January 12, 2021

Sports Betting As An Investment

Premier League Goal Stats 2012-2020

Premier League Goal Stats 2012-2020

In this article, we look at some goal stats for the English Premier League (EPL), covering the period from the season 2012-13 all the way until the 2019-20 season (until March, when the Coronavirus put a stop to the tournament).


Specifically, we want to answer these questions:

  • What is the average number of goals scored per match in the Premier League?
  • How often are there more than 2.5 goals scored in a match in the Premier League?
  • When are most goals scored in a game in the Premier League?
  • How often do both teams score in a match in the Premier League?
  • What is the most common score in a football match in the Premier League?


What is the average number of goals scored per match in the EPL?

In the diagram below we show the average number of goals in the EPL, by season.

Avg No goals, EPL

(There are 380 matches played in a full season. By the time of writing this article, only 288 matches have been played in the 2019-20 season)


The average number of goals for all the seasons shown is 2.73, with the current season 2019-20 (as of the writing of this article) being very close to the average. If you like goals in your football matches, then the 2014-15 season was the direst with only 2.57 goals per match being scored.


Interestingly, no year shows an average number of goals below 2.50. Betting on Over or Under 2.50 goals in a match is the most common “number of goals”-bet in football. With that in mind, let’s move to the next question:


How often are there more than 2.5 goals scored in a match in the EPL?


Over 2.5 Goals, EPL



On average, 53% of the matches in the EPL have more than 2.5 goals (i.e., 3 goals or more). We can also see that the 2014-15 season is the only season where less than half (48%) had below 2.5 goals (in other words, 52% of the matches ended with 0, 1 or 2 goals).


So, if you’re a bettor would that mean that apart from the 2014-15 season, you would have been profitable betting “blindly” on Over 2.5 goals? Unfortunately not, as the diagram below shows.


ROI, Betting Over 2.5 goals, EPL


Just backing the Over 2.50 goals blindly for all matches would have resulted in a 9% loss over the total period, and in no year would you have ended in profits following this approach. Interestingly, the 2014-15 season is not the worst here, even if the number of matches ending above 2.5 goals was the lowest, so the odds were set much too low in the 2013-14 season and were probably increased a bit in the following season. As the number of matches ending above 2.5 goals in the 2015-16 season increased again after the low point in the previous season, the ROI was among the best here, albeit still negative.

When are most goals scored in a game in the EPL?


Before we look at specific time segments, let’s have a look at a number of goals by half.


This is shown in the diagram below:

Goals Scored by Half, EPL


It is clear from the diagram, that we get more goals in the second half of a match than in the first half of a match and this applies for all the years included with the average being 1.21 goals in the first half and 1.52 goals in the second half.


Goals by half, percentage, EPL


Overall we find that 44% of all goals are being scored in the first half and 56% of the goals are being scored in the second half.


We will now look closer at the specific timings of the goals, divided into 15-minute intervals.


Goal Times EPL

(Both 31-45 Min. and 76+ Min. includes added time)


The diagram shows the average over the period we’ve analyzed (from the 2012-13 season until March 9, 2020).


We find that most goals are scored in the final 15 minutes of the game, albeit it needs to be said that this time bracket includes added time and so, in reality, will be 18-19 minutes. The same goes for the time bracket 31-45 Min. (although typically only 0-1 minutes are added here).


We also find that the period with the least amount of goals scored is at the start of the game, so it would seem that the teams generally begin the match with a mindset where it is more important to not get behind rather than to score first. Also, obviously the players are not tired at this time, so they are more alert and are less likely to make mistakes due to fatigue.


The fact that fewer goals are scored at the start of the game is a parameter that is important for some football trading strategies. If you place a Back bet on an Unders market (such as Under 2.5 goals scored), you will find that the odds for this market in the live game will drop until a goal is scored and if a goal is not scored within the first 15 minutes, you can cash out at this time with a nice profit. If you want to test this strategy, make sure to check the teams involved, as there can be big differences between how teams approach a match.


Likewise, knowing that most goals are scored in the final part of the game, Laying the current score or Laying in the Unders market can be a profitable football trading strategy (for example, if the current score is 1-1, i.e. two goals are scored, you would Lay Under 2.50 goals or Back Over 2.50 goals), but it’s vital that you follow the in-play stats for this in order to get a feeling for how the match is being played (i.e., are they chasing goals or do they seem satisfied with the current score?) and have checked how the teams involved generally performs regarding late goals, scored and conceived, as well as considering if any of the teams have to chase a better result than the current score.


How often do both teams score in a match in the Premier League?


We have looked at the number of goals and goal timings. Another important market for bettors and traders is the Both Teams To Score market, so we will take a closer look at this now.


In the diagram, below, we show the number of games where both teams scored at least one goal.


Both teams score, EPL


We find that on average in 50.9% of the matches both teams will score at least one goal. What would have happened if you just blindly backed all matches as Both Teams To Score? This is shown in the diagram below for the period covering the seasons 2014/15- until March 2020.




So, probably not very surprising, we find that you would have lost money every year if backing Both Teams To Score blindly.


This does not mean there is no possible way to make profits backing or laying BTTS, but it shows that you need to be more specific in your research before this market is profitable as a market to bet on.


What is the most common score in the EPL?


As the final piece of analysis in this article, we will look at the final scores. The table below shows the 10 most occurring final scores of the EPL since the 2012-13 season.


Most common scores, EPL


We find that it’s pretty much a tie between the 1-1 score and the 1-0 score which is in line with what we find globally where 1-1 is the most common score.


Final thoughts


We have looked at a number of stats on goals for the English Premier League, but needless to say, there are a lot more stats to dive into. We haven’t looked at overall home vs away team stats and we specifically haven’t looked at individual team stats. If you intend to look at any of the markets covered in this article for betting or trading purposes, it is clear that you need to do more specific research on the teams involved and especially if you want to trade the match, it is as always essential that you follow the in-play stats (and preferably also watch the match on TV, if possible). However, with that being said, hopefully, you will have gained some insights that you can maybe use as inspiration for exploring one or more of the markets for future betting or trading purposes.