It takes a lot of time and dedication to become successful at sports betting. Professional gamblers average about 54% of winning bets to earn a profit. Yet, gamblers who win learn more about probable outcomes as they gather more information. 

Reducing the many variables in a sporting event might be laborious work for some. But finding a winning edge is often in the numbers. For example, expected goals analysis can produce enormous betting value in sports like hockey. 

When armed with data that breaks down team tendencies, you get deeper into every game. If you want to learn more about what expected goals in sports betting mean, keep reading. This guide will show you how to factor expected goals into your sports betting plan.

Sports Betting Value

One of the most critical aspects of any successful gambling career begins with understanding value. You can avoid rookie mistakes in betting by learning where your stake has an improved chance of paying dividends. 

Often, novice gamblers concentrate their efforts on the game’s final score. Yet, with some research and a deeper understanding of the sport, you will often find better places to put your money. 

For example, every team has strengths and weaknesses. Learn to exploit those tendencies by moving your bet away from the Moneyline.

Possible scenarios include puckline and over/under bets. With in-depth analysis, it’s more likely to find isolated sports betting options.

For example, a star player may have a favorable matchup against a weak team. A prop bet on that player may produce better value for your wager.

What Are Expected Goals

In sports like soccer and hockey, you can extract data showing a team’s defense and offense tendencies. Expected goals are a statistic derived from the quality shots a team allows or takes during a match. The simplest way to explain expected goal data is to look at the information on the offensive side.

In professional hockey, you can quickly get the total number of shots on goal a team or individual takes during a game. But not all shots are created equal, so further analysis breaks these down into quality shots. Quality shots are the attempts on net that have the best chance of scoring a goal.

In the case of soccer, quality chances generally occur inside the box in front of each goal. Yet, other variables can produce a quality scoring chance, depending on the depth of the analysis. 

Distance from the net and the player’s skill level all factor in determining quality shots. Sample size from players and teams gives you a better perspective on trends. Deep analysis from spreadsheets reveals more results by factoring shot angles, one-on-one situations, and even assist type.

In hockey, some goals get scored by a fluke deflection off a skate or stick. So the assist type might have a bearing on the scoring attempt. You might categorize these as quality shots from outside the scoring zone.

Soccer is often a contest of individual matchups on the pitch. Part of the quality shots calculation might include the energy level of the player’s attempt. For example, a star player might easily beat a defender to create a scoring chance. 

Other times, quality shots get created from rebounds or missed plays by defenders. So an even further breakdown of XGF will include values for each type of quality shots made. 

What Is Expected Goal Differential

A simple calculation will give you an expected goal differential for a given team. Subtract the expected goals against total from the expected goals for (XGF) the team. Many of these figures have already been calculated by data organizations. 

So in hockey, for example, the Florida Panthers might have a 120 XGF rating and 65 goals against ratio. Subtract the goals against from the XGF, and you will find the Panthers have a 55 expected goals differential. 

xgf example from NHL betting model

Other teams in the league will have a negative expected goals differential. When you look at these numbers for the entire league, you will begin to see why some teams are better than others. Teams at the top of the standings generally have higher expected goals differentials than lesser teams.

In-Game Scenarios

Goal differentials also get broken down into specific parts of a game. Power play shots have an enormous effect on scoring chances. Quality shots should also account for situations like 5 on 4 or 5 on 3 power plays. 

Remember that match quality is another factor in grading expected goals in sports betting. Playoff games or cup matches generally produce fewer quality shots during play because of the level of competition. So although the Panthers have 55 expected goals differential during the season, that number might drop considerably against a quality defensive opponent.

Sports Betting With Expected Goals

The deeper you go with the expected goals analysis, the more you will find quality sports betting opportunities. The accuracy of an expected goals spreadsheet does not always tell you who will win the game. But the data might present situations where puckline and game totals are of more value as a wager. 

The question you must ask is, do I want to profit from sports betting? If you are serious about tilting the odds in your favor, it’s essential to know the statistics better. If you aren’t sure where to begin, there are helpful learning tools to teach you to create spreadsheets.

Make Better Betting Choices

If you plan to win with sports betting, knowing as much about your wager as possible is critical. Sports betting for profit is like any other investment plan. You must use the information to get an edge. 

Calculating expected goals involves more commitment, but the dividends will reflect the time spent. And the deeper you dive into the value of quality shots, expected goals in sports betting will present new opportunities.

Most of the data you need is already available, and there is help to learn how to use the information. So if you want to make sports betting a more profitable endeavor, sign up for a free betting course with Underdog Chance today.

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