Why shots at goal matter!

Another incredible piece of information by our partner Mike Lindley who runs Winabobatoo rating service.

We would recommend to anyone who loves stats and want to improve its betting performance to check his site. If you like what you are reading below and want to find more articles like this please sign up with Betting.com – our betting university is free and will always be. We also offer full access to Betting.com bet tracker, analytics and odds comparison with a 14 days free trial.

Part of the strategy behind the Winabobatoo ratings is to try to seek out the sides who will dominate games. Much has been said and written by so-called pundits that the game is changing and that the quality of the chances created matters more than the actual number of chances created, or that counter-attacking styles of play means that dominating possession and shots and goal no longer matter.

Obviously, if a side can create 5 gilt-edged chances in a game, as opposed to 10 half chances, it’s going to be beneficial to their winning chances but by the same token, does a side need to create more chances overall in order to find those 5 gilt-edges chances


The win rates of home teams are clearly influenced by the number of shots they have at goal. The home sides win 58.72% of the time when they have 20 or more shots at goal in a game. The win rate drops to just 21.88% when they have fewer than 5 shots at goal in a match.

From a betting perspective, backing home sides that have 15 or more shots at goal in a game has been profitable.

The next table shows the away returns during the same period:

table 1

Backing away teams has been extremely profitable when the home side has fewer than 10 shots in a game. If the home side manages 10 or more shots, making money from backing away sides becomes much more difficult.

We’ll now turn the tables the other way round and look at the returns relative to the number of shots at goal by the away team:

table 2

Fewer away sides record 20+ shots at goal than home sides (434 compared to 1,451). Backing away sides that have fewer than 10 shots at goal has lost money. Backing away sides that have 10 or more shots at goal has made money.

The home returns relative to the same away shot details show:

table 3

Home teams need to limit the away sides to fewer than 10 shots at goal in order to maximise their win chances. Home sides win 49% of the time when they restrict the away team to 9 shots or less.

We can take this analysis a stage further by creating a Shot Balance. A Shot Balance subtracts the away shots at goal from the home shots at goal. If the home side has 15 shots and the away side has 11 shots, the Shot Balance is +4. If the home side has 8 shots and the away side has 15 shots, the Shot Balance is -7

The table below shows the home returns relative to the match Shot Balance:

table 4

When the home side has 10 or more shots than the away side, the home team wins 61% of the time. When the Shot Balance is +5 or more, backing home teams wins money.

When the away team outshoots the home side, the home teams’ win rates drop well below 40%. Making money from backing home sides in these circumstances is almost impossible.

The away returns relative to the Shot Balances:

table 5

Backing away teams when they have more shots at goal than the home side is very profitable. The 0 to 4 groups just about breaks even from backing away teams. The home sides are in charge when the Shot Balance is +5 or higher.

When I check results, I always pay attention to the shots result because it clearly gives indications as to whether a team may have been an unlucky loser, or a lucky winner. The shots at goal details for all the rated games played are listed on the Match Reviews page.

From a manager’s perspective, a team needs to dominate games to give themselves the best chance of winning matches with 15 or more shots at goal being the requirement. Away teams need to register 10 or more shots at goal. Couple that with having the Shot Balance in your favour, and they’ll be well on the road to keeping their job for a little bit longer.

From a punting perspective, the numbers show why we need to be able to try to find the sides that will dominate the shots battle. Sometimes the dominating team won’t win, but it generally pays to have them on your side.

In another article we’ll look at how the results from this season in isolation measure up against these long-term numbers. Have away teams been stealing matches from home sides when the shots at goal suggest they shouldn’t? Have the home teams been winning when the away sides have bossed the games?

Mike Lindley

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