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Does weather affect the amount of goals scored in a football match?

Published: Dec 9, 11:46am Last Updated: Jul 7, 9:00am bobslay13 on Other Football 2 Comments 15295 Views

Using Weather To Predict The Number Of Goals?

So Storm Desmond hit us over the weekend of the 5th/6th December, the weather warnings prior to this had got me thinking about the affect said weather might have on the timing of goals and total number of goals in football matches. I will only be considering UK Football matches for this blog but I will drill down to the Vanarama National League and the lower echelons of the Scottish game as the pitch conditions in these leagues mean they are often the hardest hit.
We've had some pretty blustery conditions already for the last month or so but now we are entering that winter period where there's a jam-packed fixture list combined with postponements, snow, hard frosts and waterlogged pitches. There's no better time for me to take a look at football results in comparison to weather conditions.

Using Weather To Predict The Match Result?

We take so many factors into consideration when trying to predict the result of a football match but I feel many people overlook environmental factors like the weather. Watching the match between Stoke City and Manchester City last Saturday it was quite obvious that Manchester City were struggling to cope with the conditions whilst Stoke seemed more at ease. Of course that wasn't the only factor in deciding the outcome of the game but we've heard the old football cliché “Can they do it on a cold, wet Tuesday Night in Stoke?” too many times than we care to remember; is there any proof in the pudding?
It is debatable whether or not bad weather might actually lead to more goals; some suggest that aerial balls become harder to deal with in high winds and therefore result in more ‘freak' or accidental goals but it also results in less accurate crosses and passes and should therefore make it harder for teams to string a decent move together.
Of course if the wind is the only problem then teams may opt to keep the ball on the surface; that does suit some teams but it doesn't suit others. Teams like Arsenal would not mind that at all as it compliments their style anyway. Bad surfaces though would be tough for the Gunners and we see that a lot in FA Cup matches when top sides visit lower-league opposition whose pitches are not of the same quality. This plays into the hands of the home side and is often a big factor in giant killings.
Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere The same thing happens in leagues too. Bradford City for example are a team that have a lot of tall and physical players and have excelled on their tough and bobbly pitch at Valley Parade for a few years; it's not unreasonable to suggest that this success has come because they are better in the air than most of their guests.
With all of this information to hand you could develop a strategy where you rated teams in their ability to play in bad weather conditions and which types of conditions suited or didn't suit them to try and work out the result of matches as well as how many goals would be scored but for this blog I am going to focus on the latter.
Over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of December there were 54 games in the top English and Scottish competitions. Only 25 (46.2%) of those games saw BTTS Yes and only 22 (40.7%) of them saw Over 2.5 goals. This could be a coincidence but already would have been a pretty profitable strategy for opposing goals in testing weather conditions. 10 Premier League games saw just 20 goals = average of 2.0 per game; the 2015/16 season average so far is 2.68. That's a significant drop in goals.

Strategy

Not every weekend in the winter period is going to have bad weather conditions so I am not too keen to look at historical results and compare Autumn with Winter and Spring. Instead I will use this blog as a running record of weather conditions in comparison to goals and update it weekly with the results of English and Scottish football matches. Favourable, fair weather conditions should mean more goals and bad weather should mean less, that's my rough theory so hopefully this experiment can prove or disprove this and tell us in the future when to place, for example, Over 2.5 accumulators and when to place Under 2.5 accumulators! I will post my predictions for future weeks in line with the weather forecast and see how this strategy affects my betting on goals.

Week 1; 5th-7th December; Bad weather conditions, very strong winds, some heavy rain

Premier League; BTTS = 4/10. Over 2.5 = 2/10
English Championship; BTTS = 4/10. Over 2.5 = 5/10
National League; BTTS = 6/8. Over 2.5 = 5/8
FA Cup; BTTS = 6/19. Over 2.5 = 6/19
Football League Trophy; BTTS = 1/1. Over 2.5 = 1/1
Scottish Premier; BTTS = 2/3. Over 2.5 = 1/3
Scottish Championship; BTTS = 0/1. Over 2.5 = 0/1
Scottish League One; BTTS = 1/1. Over 2.5 = 1/1
Scottish League Two; BTTS = 1/1. Over 2.5 = 1/1
Total; BTTS 25/54 (46.2%). Over 2.5 = 22/54 (40.7%)

Week 2; 12th-13th December; Bad weather conditions, games postponed in the North, heavy rain and blustery.

