2 Goal Lead in Football Betting Stats Guide

Updated: 534 Football

Discover the truth behind the "dangerous" 2-0 lead in football and how Bookmakers' two goals ahead offers can turn it into a betting advantage for you

2 Goal Lead in Football Betting Stats Guide
In this article: 2 Up Stats
Dan Tracey Data Scientist and Football Editor

Writer, analyst, podcaster, Spurs fan. Three out of four is not bad. If there is a data angle, I will find it.

Wondering if a 2-0 lead in football is as risky as they say? Dive into the insights of the two-goal lead phenomenon and betting sites exciting offer for bettors. Learn how to leverage a team's early advantage for your gain and what pitfalls to avoid in this comprehensive guide to successful betting strategies.

1 in 4 Games Analysed Paid out the 2 Up Offer

🏆 Read on to dive into the data that has found 24% of matches in our analysis have paid out the 2 up Offer ⚽

You may think that this is an offer too good from the bookmakers, but from our sample we found only just about 3% of the games saw the the early payout offer better the end result, that of a team coming back to reverse the game or force a draw.

Two Goals Ahead Stats

Is 2-0 a dangerous lead when it comes to football? The pundits believe it sometimes can be and in fairness, you can perhaps understand why. Because although a team can race into the lead and then double it soon after, complacency can then subsequently set in.

Complacency which is soon converted into a goal being conceded. That two-goal lead is suddenly halved and before you know it, parity has been restored. The 2-0 lead and maximum points that were in the bag are now having to be begrudgingly shared, although, to the relief of the bookmakers, not as often as you might think.

That is the scenario that could play out, but how often does such an outcome unfold and how does it tie into a major bookmaker’s main football betting offer? Two questions that we have taken the time to try and answer below.

While the offer in question is Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Powers' two goals ahead reward. Should a team find itself go 2-0 or 3-1 up (other two-goal leads are available), then the bookmaker will declare the game as finished before the final whistle has been blown.

This means that the match could be declared a winner in the first 10 minutes if a team earns themselves a quickfire double. From here, you could cash your early winnings and roll it onto an in-play game elsewhere.

While at the same time, the offer could be paid out and the comeback is then very much on. How many times has a game been declared as a winning outcome only for a draw to be recorded or even worse a sensational reversal of fortunes.

Premier League Retrospective: The Impact of '2 Goals Ahead' Payouts 🥅🔝

⚽️📊 Dive into 5 seasons of edge-of-seat Premier League moments where the '2 Goals Ahead' offer changed the betting game.......or not!

With this in mind we have looked at the last five Premier League season’s (2018/19 to 2022/23) and the results that are now in the history books. Not only have we looked at them, but we have also highlighted where the offer was activated and more importantly, where the offer was activated early.

Our database of 2,057 matches will give us the answers and without further ado, here is what we discovered: 

The first step we had to make was to rule out all games where a team has scored a maximum of one goal. This could be both Premier League outfits that have gone toe-to-toe or it may simply be a club that has won by the barest of margins.

Regardless of the combination, there is one key aspect to consider. Betting sites cannot pay out the two goals ahead offer if a game ends 0-0, 1-1 or 1-0 (home or away). The threshold will not have been met by either top tier club.

This means that from our sample of 2,057 matches, 679 were not deemed eligible for the offer. No need to investigate further into where and when any goals were scored. This means that 33.0% of the games were for the scrapheap straight away.

While of the 1,378 matches that would need to be investigated for potential early payouts, life is soon made a lot easier when we look at the teams that have not only won and scored at least two goals but have also kept a clean sheet in the process.

If Chelsea play Bournemouth and win 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, then they have obviously gone two goals clear at some juncture of the game and that is the golden marker in terms of the offer that is in the spotlight.

Therefore, if we look at all the 2-0 wins and above that have been recorded since the 2018/19 season, we know that the early payout will then follow.  No fewer than 538 matches hit this criteria and therefore, 26.15% of all games were making punters happy before the final whistle.

At this point we shall take a recap of what we know so far: 

Data Count
Matches 2057
No Payout From Start 679
Matches That Could Have Payout 1378
Clean Sheet Win Payout 538
Matches Left To Investigate 840

With 679 matches in the bin, it means 67.0% of the sample could be a game that is eligible for the two goals ahead offer. The reason we know this is that all these 1,378 have at least one team that has scored two or more in that particular game.

