WLB Analysis | Why Correct Score Betting Is Better Than Win To Nil


HIS earlier piece on Correct Score betting has been one of our most popular articles of 2015. Now Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) is back with a sequel to that great article.

WLB Analysis | Why Correct Score Betting Is Better Than Win To Nil

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! After a few requests I’ve decided to go to town on the ‘Win To Nil’ betting market. Similar to my analysis of the Win & BTTS market over 2-1 and 3-1 correct scores, I think many people make the same mistake when backing ‘Win To Nil’, so I thought I'd investigate.

Of course the Win To Nil option is safer as it covers more outcomes, but just how common are those outcomes? Answering that question will point us towards the best approach for better profit margins.

Well the ‘Win to Nil’ market is typically priced between Evens and 4/1 with the average around 3/1. That sounds nice but in reality would you be better off putting your neck on the line and going for a correct score instead?

After all you’ve already deduced that one team is going to win and also keep a clean sheet so that’s narrowed the potential correct scores down to just a few scorelines and two of those scorelines are far more frequent than the others. 1-0 is normally priced between 5/1 – 12/1 and 2-0 about 8/1 – 15/1.

English Premier League

A breakdown of the results over the last two seasons already points to a few trends. There are far more 1-0 away wins than 2-0 wins. Therefore I would suggest backing the away sides to win 1-0 unless it was a really top team playing one of the weakest teams.

As for home wins it’s pretty much a toss-up between 1-0 and 2-0 so it’s probably best to side with the 1-0 win in games that look likely to be particularly close and 2-0 if the home side look likely to win pretty comfortably. Don’t be afraid to bet on the 2-0 in games that look likely to be very one-sided because wins by three goals or more are far less common than most people think.

Looking at results from the last two seasons, 1-0 is surprisingly more popular than 2-0 in general; popular to contrary belief. People think 3-0 is a common score line? In fact just 15.9% of ‘Win To Nil’ results are 3-0 wins this season and only 6.7% of all games this season have finished 3-0.

  • 2014/15; 125 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 58 1-0s and 39 2-0s. Therefore 97 were 1-0/2-0; 77.8%.
  • 2013/14; 178 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 75 1-0s and 54 2-0s. Therefore 129 were 1-0/2-0; 72.5%.

Spanish La Liga

The Spanish top division is a better league for clean sheet win markets than many people think. Real Madrid and Barcelona’s superiority often shines through and sees them win convincingly.

Atletico Madrid have also stamped their dominance recently and last season that ensured a pretty low 1-0/2-0 percentage of total ‘Win To Nils.’

Last season Atletico (7), Real Madrid (11) and Barcelona (9) contributed 27 of those 52 clean sheet wins higher than 1-0 or 2-0. That’s 52% of the total ‘Win To Nils’ greater than 2-0 distributed across that Top 3 alone.

However, avoiding their games when they are playing the weakest sides could ensure that success is still had with 1-0 or 2-0 correct scores in this division. So far this season there have seen dozens of 2-0 wins; on course to ease past last season’s total.

  • 2014/15; 128 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 57 1-0s and 38 2-0s. Therefore 95 were 1-0/2-0; 74.2%.
  • 2013/14; 161 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 67 1-0s and 42 2-0s. Therefore 109 were 1-0/2-0; 67.7%.

French Ligue 1

France is the daddy of low scoring games. Such is the nature of the French top division to be more defensive minded the 1-0 win percentage is very high; 21.4% of all results so far this season have been 1-0 wins, compared to 20.4% in Spain and just 19.4% in England.

  • 2014/15; 130 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 64 1-0s and 43 2-0s. Therefore 107 were 1-0/2-0; 82.3%.
  • 2013/14; 156 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 68 1-0s and 58 2-0s. Therefore 126 were 1-0/2-0; 80.7%.

Italian Serie A

Italian football is not that great for ‘Win To Nil’ betting and in recent years much of those results have been contributed by Juventus. 14 of 100 clean sheet wins in the Serie A this season have been provided by Juve; they have won 50% of their league games this season ‘to nil’.

This season there have been far less clean sheet wins in the Serie A than the other top European leagues, but as usual most of them are 1-0 or 2-0 so profit could still be found backing those scores.

  • 2014/15 100 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 45 1-0s and 32 2-0s. Therefore 77 were 1-0/2-0; 77%.
  • 2013/14 164 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 67 1-0s and 60 2-0s. Therefore 127 were 1-0/2-0; 77.4%.

German Bundesliga

The Bundesliga is quite a high scoring division and that shines through in the clean sheet win stats with just 71.7% of ‘Win To Nils’ finishing 1-0 and 2-0 this season; that’s the lowest percentage found this season in each of the Top 5 European leagues and suggests the Bundesliga is not as well suited to 1-0/2-0 correct score betting.

The same was true in 2013/14. Of all the divisions and seasons I have looked at, the 2013/14 season in the Bundesliga was the worst for backing ‘Win To Nil’ and also had the lowest percentage of those finishing 1-0 and 2-0. That season saw just 8.9% of all games finish 1-0 which is peanuts compared to this season’s Ligue 1 currently at 21.4%.

You would have been better off backing the ‘Win To Nil’ market than 1-0 or 2-0 but probably best off avoiding these markets completely. I would avoid this league for clean sheet wins.

