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Predicting a Draw in a Football Match

Predicting a Draw in a Football Match

21st May, 2024 @ 09:05 am

The result of a draw in a football match can really trip punters up. Most commonly, punters look for the more definite outcome of a win, and the draw option sort of fades into the background of the three-way market.

So when a match does end in a draw, it is essentially a good day for the bookmaker, due to it being such an unsupported market. The option however should be looked at as part of football score predictions ahead of matches.

Look at any recent Premier League season, and the number of draws averages around a quarter of all matches in a season. There are 380 matches in a top-flight campaign, meaning that around 95 matches will end in a draw, so it may be time to check this option out. But what steps can you take to predict one?


Statistics are going to be your friend in trying to pick out a draw. For starters, high-scoring teams like Manchester City and Liverpool are not great teams to follow for draws. Their weighted goal difference over most other teams takes them out of the picture. Besides that, the stronger teams will simply win more often.

The sort of team you want to start with are mid-table teams with a goal difference of +/-10. So throughout a season, it means that they are roughly evening out to conceding as many as they score. These are generally low-scoring teams as well, which is ideal for predicting draws.

Expected Goals

Starting with such a team, then start looking at expected goals. This is a great metric to look at as it denotes how many goals between the two opposing teams are likely to happen based on the individual output of the teams.

Look for underperforming teams in the xG metric. If Brighton for example have an expected goal figure of 1.8 but their actual average match output is only 1.2, then they could be a good selection to lean on for a draw bet.

Match Situations

Match situations have to be taken into consideration also. A team scrapping for a point to avoid relegation late into the season in a home match is a tougher prospect than on a mid-season road trip.

There are situations where teams put a greater emphasis on not losing than trying to win a game. This happens at the other end of the table as well, with a team not wanting to leave a match against a title rival empty-handed.

More often than not, top clashes in the league fail to live up to expectations and peter out to dull draws, as the price of losing is too high to risk playing an adventurous game. That’s a very different scenario than a free-scoring title-challenging team facing a mid-table when they may not feel as restrained by pressure.

Cup situations do this as well. The first leg in knockout competitions like the UEFA Champions League tends to be a little more cagey than the second leg. In tournaments like the European Championships, a team may only need a point to qualify from the group stage in their final match and even against a weaker opponent, aren’t likely to go full tilt at the match.

Current Form

As well as considering match situations, another good indicator for the draw is the current form. Teams go through positive and negative spells, and it may be possible to spot a trend where a team starts dropping points because they keep failing to defend a lead.

This can happen to any team at any time, and it may just be an anomalous streak in a season, which is good to jump on.

Also in current form, you can look for how a mid-table team has already performed at home during the current season against opposition around them in the standings. There may be a trend of Bournemouth, for example, drawing most of their games against teams 9th - 15th. So if their next fixture is against such an opponent then it could be a good game to focus on.

Reading the Markets

The odds on the draw option never really has too much variation in it, usually hovering around the 4.00 mark, which is a great price if you can get it right. Indicators for a draw can be taken from other markets too.

Essentially, goals are the enemy of the drawn outcome. The higher the potential for goals, the less chance of things ending in parity. The most common drawn results after all are 0-0 and 1-1.

So if the Over/Under 2.5 goals market for example is leaning towards a shorter price than usual, then that lower implied probability could indicate a good match for a draw.

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