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Prem goal fest means punters who buy goals keep winning

A FEW weeks ago, there was a story kicking about that the high street bookies were suffering because of the low number of draws that we have seen in the premier league so far this season. The high number of goals meant that there were fewer nils-nils and one-alls, and far more edge-of-the-seat, high-scoring thrillers. It got so bad that share prices started to tumble. <br /><br />What is bad for the high street firms is also bad for the spread betting ones, but for slightly different reasons. One of their most popular bets is the number of goals that will be scored in a game, and the high-scoring start to the season has cost them dearly: results such as the one where Chelsea put five past Blackburn and the seven-goal Manchester derby have cost Sporting Index close to &pound;1.5m, the firm says. <br /><br />This is because there are almost always more buyers than sellers of total goals spreads &ndash; ie, people bet that the number of goals will be higher than the spread &ndash; meaning that high-scoring games can cost bookies dearly. &ldquo;The punters started off on the front foot and they&rsquo;ve not looked back since,&rdquo; says Sporting Index spokesman Wayne Lincoln. &ldquo;A 4-3 win for any of the big sides is our worst nightmare.&rdquo;&nbsp; <br /><br />To put this in a bit of context, the normal average for goals per game in the Premier League is 2.3-2.4, but the 107 games played so far this season have yielded a huge average of 2.98. Arsenal have been the main culprits, scoring 32 goals in just 10 games prior to this weekend&rsquo;s trip to Wolves. To add insult to injury, there has also been carnage with high scoring Spanish games which are shown on Sky on Saturday and Sunday evenings.<br /><br /><strong>HIGH SPREADS<br /></strong>Just to show what this has meant for the bookies, you only have to look at the spreads for the games that were played in the weekend just past. The average spread for a game, says Sporting Index, is 2.3-2.5, but its spread for Arsenal vs Wolves was 3.1-3.3. (Extrabet had a slightly lower spread of 3-3.2). Extrabet also had a total goals spread of 11.3-11.8 for the four matches, while Sporting Index offered a spread of 27.2-28.2 for the 10 games over the weekend. <br /><br />So, the question is, will this high-scoring trend continue, and therefore should you continue to buy goals spreads? This depends on why it is happening. One of the reasons for the large number of goals could be that more minutes of football have been played late on in games. Sporting Index&rsquo;s &ldquo;multiple injury&rdquo; make up (first half minutes multiplied by second half minutes) is 7.7 this season, compared with 6.01 last season and 5.03 in 2007/08. Whatever the reason for all the injury time, there is no reason to believe that the trend will reverse any time soon. <br /><br />What&rsquo;s good for those on the terraces is also good for punters, it seems. It&rsquo;s what you might call a win-win situation. Unless you&rsquo;re a bookie, of course.<br />