Football Strategy Guides

How to use odds to predict matches like a pro

A key aspect of any Daily Fantasy Strategy is to use odds to predict matches.

Predicting the match with odds

The first thing you need to think about when creating your strategy is: How do you expect the game to go?

The biggest factors you need to predict using odds are:

  • High scoring or low scoring game?
  • Will both teams score?
  • Who will win?
  • Goals will be scored early or late in the game?

Based on the answers to the above questions, we can choose the right setup for our team.

High scoring or low scoring game?

This is a question that you can usually answer easily with your sports knowledge. On some leagues like Germany, matches tend to be very entertaining with many goals right from the kick-off. Some others, like the Serie A, focus more on defense to get a clean win.

Start-packed teams also tend to score a lot, so you should expect a lot of goals from teams like PSG, Barcelona, Man.City and the likes.

A good source to predict how many goals will be scored are the betting odds you can find on the sportsbook. Click on a match to see all odds for it, and you can find the latest odds. For the match shown below, for example, you can see that 3-4 goals are the most probable scenario.

use odds to predict matches over under goals odds

Will both teams score?

This question is a very important one for Daily Fantasy. That’s because Clean Sheet bonuses count for Defenders about as much as goals do for Forwards!

If only one team scores in the game, you most likely will need to have some Defenders from it to win. If both teams score, then all defenders will get few points, and it’s better to pick attacking players.

Again you can often answer this one with your football experience. Usually, derbies tend to be more tight-knit and either side is looking to save their sheet primarily, and 1 or 2 goals are enough to get the win. 

In opposite, if it’s a friendly or a match that is not important for the standings, everyone will be playing more freely, coaches will rest players and try new tactics. Therefore, they will be more prone to score against.

Again, sportsbook odds can help you a lot here. Check this match below, where there’s a ~70% chance of both teams scoring – you should probably avoid picking defenses there.

use odds to predict matches home team to score

Use Odds to predict a win

This answer will tell you how many players to select from each team.

  • if you think the outsider will win the match, you should pick all 5 players of your players from that team.
  • If you expect a draw, then it’s usually wiser to pick a mix of both teams (3+2 or 4+1).
use odds to predict matches predicting wins

Using odds to predict a match win

Betting odds for match win are the easiest to find. You can even see them in the Sportsbook lobby under the Top Matches section.

use odds to predict matches Top Matches

Seems like Bayern is the favorite on this one, but it should be a close match so you might want to enter multiple teams to cover all three scenarios! 

Keep in mind that betting odds usually change over time. Check back on them after any injury updates or lineup announcements to see if your team is still expected to win.

Use Odds to predict early or late Goals

The tempo of the match will usually affect the result. If the teams kick it off strong with an early goal, you are most probably looking at an open game with many goals and both teams scoring. If both teams play carefully and study their opponent before striking, then you’re looking at a low scoring game.

This also affects your player picks. If the goals are scored late, they might come from the bench instead of the high-priced starting attackers. If so, you should consider picking cheaper players that have a high probability of not being substituted.

On the other side, you might have a defender or midfielder get the clean sheet bonus on the 60-minute mark and then being substituted before their team conceding a goal. Picking that player would be great, as he’d be the only one among that team’s defenders with a 6+ score.

Predicting the time of the goals based on sportsbook odds is a bit more challenging. Your best source of information is the 1st half scoring Over/Under markets.

For our sample match, you can see that it’s expected for at least one goal to be scored in the first half. That means we’re probably looking at an open match and should pick our squads accordingly.

Summing up How to use odds to predict matches

I hope you enjoyed the post How to use odds to predict matches like a pro. Find the key takes of this article here. Leave your questions, comments and feedback in the comment section. Read more Strategy Guides

  1. Over/Under markets -> expected goals
  2. “Teams to score” markets -> clean sheets
  3. Match outright markets -> which team to pick from
  4. First half Over/Under -> open or close match
Go to Sportsbook Odds

About the author


Herbert, the former poker professional & author, Head of Education at is all about Daily Fantasy Sports now. Herbert creates content with best practices and guidelines for Fantasy Sports Newcomers.


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