Of those, 1,378 we now know that 538 have definitely crossed the threshold due to a clean sheet of the correct margin but this now means that are 840 games where both teams scored and this where we really need to take a deep dive.

However, there is also another really important aspect to consider. It is not just a game where both teams have scored, it needs to be a game where both teams have scored, and one team has scored at least twice. 

For example, Tottenham could have beaten Arsenal by two goals to one in the North London derby. The Gunners may have fallen behind to an early James Maddison strike before levelling through Eddie Nketiah but unfortunately for Mikel Arteta’s men, Hueng min-Son comes up trumps at the end.

Three theoretically massive points for the white half of North London but Bookies have no need to panic because Spurs never found themselves two goals clear at any juncture and therefore, there is no activation of the offer.

This means that if a team wins 2-1, 3-2 or 4-3, there is scope for them to go two goals clear at some stage. At the same time, every time the eventual winners or drawers go in front, they may get pegged back each time.

We do not know the ebb flow of how these games ended until we look into the minutes in which they are scored. When looking at the 840 remaining fixtures that saw both teams score at least once but one team score at least twice, 498 saw a two-goal payout from Bookies.

498 instances where a team found themselves two goals clear and this means that there were also 342 were the winning margin was never higher than one goal and the winning or drawing team managed to pull two goals clear at any stage. 

When we look at the 840 matches were both teams scored, here is the percentage split in terms of payout: 

Games Count Split %
Matches Left To Investigate 840  
Two Goal Lead Payout 498 59.29%
No Two Goal Lead Payout 342 40.71%

59.29% of the Premier League matches since 2018/19 where both teams found the net and the winning team scored at least twice saw Bookies pay out the winnings earlier than required. On the other hand, 40.71% did not hit the necessary criteria.

If you thought things were interesting up until now, here is where things get turned up a notch. Now we can really start to piece together the answers from our data sample and the numbers look something like this:

Data Count % Split
Matches 2057  
No Payout From Start 679  
No BTTS Payout 342  
No Payout Overall 1021 49.64%
Clean Sheet Win Payout 538  
BTTS Payout 498  
Payout Overall 1036 50.36%

Of the 2,057 matches that range between the start of the 2018/19 season and the time of writing. It is almost a perfectly even split where the Bookies' payout offer was made and where it was not. The former winning out by just 15 matches more than the latter.

Something that may be nothing more than a coincidence when you consider the number of matches played in the past five years and when you see the breakdown of how we got to either 1036 or 1021, you can see that different components are required to do the heavy lifting in each camp.

When it comes to when matches did activate a payout, there is less of distinction between games where teams have won by at least two goals and kept a clean sheet and where teams have scored at least two goals but also conceded at least once.

While when it comes to the games were there was no payout, we already know that 67.0% of these matches recorded 1-0, 1-1 or 0-0 and therefore, there was never any need to investigate whether a payout could have occurred.

But of course, there is still one final twist in the tale and that is where the payout by Betting sites has been made and there has been a comeback to nullify such early winnings. How many times has this bookmaker been punished for their generosity? 

The answer to this is no fewer than 63 or 6.08% of all matches where a both teams to score payout has already been made. Just over one in 20 Premier League matches in our sample have seen a dramatic enough comeback to cost the layers money. 

Even if we look at the 2022/23 season alone, there have been plenty of instances where things have tuned around rather quickly. Take Arsenal’s dramatic 3-2 win at home to Bournemouth, Reiss Nelson hit a 97th minute winner to give the hosts the win. A win they had to earn after going 2-0 down.

Bournemouth fans in despair and Bookie bosses arguably just as much. If only because they had their fingers burnt the month before as Leeds threw away a comfortable cushion at the Theatre of Dreams.

More of a nightmare for the Elland Road outfit, as after racing into a 2-0 lead at Old Trafford, goals from both Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford would make sure the Yorkshiremen would travel back across the M62 with only a point for their efforts.

