Goalscorer Betting Market Explained: First, Last & Anytime

Written By: Conor Rafter
Last Updated: October 22, 2022

Picture the scene. It’s the final day of the Premier League season with your team on the brink of acquiring England’s most coveted prize. The squad has been hit by injuries throughout the year, forcing your manager to rely on youngsters to fill the void. It’s been everything but easy. Thousands of supporters throw their voices onto the pitch, willing the team forward.

Just three points from glory. A draw or a defeat will result in your bitter rivals stealing the crown and it’s the 86th minute. Sweat scales down collective cheeks as the clock ticks onward. You’re winning 1-0, but there’s an air of tension rather than joy.

The unthinkable happens. The away side hit back on the break off the back of a corner kick. Disbelieving onlookers moan in agony, as though the goal had caused a piercing wound in their souls. While those around you bemoan the current circumstances, you came prepared. A £50 bet on the opposition’s left winger to be the ‘Last Goalscorer’ has now returned £250 in profit. Suddenly, things don’t seem so bad. 

You see, this market can be anything you want it to be.

Goalscorer Betting Market Explained

The “Goalscorer” betting market allows you to place bets on players to score a goal, and choose when. You have the opportunity to bet on the first goalscorer, last goalscorer, or anytime goalscorer. Thus, you can cover all bases and ensure that regardless of the actual result of the affair, you come away from the fixture with a smile on your face. 

Losses are easier to take when you earn money as a result of the opposition attacker taking his chance when it comes. Victories are even more enjoyable when your favourite midfielder smashes the ball home from 25 yards. The ‘Goalscorer’ market lets you see the game from an entirely new perspective.

Goalscorer Betting Market Meaning

The ‘Goalscorer’ betting market is described by SkyBet as this:

Sky Bet’s Description

You’re betting on whether a player will score a goal during the course of the match.

If the named player does not take part in the match, bets on that player will be void and the stake will be refunded.

Goalscorer Betting Market Explained - Skybet definition
Sky Bet’s description of the “To Score In 90mins” betting market, which is the same as anytime goalscorer.

If you add a player to your selection and they score a goal, your bet wins. If they don’t score, you will not make a profit.

Remember to be diligent when betting on this market. There is a vast difference between ‘First Goalscorer’, ‘Last Goalscorer’ and ‘Anytime Goalscorer’, with unique odds available for each selection. It’s also worth noting that specialized odds are published for every player, with some individuals offering better payouts (ie, defenders are more profitable than strikers) than others.

Terminology For Goalscorer Markets

There are three basic versions of this market. Each section has its own meaning, with bookies uploading different prices for every selection. Hence, it’s incredibly important that you understand the terminology associated with the ‘Goalscorer’ market.

The first place to start is the word ‘Goalscorer’. In football, a goalscorer is someone that adds to the scoreline by forcing the ball across the white line between two goalposts. The scorer can be any player on the attacking team, including the goalkeeper. When the attacking side gets the ball wholly over the line, one point is added to the scoreboard in their favour. 

First Goalscorer

First Goalscorer’ refers to the player that scores a goal before anybody else. The ‘First Goalscorer’ can score at any time as long as they are the only player to hit home up to that point. Therefore, bets on this market are settled once the game reaches 1-0. Additional goals do not count towards ‘First Goalscorer’ bets.

Last Goalscorer

Last Goalscorer’ is essentially the direct opposite of ‘First Goalscorer’. The ‘Last Goalscorer’ must be the final player to score in the match, otherwise, bets on this selection will not be rewarded. Much like ‘First Goalscorer’, ‘Last Goalscorer’ goals can be scored at any point in the game. The only requirement is that no further goals are awarded after your selection gets on the scoresheet.

If there is just one goal in the match, then bets on ‘First Goalscorer’ and ‘Last Goalscorer’ will payout as both outcomes are true.

