will return greater odds and more potential profit, but there’s a reason for that – it’s less likely to be successful. Even if you think a match will be a one-sided affair, with one team dominating, there are so many different variations of how that scoreline – even if you predicted the outcome (i.e. a big win for one team) correctly – could look. Anything, really, above a 3-0 win would be considered a big victory. Will the team step off the gas after building such a lead? Will the opposing team snatch a consolation? The number of scorelines that would be considered ‘high-scoring’ are vast, whereas if you correctly pick a low-scoring game, there are only really four outcomes to look out for.
Study the form book, and if you have found two teams playing each other who tend not to score – or concede – many goals, you have a good starting point for a successful correct score bet.
For starters, a game with few goals will finish one of four ways – 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-1. If you are correct in predicting the low-scoring game, there is a one-in-four chance, effectively, that you will then have picked the correct scoreline too.
The odds are lower for those scorelines, but given 1,782 matches finished 1-0 to either side in the first 25 years of the Premier League – no other outcome occurred more than 1500 times – you can see there are going to be more payouts. For the record, in that period, 1,140 finished 1-1 and 828 were goalless draws.
However, we would advise normally looking away from the Premier League (see below) due to the more unpredictable nature of the league compared to some of Europe’s other top divisions.
Correctly identifying a low-scoring match also offers the chance of a consolation should you bet through Bet365 too – we’ve detailed how to take advantage of their "Bore Draw Money Back" offer below.
But where should you be looking for these low-scoring matches?
The Premier League is often viewed as being the best league in the world, by commentators prone to hyperbole, thanks to its unpredictable nature. High-scoring games are common and, as many managers like to point out ‘anyone can beat anyone’. Of course, that bit is true for every league, but in the Premier League it seems to ring true more often.
Instead, you need to find leagues where low-scoring games are common – the German Bundesliga, for example. With teams known typically for their organised defences and regimented formations, just less than 25 per cent of all matches played before the winter break in the 2017/18 finished either 1-0 to the home team or 1-1.
Another popular type of football bet is a combined BTTS/over 2.5 goals in match bet, and when predicting the correct score a 2-1 win is another result worth betting on.
Indeed, in the first 25 years of the Premier League as we quoted above, the second most common scoreline was 2-1 – occurring 1,455 times.
If you choose the BTTS/more than 2.5 goals in match bet, you will likely get slightly lower odds than if you specifically back a team to win 2-1 – and yet it is a relatively common scoreline.
In La Liga, 14 per cent of matches in the 2017/18 season – at the time of writing – finished 2-1 to either the home or away team, while in the Scottish Premiership that total goes up to more than 18 per cent; on average, that means one team every weekend in the Scottish Premiership will win a game 2-1. And yet you can still get odds of around 8/1-9/1 of the favourites winning 2-1 in a typical Scottish Premiership match market.
Picking a 2-1 scoreline can also keep your bet alive for longer than if you back a 1-0. No matter who scores first, your bet still has a chance of winning. It’s no use if it ultimately fails, but nobody wants to be reaching half-time or even earlier on match day having already had to tear up their betting slip.
Once you have identified the potential low-scoring games, it is best to stick with a scoreline when placing correct score bets.
Sure, the chance of every game you bet on finishing with that scoreline is extremely low, but some are likely too at least meaning you will get at least some payouts if you pick your games well. Constantly change your predicted score around and, in actual fact, you are reducing the probability of your correct score bet coming off.
We have already mentioned the bonus of a consolation if you pick a low-scoring game through Bet365.
Bet365 offer money back on any Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast bets if the match in question finishes 0-0. So if you have correctly identified a low-scoring game, that ends up finishing goalless, you will get your money back at least – even if your 1-0 Correct Score bet is therefore not successful.