Not to forget that Tottenham have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to two-goal margins. Behind at Bournemouth and nudging winnings into betting accounts up and down the country, only to win 3-2 at the Vitality Stadium.

Unfortunately for the team that was previously overseen by Antonio Conte, they would also race into a 2-0 lead at the Etihad. A score that would only awake the beast that is Manchester City, as they scored four answered goals before earning a crushing victory.

This also means of the 498 matches where there has been a payout after a two-goal lead but also the winning team conceding at least once during the game, there is a 93.92% chance of a dramatic comeback not occurring.

A percentage that gambling firms can arguably live with when you consider the amount of Premier League betting traffic that they hoover up each weekend and of course, that percentage is even smaller when looking at the full data sample.

63 matches from 2,057. Just 3.06% of all games where the early payout has ended up being too early. Enough to keep the offer viable each week and also enough for punters to continue to try their luck on the greatest league in the world.  

However, there is one final point to make and that is the removal of Bet365’s bore draw money back offer. Whereas previously a game that ended in stalemate would see your stake returned, this is no longer the case.

Interestingly, 121 matches of the 2,057 sample would end up with no goals – 5.88% to be precise and with just over a 1 in 10 chance of this being the case, many the sharpest punters out there were using this too much of an advantage. An advantage that Bet365 have now nullified.  


All Premier League results taken from 2018/19 to 2022/23 (Up until December 10th 2023) - https://www.football-data.co.uk/

All results that are recorded 1-0,1-1,1-0 are removed and logged as no payout.

All wins of 2-0 or more are logged as a payout.

All results where a team scores at least twice and concedes once, the sequence of goals scored where then analysed.

If a team find itself with a two-goal advantage at any stage, they were classified as a payout.

If no team ever found itself with a two-goal advantage at any stage, they were classified as no payout.

If both teams scored at least twice, these games were analysed in terms of goal sequence.

If a team went two goals up and managed to not win the game by virtue of either drawing or losing it means the payout was made too early. 

Two Goal Payout Offer Bookies

The 2 Up payout offer is not a widely available promotion, but at the time of this update the following Bookmakers had the offer live

4.4 / 5 1138 Ratings

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bet365 Review

  • Best Football Bookmaker
  • Rated #1 By OLBG Users
  • Rated #1 For Bet Builder
4.1 / 5 180 Ratings

Early Payouts, Money back specials and crazy promotions on big sporting events, Paddy Power offers a rewards club and fabulous football betting options.

Paddy Power Review

  • Plenty of offers, promotions and odds boosts across multiple sports
  • The no.1 ranked UK bookmaker for darts
  • Rank in our top 10 bookmakers for nine different categories
3.9 / 5 109 Ratings

Founded in 1886, Ladbrokes, a prominent sports betting brand in the UK, is part of the Ladbrokes Coral Group and provides in-store and online services, complemented by their convenient app.

Ladbrokes Review

  • Plenty of daily promotions and odds boosts
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Who Created This Article?

Dan Tracey is deeply entrenched in the world of sports data analysis and football content creation, celebrated for his intricate understanding of the game's statistical landscape and his heartfelt enthusiasm for Tottenham Hotspur. With over eight years as the creative force behind Real Football Man, Dan has demonstrated a remarkable ability to dissect and distill complex football data into engaging content that appeals to fans and professionals alike. As a Football Content Creator, his work ranges from data analysis to podcasting, infusing industry expertise into every endeavour.

Dan Tracey

Dan Tracey

Data scientist and football editor

Dan Tracey is a multi-talented writer, data analyst and podcaster whose six-year career in the sports data sphere has seen incredible successes. From helping UEFA create their annual technical reports to writing articles for Sports Betting Websites including sites like TheLinesUS and Goal - there's no shortage of areas where his expertise shines through! In addition, he can be heard on podcasts lending an insightful voice as well as providing weekly betting angles - all culminating with him teaming up OLBG.com in the present day. Simply put: wherever you find angled data being crunched? You'll also likely find Dan not far behind!

👨‍🏫 Specialist Subjects🔬📚

Dan's specialist area is data; and lots of it! Wherever we need numbers to create our unique deep dive articles, Dan is our go-to. Dan is also a Tottenham Fan and a football commentator for Newcastle Blue Star

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