What are the Best Leagues for Football Trading in Summer?

Beach football in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It amazes me that I still receive emails which say, "I'm going to wait until the Premier League season starts again before I get trading".

Liquidity aside, the Premier League is nothing special for trading!

During the 2017/18 season the English Premier League had fewer games ending over 2.5 goals than French Ligue 1, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and Dutch Eredivisie.

And it was a long, long way behind the top winter league - Qatari Stars League - in which 67.4% of games ended with 3 goals or more.

I understand why I receive these emails... inexperienced traders are more comfortable trading leagues and teams in which they have some footballing knowledge. But football trading is all about the numbers and very little to do with who's playing up front for Manchester United.

For example, you don't need to know anything about Norwegian First Division teams and their players in order to trade their fixtures.

The 45 winter leagues covered by Team Stats saw an average of 50.8% of games go over 2.5 goals during the 2017/18 season. Compare that with the summer of 2018 and you'll find that the 22 summer leagues achieved a higher average of 51.1%.

If you're a football trader who looks for goals - and that's the vast majority - you can find them all year round.


Winter Football v Summer Football

When judging how good a league could be for trading, I like to look at 'over 2.5 goals' and 'both teams to score' stats.

As a football trader, plenty of goals makes my life much easier and if both teams in a fixture are capable of scoring, then I'm more confident of finding goals. After all, once both teams score then the game has to go over 2.5 goals if one of the teams is going to win it.

Also, a higher occurrence of both teams scoring may indicate that the league isn't dominated by 'elite' teams how power to victory every week. I prefer to avoid the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Manchester City, Celtic and their terrible prices.

When looking at a comparison between the winter and summer leagues over the past decade, there's a consistent pattern.

You can see below the average percentage of matches which went over 2.5 goals as well as the average percentage of matches in which both teams scored for both the winter and summer leagues.

Winter Leagues

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Over 2.5 Goals

47.7%

48.5%

49.8%

50.2%

51.0%

50.9%

49.4%

50.3%

49.9%

50.8%

Both Teams to Score

49.2%

49.5%

51.2%

52.1%

52.5%

51.2%

50.6%

51.9%

51.6%

52.0%

Summer Leagues

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Over 2.5 Goals

50.1%

51.3%

51.4%

51.1%

51.3%

49.6%

48.8%

50.4%

50.3%

51.1%

Both Teams to Score

52.1%

52.5%

52.0%

53.1%

53.4%

52.1%

52.1%

52.7%

52.4%

53.4%

The summer leagues consistently outperform the winter leagues which is great news for football traders!


Highest Scoring Summer Leagues

I have also put together a couple of top ten lists for the highest scoring football leagues during the summer of 2018.

Over 2.5 Goals

North American Major League Soccer

62.2%

Singaporean S League

59.8%

Chinese Super League

58.6%

Icelandic Urvalsdeild

56.5%

Norwegian 1.Division

56.5%

Swedish Superettan

55.7%

Irish Premier Division

55.0%

Norwegian Eliteserien

54.4%

Irish First Division

54.1%

South Korean K League

52.7%

Both Teams to Score

Singaporean S League

63.6%

North American Major League Soccer

60.6%

Chinese Super League

59.4%

Swedish Superettan

59.1%

Icelandic Urvalsdeild

58.8%

Norwegian Eliteserien

58.6%

Ecuadorian Division 1

57.4%

Norwegian 1.Division

56.9%

Paraguayan Primera Division

56.8%

Chilean Primera

55.2%


Top 5 Summer Leagues for Trading

There are some terrific leagues worth trading throughout the summer and I'm going to run through my top five.

Swedish Allsvenskan

The Allsvenskan has had plenty of goals in recent years (though 2018 suffered a bit of a dip) and market liquidity on Betfair is excellent.

I have also enjoyed many profitable trades in the Swedish Superettan, though a few games don't go in-play on Betfair.

Swedbank Stadion, Malmo, Sweden

Swedbank Stadion, Malmo, Sweden

Singaporean S League

Not many people will have heard of "Home United" or "Tampines Rovers" but anyone who has traded football will have certainly come across the S League. There have been plenty of goals in recent years which is great for trading. 

The only thing which holds the S League back is Betfair liquidity, though it's not as bad midweek.

Singapore National Stadium

Singapore National Stadium

North American Major League Soccer

"Soccer" is on the rise in the United States, though it still has a very long way to go before it comes close to challenging the popularity of NFL football, MLB baseball, NHL ice hockey and NBA basketball.

Even college sports are far more popular, for example University of Michigan's stadium has 109,901 seats!

That being said, MLS is picking up and Betfair liquidity is plenty good enough for trading. There are plenty of goals scored, which perhaps has more to do with the standard of defending than anything else!

Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer

Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer

Norwegian Eliteserien

This has been a strong trading league for many seasons. It suffered a dip in goals during 2016, but has recovered well since then.

Norwegian Division 1 is often better for goals, though many games don't go in-play on Betfair so you have to be very careful.

Winter landscape of Sommaroy, Tromso, Norway

No wonder Norwegian league football is played during summer!

Icelandic Urvalsdeild

There are plenty of goals in Iceland, but liquidity can be a bit tricky. Also, the season is quite short - only 22 games played - so waiting for teams to settle into form doesn't leave too much time to trade.

On the plus side, games often kick-off later in the evening which fits in nicely with those who need to put the kids to bed first.

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

Football 'stadium' at Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland


Other Summer Leagues to Consider

The Irish Premier Division can produce some good trades and liquidity is generally ok on a Friday evening. I would trade more Irish First Division fixtures if they went in-play, ​but the growth in exchange betting could see that come about.

The Finnish Veikkausliiga has struggled badly for goals in recent years. However, 2017 went the other way and there were some great prices to take advantage of while the markets adjusted.

Galway United FC

Galway United FC, Irish Premier League

For the rest of the summer action, you're looking at Asia and South America.

I have had great success trading the Japanese J League in the past. Their experiment with the Apertura and Clausura system didn't work out, so it's back to a standard format again and - hopefully - lots of goals.

The Chinese Super League is certainly on the rise and a lot of money has been invested to bring superstar footballers to the country. It quickly became one of the highest scoring football leagues, perhaps because the big money was spent on strikers rather than defenders!

Of course, because of timezones it's impossible to trade both Asian and North/South American leagues. I'm a bit of a night owl and I prefer to concentrate on Major League Soccer rather than the J League. That means I can also monitor the South American fixtures.

When looking for trading opportunities in South America, I tend to stay away from goals bets. Brazilian football is often associated with attacking flair, but it's very inconsistent and lacks goals. This is a surprise to many new traders whose preconception is goals, goals, goals!

When you look at the facts, just 37.0% of Brazilian Serie A games in 2018 had three or more goals. Awful.

Games without the prospect of goals can still be profitable, however. The League Table Analysis at Goal Profits finds plenty of profitable trades which don't need lots of goals, which is ideal for the South American leagues.

As always, the key is finding the best risk/reward to take advantage of a trading opportunity.


Why Wait?

If you're waiting for the English Premier League to start back up, then you're missing out on some terrific trading opportunities.

Our Team Stats software gives you all the information you need to trade any league in the world successfully, so make the most of the summer. Doing research on a laptop while sat outside in the sun beats working 9-5 in an office any day!

Working on a laptop in a sunny garden

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We look forward to trading alongside you in the chat room!

3 thoughts on “What are the Best Leagues for Football Trading in Summer?”

  1. Argentinian leagues are probably not the best for trading as they are low scoring and the BTS % are quite low. But good value if you can be good value if you find the right overs.

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