Betting on NPFL: What Every Bettor Needs to Know About the League
Contents of the article
Generally, betting on football is not so easy to do successfully. We never know what to expect in football as it if full of surprises. Punters need to be well informed about teams and their activities to know how to bet.
The same applies to betting on the NPFL. Having enough information about the league, its teams, and players can give you an edge in betting.
You can’t judge NPFL with the same mindset you use for the English Premier League or UEFA Champions League. NPFL is a league that is in a class of its own, with different qualities and features.
In this article, we will discuss betting on NPFL and how it is different from betting on other leagues. You will learn all you need to know and how to go about betting on the NPFL. However, let’s get a brief background study of the NPFL to understand it better.
The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL)
The NPFL is the highest level of football in Nigeria which was formerly called Nigeria Premier League. The name was changed in 2013 to NPFL and has remained like that since then. It stands above the Nigeria National League (NNL) and the Nigeria Nationwide League 1 and 2. The NNL, Nationwide League 1, and 2 stand as the second, third, fourth divisions.
Before the name was changed, NPFL (then called Nigeria Premier League) was recognized by the IFFHS in 2012. The organization ranked it as the best League in Africa and also the 24th best in the world.
The league is played by 20 teams who compete to get the highest points or end the league at the top positions on the table. A total of 38 games (home and away matches) are played in a season of the league. The teams that finish in the three lowest positions at the end of the season are relegated to the NNL. The top two teams in the NPFL qualify for the CAF Champions League. Also, the four top teams from the NNL are promoted to the NPFL to replace the relegated teams.
Most of the clubs that participate in the NPFL are owned and funded by state governments. A few others are owned by Church Ministries and Individuals. Some of these clubs, especially the state-owned ones are not properly funded. Players and staffs get are usually owed bonuses and salaries and contracts are not kept. Thus, players have no motivation to give in their best.
Betting in the Nigeria Professional Football League
When it comes to football betting, there are well- known betting markets every punter should know about. Some of these betting markets are also available for betting on the NPFL.
However, most sportsbooks that offer betting on the NPFL make only a few markets available. This is not surprising as the NPFL is different. The betting sites have to be clever so as not to lose what they ought not to. The peculiarities of the NPFL make the betting markets and options available very few. Find below some of the factors that make betting on the NPFL different from other leagues.
One thing that makes the NPFL so different from leagues like the EPL is the number of goals recorded.
Most of the players in NPFL have low goal-scoring ability. There are usually lesser goals recorded in NPFL matches, so it is easy to predict the outcome of the goals of a particular match.
For example, at the end of the seasons in 2016 and 2017, the total goals scored were 734 and 765 respectively. The EPL seasons which ended in the same years saw 1064 and 1026 goals.
Goals recorded in the NPFL are usually lower than 800, only in 2014 and 2016 were the total goals 800+. On the other hand, the EPL rarely records less than 1000 goals.
Other conditions further contribute to the lack of goals in the NPFL. Things like the lack of quality stadiums can also cause fewer goals. Also, lack of training and the presence of many inexperienced players lead to lesser goals in matches.
This is why you have about 75% chances of winning your bet when you place a bet of under 2.5 goals on a normal NPFL match. Under 2.5 goals are very rampant in the NPFL and your chance of going wrong will it is very low.
There seems to be a lot of indiscipline in the NPFL when compared to other leagues watched by Nigerians. The matches are usually rough and players commit a lot of fouls. This is probably because a lot of NPFL players and referees are usually not acquainted with rules given by the world’s football governing body.
Also, a lot of the players usually get confused with the interpretation of the laws governing the game. This makes them commit unnecessary fouls while playing. The games are also usually rough and players don’t give themselves space to dribble or show their skills. Once a player holds the ball, opponents come hard on him. It results in many yellow cards given during the game.
Thus, placing bets on yellow cards and fouls in an NPFL game can be easy. For example, Sunshine Stars were the ‘dirtiest team’ in the 2019/2020 season which ended abruptly. The team had 59 yellow cards in 25 games. But even the cleanest team, Kano Pillars had 34 yellow cards which is an average of 1.4 yellow cards per game.
3. Home Wins
It is almost impossible for a team to lose at home while playing in the NPFL. Even though there is still some home advantage in other leagues like EPL, the rate of home wins in the NPFL is just too high. Even teams at the bottom of the NPFL table happen to become stronger whenever they are playing at home.
The percentage of an NPFL team winning when they are away from home is almost zero. Maybe this happens because of the morale of the fans at home. Or it may be as a result of bribing officials or some factors.
Whatever it is, placing bets on home teams all the time could just be the best option for punters to win all the time.
However, punters cannot take advantage of this “home wins” knowledge. Bookmakers are also wise and offer very low odds for a 1X bet (usually Win or Draw for the home team). Most experts bettors will not even consider these odds. Instead, they will go for something more attractive.
As stated earlier, the goal-scoring ability of players in the NPFL is usually low. Therefore, most shots go off target. These off-target shots and poor defending also leads sometimes to some corner kicks.
There’s actually a high rate of corner kicks in NPFL matches. Most of the NPFL games have an average of 5.5 corners.
Unlike the EPL where corners are easily converted to goals, conversion of corners is rare in NPFL. So, what we have is a lot of corners and throw-ins. Thus, betting under corner seems to be a great step for punters of the NPFL.
Sadly, most bookies do not add corners to their sites. They know Nigerians are smart and do not make the mistake. Many of the odds usually provided for EPL and other leagues are also not available for the NPFL. And whenever these odds are made available, they are usually so small.