  • 2014/15; 99 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 41 1-0s and 30 2-0s. Therefore 71 were 1-0/2-0; 71.7%.
  • 2013/14; 112 Total ‘Win To Nils’. 32 1-0s and 41 2-0s. Therefore 73 were 1-0/2-0; 65.2%.

Comparing Divisions

Just to put that all in to perspective I’ve provided a list which shows the percentage of total results that were clean sheet wins since the beginning of last season in Europe’s big five divisions;

English Premier League – 44.6% (43.9% = 1-0 and 30.7% = 2-0)

Spanish La Liga – 43.8% (42.9% = 1-0 and 27.7% = 2-0)

French Ligue 1 – 42.1% (46.2% = 1-0 and 35.3% = 2-0)

Italian Serie A – 40.1% (42.4% = 1-0 and 34.8% = 2-0)

German Bundesliga – 35.5% (34.6% = 1-0 and 33.6% = 2-0)

From that you can tell the best division for backing ‘Win To Nil’ over the last two years has been the Premier League but for backing 1-0 and 2-0 wins it is definitely Ligue 1 of which over 80% of all ‘Win To Nils’ have been 1-0 or 2-0 since the beginning of last season.

Whilst there are a lot of clean sheet wins in Spain quite a big proportion of them are not 1-0 or 2-0. In Italy and Germany the ‘Win To Nils’ are a lot harder to come by, particularly in Germany. Worth noting though is that there’s been a disproportionate amount of 2-0 wins in the Serie A.

Comparing Potential Profit

Selecting the French Ligue 1 proves just how profitable correct scores can be. If you had backed 1-0 and 2-0 in every game that has ended in a ‘Win To Nil’ scenario since the beginning of last season, your returns would be (at average odds);

  • +1,362 points for 1-0 and 2-0 correct scores.

And if you had backed the bog standard ‘Win To Nil’ market?

  • +858 points for all ‘Win To Nils’.

So the 1-0 and 2-0 correct scores could provide almost double the returns of winning ‘Win To Nil’ bets. Correctly predicting the other score-lines like 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 etc. can be even more profitable but it’s a case of finding a needle in a haystack with these scores.

Of course these are just assumptions; many selections win at far greater prices than the average odds used and the above profit figures imply that you have correctly predicted the fixture as a ‘Win To Nil’ but, even as a hypothetical scenario, the stats just show the potential for greater profit when backing correct scores.

Choosing The Market

So what market should we use instead of ‘Win To Nil’. There are a few ways to play this. Option 1 is to back one correct score which in most cases means choosing between 1-0 and 2-0.

The way I tend to choose between them is by looking at the defensive record of the team you think is going to lose rather than the attacking record of the proposed winners.

Option 2 is to back correct scores as multiples. A couple of people have messaged me recently to share their successes in backing doubles and trebles on 2-1/3-1 correct scores. Choose three games and select them each to finish 1-0 and 2-0. This gives you six singles, 12 doubles and eight trebles.

Of course this will reduce your strike rate considerably and also requires more outlay but I believe in the long run you could make good profits with this method.

The final option is to back 1-0 and 2-0 in the ‘Correct Score Group’ markets that are now being offered by a few bookmakers. This is a pretty good market with fairly good value and always better odds than ‘Win To Nil’. Obviously backing two correct scores as singles would return more but that also requires double the stake of this market.

My best recommendation for all of this is to just choose a handful of games each week that you feel have a great chance of one side winning whilst keeping a clean sheet and back the correct scores either as singles or multiples. Don’t go over the top with selections because just one goal for the opposition will sink the bet and upsets happen all too often in football.

About Author

Will's an avid supporter of his local team, Swindon Town. He got into betting after a serious case of beginners luck landing a 14 fold BTTS accumulator. Whilst mostly transfixed to the English Leagues, he can't get enough of football and can regularly be found watching more obscure matches from around the globe. Will has a growing interest in American Football after watching the Atlanta Falcons in the States a few years ago. Outside of betting he loves nothing more than snowboarding, travelling the world and a weekend with his pals.


  1. Another great article Willie. There is definitely an argument for correct score betting but personally I prefer the reduced risk with WTN options. When I place WTN bets they tend to be home teams with a big advantage over the visitors e.g. Celtic. It is inherently risky to back WTN bets with evenly matched sides for obvious reasons.

    As such when teams can be so dominant I wonder if the stats for 1-0 & 2-0 results would stack up in so much favour? Certainly not with Celtic where only 5 of their last 13 home WTNs have been by those scorelines. Even with Aberdeen who you would assume to be closer to the level of visiting sides and who have been a very good WTN bet this season have only had 5 of their 11 home WTN’s this season being 1-0 or 2-0. Last season I backed Rangers to WTN away from home religiously, a highly successful bet. The percentages were higher but again only 11 from 19 away WTNs were 1-0 or 2-0.

    Might it be that the stats for many of the games suggesting high percentages of 1-0 and 2-0 wins would be matches where you may find it difficult to predict a winner at all, let alone a WTN and as such would rarely be backing them?

    Perhaps I am too cautious with my outlays but despite your strong arguments I will probably stick to WTN betting. Unless it’s Arsenal. Then it’s 2-0 all the way 😉

  2. This strategy is about 10 years old and just common sense to experienced sports bettors. Its common knowledge the most popular win to nil scoreline is 1-0 & the most popular btts win scoreline is 2-1. More experienced bettors will go with btts scores as your bet is live the whole game. WTN scorelines can lose after 60 seconds and are worse odds

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