One of the secrets to football betting success is to find a niche in which you can specialise, such as betting on corners. In footbal terms, this may mean focusing on a particular league or set of teams in a certain geographical area, or to find specialist betting alternatives to the standard Match Winner markets. Since bookmakers don’t often devote the same resources to pricing up these markets that they do with the more popular options, the result can be profitable opportunities for clued-up punters.
A particularly interesting aspect of the game that many punters choose to focus on is the corner count. This often-overlooked part of football is the basis for a plethora of markets, ranging from Most Corners bets to complex Multi Corner bets. To find out how you can profit from betting on corners, here is a helpful guide to the basics.
What is Corner Betting?
The development of corner betting has gone hand in hand with the explosion of football stats. In the pre-internet era, football reports usually mentioned the half-time and full-time score and perhaps the times of the goals, and little else.
But these days, even tabloid newspapers will carry a range of stats for every match report, including shots on and off target, percentage of possession, and the number of corners won by each side.
The corner stat has led to an increasingly inventive range of corner-related markets, and some of the most popular are detailed below, but all corner markets have certain rules in common that corner betting novices should be aware of. First, in the event of an abandoned game, all corner bets are declared void.
Second, retaken corners and corners awarded but not taken before the final whistle is blown do not count towards the corner total.
Covering All The Angles: The Variety of Corner Betting
The basic corners option – sometimes referred to as the Most Corners – is a simple three option market in which punters have to pick from three options: Home Team, Away Team or Draw with the ‘score’ based on the number of corners each side earns in a game.
Building on this basic market, there is a variety of other options. Half Time Corners is essentially the same as the Most Corners market, but is settled based on the corner count at half-time, while Total Corners offers punters a range of numerical options on the total number of corners scored by both sides during the game.
Range of Corners
Sometimes the Total Corners market is supplemented by a Range of Corners market, in which punters can bet on whether there will be 0-7, 8-15, or 16+ corners in a game and there are usually separate Total Corners markets for both teams individually and for both halves, along with markets on which team will score the first and last corners of the game.
The more complex corners markets involve a degree of maths. Multi Corners betting is based on multiplying the number of corners awarded in the first half by the number in the second half and is usually quoted as a price.
For example, a Multi Corner market between Manchester United and Liverpool might offer options of Under 25.5 at 5/4 and Over 25.5 at 10/11. If, for example this game produced six corners in the first half and five in the second half, the final total would be 6 x 5 = 30, so bets on Over 25.5 would be winners.
The X Corners market is a variation on the Multi Corners bet, but this time, the number of corners won by the home side is multiplied by the number of corners won by the away side.
What are Asian Corners?
Asian corner betting markets are an interesting variation on the standard corner markets. With an Asian corner market, instead of being given three options of Home, Away or Draw, or an Over/Under choice, each team is given a handicap.
For example, if Genoa are playing against Napoli, they might be quoted as a +5.5 handicap, while Napoli are -5.5. If you bet on Napoli to gain more corners in this game, you would need them to earn at least six more corners than Genoa to win the bet.
Asian corner bets that include a .5 element rule out the draw as an outcome so your bet will either be a winner or loser, but some Asian corner bets quote the handicap in whole numbers, for example: Genoa +5 Napoli -5. With this market, if Napoli earn exactly five more corners than Genoa, the bet is void and all stakes are returned.
Advantages of Betting on Corners
At first glance, betting on the number of corners in a game might seem an obscure option, but it can be profitable. The main advantage of betting on corners is that the distribution of corners in a game can often be a truer reflection of the difference in ability between the two sides than the final score.
This is simply because football is a low-scoring game. The number of corners earned in a game will almost always be a larger sample than the number of goals, and generally speaking, the larger the sample, the more relevant the statistic.
It makes sense that the team that has spent the most time near their opponent’s goal will usually be the better of the two and they will usually secure the most corners, even if they don’t win the game.
Which Matches are Best for Corner Betting?
If you make a chart of the times during a game when corners are awarded, you will find that they often come in clusters of two or three in quick succession, as one team has a turn pressuring their opponents’ goal.
Since it is impossible to say in advance exactly how play will ebb and flow during a game, this might suggest that predicting the number of corners in a game is extremely difficult, but with a little research, it is possible to make a good estimate.
The starting point is to focus on the two teams. The number of corners a team wins is often closely related to the number of shots a team has. A certain proportion of shots will be deflected or blocked, resulting in a corner, and the more often a team shoots, the higher the likely number of corners they will win.
Likewise, the more shots a team concedes during a game, the higher the number of corners they will give away.
There are other factors to consider. Teams that focus on using the width of the pitch or aim to have a high number of crosses are likely to win more corners as the ball will more often be close to the byline. By contrast, teams that tend to defend in depth are more likely to concede more corners than those which defend higher up the pitch.
When choosing which matches to make your corner bets in, one approach is to focus on games between teams who are reasonably consistent in the number of shots they have and concede during a game on average, or between teams that have a consistent tactical approach resulting in a predictable number of corners conceded and won.
You might also gain an edge if you believe that a team is likely to adopt different tactics for a certain game – for example by playing two attacking wingers – which could result in an increased number of corners, and hence enable you to get a good value price on your corner bet.
Best Sites for Researching Corners
As the interest in football statistics and analysis has blossomed, the internet has yielded a bewildering array of sites dedicated to bringing you data on every aspect of the game, including corners.
Sites such as Soccerway.com and Football-Data.co.uk offer complete statistical breakdowns of the number of corners awarded and conceded, while Oddsportal.com is a great resource to check out historical odds in corner betting markets – enabling you test out your theories on real bookmaker’s prices.
And when it comes to researching the best odds for your corner bet, odds-comparison sites such as Oddschecker.com and BetBrain.com will help you zero in on the best prices available.
As with many niche markets, corner betting offers the chance for football punters to gain an edge by developing specialist skills and knowledge. Far from being a random stat, the number of corners awarded in a game can often be a fairer reflection of the relative dominance between two teams, and for the punter who is prepared to take the time to understand the characteristics of the various corner-related markets, corner betting can be a profitable area of focus.