Premier League; BTTS = 5/9. Over 2.5 = 4/9
English Championship; BTTS = 4/10. Over 2.5 = 4/10
English League One; BTTS = 5/9. Over 2.5 = 5/9
English League Two; BTTS = 9/10. Over 2.5 = 8/10
Scottish Premier; BTTS = 3/6. Over 2.5 = 4/6
Scottish Championship; BTTS = 3/5. Over 2.5 = 1/5
Scottish League One; BTTS = 3/5. Over 2.5 = 2/5
Scottish League Two; BTTS = 3/5. Over 2.5 = 3/5
Total; BTTS 35/59 (59.3%). Over 2.5 = 31/59 (52.5%)

Week 3; 19th-20th December; Good weather conditions mostly, very mild but with some heavy rain around in later games.

Premier League; BTTS = 6/9. Over 2.5 = 6/9
English Championship; BTTS = 5/11. Over 2.5 = 6/11
English League One; BTTS = 4/11. Over 2.5 = 3/11
English League Two; BTTS = 10/12. Over 2.5 = 9/12
National League; BTTS = 6/11. Over 2.5 = 5/11.
Scottish Premier; BTTS = 2/6. Over 2.5 = 4/6
Scottish Championship; BTTS = 2/4. Over 2.5 = 1/4
Scottish League One; BTTS = 1/5. Over 2.5 = 2/5
Scottish League Two; BTTS = 1/5. Over 2.5 = 1/5
Total; BTTS 37/75 (49.3%). Over 2.5 = 37/75 (49.3%)

Week 4; 26th December; Good weather conditions cold but settled with spells of sunshine across most of the UK but previous night had seen some heavy rain

Premier League; BTTS = 3/10. Over 2.5 = 5/10
English Championship; BTTS = 4/10. Over 2.5 = 6/10
English League One; BTTS = 2/7. Over 2.5 = 1/7
English League Two; BTTS = 2/8. Over 2.5 = 4/8
National League; BTTS = 3/11. Over 2.5 = 4/11.
Scottish Premier; BTTS = 2/3. Over 2.5 = 2/3
Scottish Championship; BTTS = 1/2. Over 2.5 = 1/2
Scottish League One; BTTS = 4/4. Over 2.5 = 4/4
Scottish League Two; BTTS = 2/4. Over 2.5 = 2/4
Total; BTTS 23/59 (38.9%). Over 2.5 = 29/59 (49.2%)

Week 5; 27th-30th December; Good weather conditions mild with low wind and little rain

Premier League; BTTS = 3/10. Over 2.5 = 3/10
English Championship; BTTS = 3/9. Over 2.5 = 2/9
English League One; BTTS = 7/12. Over 2.5 = 6/12
English League Two; BTTS = 10/12. Over 2.5 = 9/12
National League; BTTS = 6/11. Over 2.5 = 5/11.
Scottish Premier; BTTS = 4/6. Over 2.5 = 4/6
Scottish Championship; BTTS = 1/2. Over 2.5 = 1/2
Scottish League One; BTTS = 1/2. Over 2.5 = 1/2
Scottish League Two; BTTS = 0/0. Over 2.5 = 0/0
Total; BTTS 35/64 (54.7%). Over 2.5 = 31/64 (48.4%)

Week 6; 1st-3rd January; Bad weather conditions heavy rain, flooding, with strong winds meant some postponed games

Premier League; BTTS = 5/10. Over 2.5 = 5/10
English Championship; BTTS = 5/12. Over 2.5 = 3/12
English League One; BTTS = 5/11. Over 2.5 = 7/11
English League Two; BTTS = 5/11. Over 2.5 = 7/11
National League; BTTS = 6/8. Over 2.5 = 3/8
Scottish Premier; BTTS = 3/5. Over 2.5 = 3/5
Scottish Championship; BTTS = 0/5. Over 2.5 = 1/5
Scottish League One; BTTS = 3/4. Over 2.5 = 3/4
Scottish League Two; BTTS = 1/4. Over 2.5 = 1/4
Total; BTTS 33/70 (47.1%). Over 2.5 = 33/70 (47.1%)

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