World Cup Betting – Total Tournament and World Cup Final Goals

21st March 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

One interesting bet which online bookmaker Sporting Bet are carrying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is one for the total amount of goals which will be scored in South Africa. The market itself is broken down into bands to make life easier, so here we will take a look at the history of goals being scored during the world cup. This will help with betting strategies for the 2010 World Cup, which starts on June 11th with hosts South Africa playing Mexico. The very first World Cup, held in Uruguay in 1930 returned a total of 70 goals in the tournament. With the modern game developing and the tournament growing, there has been numerous occasions when tournaments have returned double that amount. There have been minor fluctuations of course, but over time, the amount of goals scored has increased, partly due to higher skill levels, and partly due to more teams entering the competition.


For full history of the World Cup, there is has been and average of 114 goals per tournament. However, the tournaments have grown from 13 teams participating in the first World Cup, to the current full quota of 32. So, if we take a look just at the past three World Cups, which are the only other ones to have switched to the thirty two team format, there have been 479 goals scored in 192 games, which equates to an average of 159 goals per tournament. That is almost 2.5 goals per match. The brackets for the tournament total goals bet at Sporting Bet, which have the shortest prices, are in the ranges between 150 and 160 goals, and is where a lot of the betting will naturally be attracted to. There is some justification to look a little higher than the average for 2010, as there is some genuinely good attacking sides, and of course some weaker teams in groups, which will push the goal count up. This happens every World Cup of course, but the likes of England, Spain and Germany all scoring an average of above 2.5 goals per game through qualification, hints that the brackets in the 160 goal ranges are a decent bet as well.

World Cup Tournament Total Goals Banded Betting Odds with SportingBet
135 or less = 14/1
136-140 = 14/1
141-145 = 9/1
146-150 = 11/2
151-155 = 9/2
156-160 = 9/2
161-165 = 5/1
166-170 = 7/1
171-175 = 10/1
176 or more = 8/1

The highest scoring tournament in World Cup History was a fairly recent one, as France 1998 yielded the biggest return of goals of all time. 171 goals were scored that year, with the hosts top scoring themselves with 15 goals, despite not having an individual top scorer in the top five. The longest prices on the World Cup Tournament total goals aren’t the ones which stand above that bracket, it is the ones which fall around the 130-140 mark. The previous World Cup, Germany 2006 was the lowest scoring tournament out of the three which have had the larger format, with just under the 150 goal mark. But indications are that these lower brackets will be best avoided, unless you fancy a really long shot of course.

Over the history of the FIFA World Cup, there have been over 2,000 goals scored, and what does that mean in terms of betting? Well, it averages out to just under three goals being scored per game for complete World Cup history. That should help a little with betting strategies on a game per game basis if you are looking at over/under odds. But, looking at the past three years, when the tournament has crept up to 32 teams and have therefore had more games played per tournament, the average goals per game stands around two and a half, which is the average for over/under bets. 

World Cup Goals Scored (32 team format)
France 1998 = 2.2 goals per game (171 goals total)
Korea/Japan 2002 = 2.5 goals per game (161 goals total)
Germany 2006 = 2.6 goals per game (147 goals total)

Another interesting bet open at the moment, is the amount of goals which will be scored in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. This of course, is a narrow shot than predicting the total amount of goals in the entire tournament. So here are some recent stats that may help you to take a decent price now before the tournament starts. The sooner you can get your bets on, the bigger your rewards could be, as markets like these will shift down a little when the participants for the final are known.

World Cup How Many Goals Will Be Scored In The World Cup 2010 Final? (regular Time Only) Betting Odds at Bwin
0 goals = 6/1
1 goal = 5/2
2 goals = 5/1
3 goals = 16/5
4 goals = 6/1
5 or more = 10/1

Again, the last three tournaments have averaged out at 2.3 goals in the final, with the two finals before that, only producing 1 goal between the pair of matches.
1990 West Germany 1, Argentina 0
1994 Brazil 0, Italy 0
1998 France 3, Brazil 0
2002 Brazil 2, Germany 0
2006 Italy 1, France 1

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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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