Expected Goals Betting Explained

Expected Goals Betting Explained

Expected goals (xG) is a metric in football betting that quantifies the likelihood of a shot resulting in a goal. For punters that engage in EG betting, this statistical model takes every goal attempt created in a game and compares them to thousands of similar historical chances. It then assigns a figure from 0 to 1 to each chance based on its probability of achieving a goal. This figure is the expected goal or xG. For instance, an xG value of 0.2 means the shot is scored 20% of the time based on historical data analysis of opportunities with similar characteristics.

How Are Expected Goals Calculated?

Understanding how this metric is calculated is essential to ensure better winning chances for your expected goals bets. While there are various machine learning models to calculate expected goals, they all work with a common approach. As mentioned, this involves evaluating the quality of a scoring attempt by analyzing vast chunks of historical data of similar opportunities (shots from the same location on the pitch).

However, beyond the position of play of the shot, these models are trained on a range of other variables, depending on their complexity. It is to ensure an extreme level of accuracy for expected goals wagering.

These factors include:

  • Distance from the goal
  • Angle of shot
  • The quality of the pass
  • Whether it’s a shot or a header
  • Body positioning of the shooter
  • Number of defenders between the shooter and the goal

For instance, in a matchup of Arsenal against Manchester United, a short pass from Gabriel Jesus on his right foot in the 18-yard box will have a significantly higher xG than a corner kick. After the match, the expected goal value for each team is collated, and you may see the total xG displayed as:

Arsenal: 1.73

Manchester United: 1.13

Variations of xG

There are several variations of xG, and it is essential to understand the most important ones to bet on expected goals more accurately.

Expected per 90 (xG/90)

(xG/90) refers to the expected goal (xG) of a team or player in the 90 minutes of a football match. This metric doesn’t consider xG of shots outside of the official duration.

Expected Goals for (xGf)

xGF is a statistic used to measure the expected number of goals a team will likely score in a match based on the quality of their goal-scoring opportunities. This metric can be highly valuable when placing an xG bet on goal-related markets, including totals, correct score, BTTS, etc.

Expected Goals against (xGa)

While xGf measures the likelihood of a team scoring based on the quality of their attacking chances, xGa assesses the number of goals a team is expected to concede in a match.

Expected goals Assisted (xA)

xA is a metric that quantifies the likelihood that a specific pass will lead to a goal-scoring opportunity based on distance, angle, and pass type. It can be highly valuable when analyzing expected goals bet on assist-related markets.

Non-penalty Expected Goals (npxG)

npxG is a variation of the expected goals (xG) metric that does not consider penalty shots. To calculate this, you must deduct the xG for penalties in a match from the total xG.

Expected points (xPts)

xPts measures the number of points that a team is expected to get from a match based on the total xG data (quality of all the chances created)

How to Use Expected Goals Statistics in Football Betting

Having understood what xG is and how it is calculated, let’s examine how to use it for football betting offers. The xG model provides a more accurate representation of a team’s performance beyond traditional metrics like possession, shots on goal, shots on target, and goals scored. These basic stats only provide how many chances and goals there are and are not enough to judge a team or player’s performance.

Conversely, betting on expected goals (xG) helps you dive deeper into the quality of those shots. It evaluates who was better in a match regardless of the actual results. Thus, it eliminates luck and randomness.

Let’s examine how to use the xG metric in betting:

  • Understand Team Performance: By looking at a team’s xG over several matches, you can know how well they create goal-scoring opportunities. Suppose a team consistently has a high xG value but isn’t converting those chances into goals. It might indicate that they’re currently underperforming but would potentially have better results in the future. Hence, this stat will help you make more informed decisions and win on expected goals market more often.
  • Assess Player Form: Similarly, you can use xG to analyze individual player performance. If a striker has a high xG but hasn’t scored in a few games, it might suggest they are due for a goal. Conversely, if a player consistently outperforms their expected goal value, they might be in a lucky hot streak that’s not sustainable.
  • Compare Teams: xG also helps when considering wagering on matchups. For instance, on the bet365 bookmaker, xG betting helps compare the expected goals of two teams and provides insights that will increase your chances of placing an accurate bet. If one team consistently creates better goal-scoring opportunities than their opponent, it might indicate a higher likelihood of them winning the match. It is also true for any other betting site.

Expected Goals Betting Tips

Let’s examine some xG betting tips on using this metric to increase your success in sports wagering.

Look for a Solid Model

There are many xG statistical models online that punters can easily access. However, using a reliable and robust one that considers as many factors as possible is crucial for increased accuracy. It should also cover various leagues, competitions, and teams.

Pick Your League

In your chosen xG model, select the football league or competition you’re interested in betting on.

Pick Your Teams

After selecting the league, pick the teams you want to bet on to view their statistics. To ensure better accuracy in your expected goals betting, you can even check for the home and away xG records differently.

Review the Expected Goals and Previous Results

Analyze the records and identify which teams create more quality goal-scoring chances and concede fewer opportunities.

Predict the Result

Use the data to make informed predictions in your betting.

Pros and Cons of Expected Goals Betting

  • Objective Assessment: xG provides a more objective and data-driven approach to evaluating team and player performance. It helps you make more informed decisions.
  • Long-Term Profitability: Unlike subjective factors and short-term streaks, relying on xG can lead to more consistent and profitable results over the long term.
  • Mitigates Variability: xG helps to mitigate the impact of factors like outstanding goalkeeping, lucky/unlucky bounces, refereeing decisions, etc.
  • xG lacks reliability in predicting outcomes for individual soccer matches
  • It has limited historical data compared to traditional stats

Origin of the xG Model

The xG model was introduced in 2012 by Sam Green, an advanced data analyst from Opta. Motivated by similar models being applied in American sports, he used the expected goals model to assess the performance of goalscorers in the Premier League. The xG model gained more popularity in the 2017/18 PL season when renowned pundits started discussing and using it in BBC’s Match of The Day.

Final Words

Expected goals betting offers a sophisticated and data-driven approach to football wagering. It is widely used at the biggest sports betting sites. By incorporating statistical models that consider the quality of scoring opportunities, punters can gain a more nuanced understanding of team and player performances and match dynamics.

However, as with any betting strategy, combining xG analysis with contextual factors and practicing disciplined bankroll management is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is xG a good measure?
    Yes, xG is a valuable measure in football betting. Assessing the quality of scoring chances provides a more nuanced understanding of player and team performances compared to traditional stats like goals scored, shots on goal, and shots on target.
  • Is the expected goals statistic useful for betting?
    Yes, the xG metric can be a powerful weapon in a bettor’s arsenal. It can help comprehensively analyze a team’s performance over time. It can help assess a player’s true form regardless of whether they are over performing or underperforming. This statistic can also directly indicate the likelihood of a team winning the match.
  • What is the xG for a big chance?
    A “big chance” is when a player is reasonably anticipated to score, typically in one-on-one scenarios or from extremely close distances. When penalties, which usually have an xG figure of 0.76, are deducted and only open-play goal attempts are considered, a big chance falls around 0.38 on the xG scale.
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    Rebecca E
    Writer & Media

    Rebecca is a Liverpool gal and a big fan of the club. She likes nothing more than sharing tips and predictions on sports betting. Her other favorite sports include horse racing, snooker, and golf. Rebecca is in charge of writing and media at BetZillion. You can thank her for making our articles look so great.

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