Many of us have ideas – preconceived or otherwise – on who we are going to back and who we are going to give a wide berth to whenever the time comes to place our bets.
The majority of punters stick to leagues and markets that they are comfortable with and have perhaps enjoyed success with in the past, and this is a perfectly agreeable strategy: although you might be missing out on some great value from across Europe.
In this piece we have accumulated an intriguing stat pack from three of European football’s oft-overlooked divisions: the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, the Dutch Eredivisie and the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
Again, these are usually not even considered ideal betting fodder, but when you get an eyeful of these extreme statistical anomalies you might just change your mind:
Belgium – Jupiler Pro League
These guys love a goal or two when playing at home: they’ve gone Over 2.5 Goals in 75% of their matches on home soil.
The travelling Westerlo contingent rarely go home disappointed: there’s been Over 2.5 Goals in 92% of their away matches, with Over 3.5 Goals in 50% of those.
Home town bullies: Anderlecht are unbeaten at home in 12 matches this term (eight wins, four draws).
Early birds: Club Brugge have scored first in 91% of their home matches this season.
Late developers: Mechelen have scored/conceded 23 goals in the first half of their matches, with 52 goals coming in the second.
Notable upcoming fixtures: Sunday January 31
Club Brugge v Lokeren
Friday February 5
KV Mechelen v Anderlecht
Saturday February 6
KV Kortrijk v Westerlo
Beveren v Louven
Holland – Eredivisie
On a roll: PSV haven’t lost in 14 outings. They are also unbeaten at home in nine (seven wins, two draws), and yet return Both Teams to Score verdicts in 75% of their fixtures.
All or nothing: De Graafschap have not drawn in 11 attempts.
Home town glory: FC Twente have returned Over 2.5 Goals in 89% of their home encounters, with 67% of those going Over 3.5 Goals. And yet they haven’t won away yet during the 2015/16 campaign (two draws, seven defeats).
Stingy: NEC Nijmegen have recorded under 2.5 Goals in 73% of their home matches.
Homesick: Cambuur have gone Over 2.5 Goals in 80% of their away matches, with Both Teams to Score in those outings on the road also 80%.
Home soiled: PEC Zwolle fans have witnessed both teams scoring in 80% of their side’s matches on their own patch.
Wakey wakey: Excelsior haven’t been leading at half time in ten away matches this term.
Notable upcoming fixtures: Saturday January 30
PSV v Graafschap
NEC Nijmegen v AZ Alkmaar
PEC Zwolle v FC Groningen
Vitesse v Excelsior
Sunday January 31
FC Twente v FC Utrecht
Sunday February 7
FC Groningen v Cambuur
Portugal – Primeira Liga
Hot stuff: Benfica have won six on the bounce, and not lost in twelve. They’ve recorded Over 2.5 Goals in 90% of their home matches, and have netted thirty second half goals and leaked just six.
At times like these: Nacional have not tasted victory in eight attempts.
Home comforts: FC Porto are unbeaten at their own ground in 2015/16 (eight wins, two draws). That’s not all: they’ve scored first in 80% of those home matches.
Home is where the heart is: Sporting are unbeaten at home in 2015/16 (seven wins, two draws), and score first in 79% of matches.
Broken home: Tondela have taken four points from a possible thirty at home, and have not led at half-time when playing at home in ten attempts.
Homesick: Academica have not won away from home in 2015/16, and have been losing at half time in all nine of their away fixtures.
Shy up front: Estoril have gone Under 2.5 Goals in 26% of matches this season.
The road to nowhere: Rio Ave have gone Over 2.5 Goals in 89% of away matches, and Over 3.5 Goals in 78% of those. They are also at 89% in the BTTS stakes on their travels.
Notable upcoming fixtures Saturday January 30
Sporting v Arouca
Sunday February 7
FC Porto v Arouca
Tondela v Vitoria Guimares
Sporting v Rio Ave