First Half & Second Half Goal Betting Markets Explained

Written By:Conor Rafter
Last Updated: November 23, 2022

First & Second Half Goal Betting

This market gives you the opportunity to bet on goals scored in the first and second half. The opening half of football is 45 minutes long (excluding any additional time added by the referee) and precedes the half-time interval. After a 15-minute break in play, the teams return to the pitch for a second 45-minutes of football. This is known as the second half.

Your job is to bet on the total number of goals scored in either half. Rather than betting on a precise, whole number, this market utilizes decimals (e.g. 1.5). This way, you can bet on Over/Under X.5 goals in the first or second half. Such a system opens up the market for more ways to win as you’re not tied to a sole number.

Here’s an example:

  • You believe there will be more than two goals in the second half of a game between Liverpool and Manchester United. 
  • Rather than betting on ‘Exactly 3 Goals in the Second Half’ or ‘Exactly 4 Goals’, you can select ‘Over 2.5 Goals in the Second Half’.
  • This means that any second-half result where three or more goals are scored will return a profit on your wager.

If you were to bet on ‘Exactly 3 Goals’, you’d only win if precisely three goals were scored in the second half. With ‘Over 2.5 Goals’, you’ll win as long as more than two goals are scored. This premise applies to all Under/Over bets for First & Second Half Goal betting. 

First & Second Half Goal Betting Meaning

Still not getting it? Not to worry. We’ve captured an official description of this market from one of the UK’s most popular online bookmakers, William Hill. It should be noted that this bookie titles ‘First & Second Half Goal Betting’ as ‘Half Over/Under Goals’.

William Hill

Predict whether the number of goals scored in one half of a match is Over/Under the number specified.

William Hill uses the following example to help customers better understand this market:

  • If the market is Over/Under 1.5 Goals, then:
  • Under means 0 or 1 Goal.
  • Over means 2 or more goals.
First Half and Second Half Goal Betting Markets Explained - William Hill description

You can swap ‘Over/Under 1.5 Goals’ for any other outcome (e.g. Over/Under 3.5 Goals) and ask yourself whether you know what a winning result for that selection would be. For instance:

  • If the market is Over/Under 3.5 Goals, then:
  • Under means 0, 1, 2 or 3 Goals.
  • Over means 4 or more goals.

Under/Over First & Second Half Goal Betting Options

In this section we’ll show you each of the most common betting options available for this market. You’ll also learn how many goals you need for a bet on Under/Over X.5 Goals to win.

Under X.5 First Half Bets:

  • Under 0.5 Goals – Wins if zero goals are scored in the first half.
  • Under 1.5 Goals – Wins if 0 or 1 goal is scored in the first half.
  • Under 2.5 Goals – Wins if 0, 1 or 2 goals are scored in the first half.
  • Under 3.5 Goals – Wins if 0, 1, 2 or 3 goals are scored in the first half.

Over X.5 First Half Bets:

  • Over 0.5 Goals – Wins if 1 or more goals are scored in the first half.
  • Over 1.5 Goals – Wins if 2 or more goals are scored in the first half.
  • Over 2.5 Goals – Wins if 3 or more goals are scored in the first half.
  • Over 3.5 Goals – Wins if 4 or more goals are scored in the first half.

Under X.5 Second Half Bets

  • Under 0.5 Goals – Wins if zero goals are scored in the second half.
  • Under 1.5 Goals – Wins if 0 or 1 goal is scored in the second half.
  • Under 2.5 Goals – Wins if 0, 1 or 2 goals are scored in the second half.
  • Under 3.5 Goals – Wins if 0, 1, 2 or 3 goals are scored in the second half.

Over X.5 Second Half Bets:

  • Over 0.5 Goals – Wins if 1 or more goals are scored in the second half.
  • Over 1.5 Goals – Wins if 2 or more goals are scored in the second half.
  • Over 2.5 Goals – Wins if 3 or more goals are scored in the second half.
  • Over 3.5 Goals – Wins if 4 or more goals are scored in the second half.

First Half & Second Half Goals Terminology

If you’re in any way familiar with betting on a per-half basis, getting up to speed with the market terminology for this bet type should be easy. That said, we understand that some terms can be difficult to gauge. That’s why we’ll break everything down for you, here.

The word ‘Under’ tells us that the in-game outcome must fall below the threshold set by the market. If, for instance, we were to bet on ‘Under 4.5 Goals in the Second Half’, that would require the second 45-minutes to have fewer than five goals. This applies to other markets too, with many bookies offering ‘Under X Corners’ and ‘Under X Shots’ for first and second-half wagers.

On the other hand, ‘Over’ means that the match we’re betting on must boast more occurrences of the statistic we’re betting on than the limit associated with our selection. Although we’re focusing on goals today, tomorrow you may want to bet on something else. Whatever you bet on, just remember that ‘Over’ markets challenge the first or second half to have a greater number of the stat you’re betting on than the threshold listed. 

Other key terms to remember are:

  • First Half – The initial 45-minutes of a football match. Includes any additional time requested by the referee (e.g. 2 minutes of added time at the end of the first half).
  • Second Half – The 45-minutes of play that takes place after the 15-minute half-time break. Also includes any additional time set by the match official (e.g. 4 minutes of added time at the end of the second half).

Betting Strategy For First & Second Half Goals

You worked hard to earn the money you’re staking in your wager, so why not put the effort in to make it a winning one? By setting some time aside to focus on your next move in the world of online sports betting, you’ll take one step closer to becoming a regular winner.

In the ‘First & Second Half Goals’ betting markets, you’re tasked with correctly predicting the number of goals scored by both teams over the course of one half. Rather than just gifting the bookie your money by throwing cash at an unlikely wager, you should research which teams tend to score in a particular half.

When Do Teams Tend To Score?

Focus on teams that score most of their goals in the first or second half. Allocate your stake depending on which half they usually score in. Let’s say, for example, Team A has struck four of their last five goals in the second half and Team B has scored three goals in the second forty-five in their last three games. This points us in the direction of ‘Over 2.5’ or ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ in the second half. 

Without carrying out due diligence, you’ll end up betting on ‘Over 2.5 Goals in the First Half’ on games involving teams that haven’t scored more than one first-half goal during the past month. That’s not a situation any winning punter wants to be in. 

To give you a helping hand, we’ve accumulated some handy statistics from FootyStats.org regarding Premier League teams’ scoring habits. 

  • Manchester City scored the most goals (54) in the second half of games in the 2021/22 Premier League season.
  • Southampton were the league’s 6th placed team in the first half of matches during 21/22, with 55% of the Saint’s goals scored in the opening 45-minutes.
  • Manchester United scored 61% of their goals in the second half (35 out of 57).
  • 13 of Leicester City’s 21 goals (as of Matchday 12 in 2022/23) have come in the first half.
  • Manchester City scored 18 goals in both the first and second half of games in 2022/23 (correct as of Matchday 12 in 2022/23).

Your takeaway from this should be to follow trends. Manchester United have continued to score the majority of their goals in the second half (11/16) in 2022/23, so you should feel confident in placing a wager on the Red Devils to score X.5 goals in the second half of games.

First Half Top-Scorers Table

Below is a list of the top five scoring teams in the first half of Premier League matches as of the end of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign. 

  1. Manchester City – 45 of 99 goals scored in the first half (45.45%)
  2. Liverpool – 44 of 94 goals scored in the first half (46.80%)
  3. Chelsea – 34 of 76 goals scored in the first half (44.73%)
  4. Tottenham Hotspur – 33 of 69 goals scored in the first half (47.82%)
  5. Arsenal – 33 of 61 goals scored in the first half (54.09%)

Despite these teams scoring the most goals out of anyone in the first half, their stats suggest that they were more clinical in front of goal during the second half. Therefore, you may want to bet on bigger teams to score ‘Under X.5 Goals’ for first-half wagers.

Second Half Top-Scorers Table

This list is comprised of the most lethal teams during the second half of games in 2021/22. 

  1. Manchester City – 54 of 99 goals scored in the second half (54.54%)
  2. Liverpool – 50 of 94 goals scored in the second half (53.19%)
  3. Chelsea – 42 of 76 goals scored in the second half (55.26%)
  4. Tottenham Hotspur – 36 of 69 goals scored in the second half (52.17%)
  5. Manchester United – 35 of 57 goals scored in the second half (61.40%)

Teams With Most Goals Scored in First/Second Half

Let’s get a little bit more technical. In this section, we’re going to look at which teams scored the highest percentage of goals in the first and/or second half. This should be one of the deciding factors when opting for an ‘Under/Over X.5 Goals in First/Second Half’ wager.

  1. Brentford – 66.67% of goals scored in the second half
  2. Everton – 62.8% of goals scored in the second half
  3. Brighton/Leeds – 62% of goals scored in the second half
  4. Manchester United – 61.40% of goals scored in the second half
  5. Aston Villa – 59.62% of goals scored in the second half
  6. Crystal Palace – 58% of goals scored in the second half
  7. Newcastle United – 56.81% of goals scored in the first half
  8. Leicester City – 56.46% of goals scored in the second half
  9. Southampton – 55.81% of goals scored in the first half
  10. Chelsea – 55.27% of goals scored in the second half

From this data, we can gather that teams that tend to score a significant portion of their goals in one half prefer to bag those goals in the second serving of matches. Just two of the top 10 listed clubs scored the majority of their goals in the opening 45-minutes.

Recommended Bookies For First & Second Half Goal Bets

Most of the UK’s top bookmakers offer prices on ‘First Half & Second Half Goals’ selections. However, many of these sportsbooks use unique titles to separate their offering of the market from competitors. To guide you to this market, we’ve compiled a list of bookies’ names for it. 

  • Bet365 – First/Second Half Goals
  • SkyBet – 1st/2nd Half Under/Over Goals
  • Paddy Power – 1st/2nd Half Undoer/Over Goals Market
  • Betfair – Over/Under First Half/Second Half
  • BetVictor – Total Goals Over/Under First/Second Half

Each of these bookmakers serves as a fantastic platform from which you can place bets on the number of goals scored in the first and/or second half of games. They offer competitive odds across tonnes of exciting football competitions. You can bet on ‘First Half & Second Half Goals’ in many of the world’s top divisions and tournaments, including:

  • Premier League
  • Champions League
  • World Cup
  • La Liga
  • Ligue 1
  • Bundesliga

Just open the event you want to bet on and select the market based on the title used by the bookie (ie, First/Second Half Goals). Choose an outcome (e.g. Over 2.5 First Half Goals), then enter a stake. Once the event has concluded or the outcome is deemed to have taken place, your bet will settle and winnings shall be paid out.

Conor Rafter
Conor Rafter

I’m a freelance writer who loves all things sports & betting related. Having worked in this field since 2018, I’ve experienced a wide range of intriguing bookmakers and online casinos. With this expertise, I strive to create helpful, honest articles. My primary goal is quite simple: to guide and inform readers using facts and analysis.

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