Anytime Goalscorer

Anytime Goalscorer’ is the safest of the three options within this bet type. With this wager, the player in your selection can score during any minute of the game and is not beholden to being the first or last scorer. In exchange for the freedom offered by this bet, you will find that odds on these selections are generally worse than ‘First Goalscorer’ and ‘Last Goalscorer’. 

Other variations of the ‘Goalscorer’ market can be found below:

  • Player To Score 2 Or More – Bet on one player to score exactly two goals or greater than two goals during a game.
  • Hat Trick – Bet on a player to score three goals in one match.
  • To Score First AND Last Goal – Bet on a player to score the opening goal and the final goal of a match.
  • To Score First OR Last Goal – Bet on a player to score either the opening goal or the final goal in a match.

Goalscorer Betting Strategy & Tips

We could give you a million reasons to bet on the ‘Goalscorer’ betting market, but all would be moot if we failed to explain how you should bet on it. Knowing the best way to take advantage of the prices and selections on display at the UK’s most popular bookmakers is the key to success.

To become a winning punter in this field, you need to create a strategy. It could be something as simple as developing a general idea with regard to which teams you want to bet on. Conversely, it may be a strategy designed around in-depth statistical analysis and percentage chance. 

No matter what type of strategy you strive to achieve, the fact that you’re reading this is a solid starting point. From now on, you will be an improved bettor.

1. Analyse Player Form

Betting on an out-of-touch, struggling forward is one of the very worst things you can do to your bankroll. The odds are sky-high for a reason; the bookmaker is trying to convey information. Ignore it at your peril.

Instead of blowing your bankroll into smithereens by punting cash on unlikely outcomes, why not take a look at instances that could come true? The best way to do this is by examining previous results and checking which players added to the scoreline. 

For instance, Erling Haaland stole the show at the beginning of the 2022/23 Premier League season with at least one goal in each of Manchester City’s opening nine games, bar a solitary blank versus Bournemouth. This led to bookies crushing the odds on the Norwegian to score in subsequent outings. Ahead of the Manchester derby in October, Haaland was priced at 1.44 (11/25) to score ‘Anytime’ against United on SkyBet. Not a particularly rewarding selection, but one that is expected to payout.

The best value for money can be found in players like Raheem Sterling. The Chelsea attacker bagged four goals in five appearances between the end of August and the middle of September, yet little discussion was had around his form. 

Going into the first weekend of October in 2022, Sterling was listed at 3.25 (9/4) as an ‘Anytime Goalscorer’ at SkyBet. That means a £20 wager would return £65, profiting £45. This type of selection might not quite be the “sure thing” you’ll get in Haaland, but it’s probably better value for your money.

Other players to keep an eye out for are:

  • Rodrigo (Leeds United)
  • Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
  • Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
  • Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

2. Find Defenders With High Odds & Great Value

These days, defenders in Europe’s elite divisions are elite strikers of the ball. Virgil Van Dijk, Ruben Dias, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Antonio Rudiger are just four names that can wreak havoc against opposition defensive lines.

This is especially true for set pieces. Each of these defenders stands well over 6 feet tall, boasting broad figures capable of barging most opposing players to the floor. To give you an idea of their scoring ability, here are some statistics from 2018 onwards:

  • Van Dijk – 14 League Goals
  • Dias – 9 League Goals 
  • Koulibaly – 6 League Goals
  • Rudiger – 8 League Goals

Together, the four have scored a total of 33 goals in four years. That’s an impressive return for players that spend most of their time at the opposite end of the pitch compared to the opposition goal line. 

Defenders will almost always offer fantastic value for money. Bookmakers rarely expect the back-line to get amongst the attacking action, leading to impressive prices for even the most threatening of defenders. Heading into the first October matchday of 2022, the following odds are available for the four-named defenders to score ‘Anytime’ at Bet365.

  • Kalidou Koulibaly vs Crystal Palace – 9.50 (17/2)
  • Virgil Van Dijk vs Brighton – 9.00 (8/1)
  • Ruben Dias vs Manchester United – 12.00 (11/1)
  • Antonio Rudiger vs Osasuna – 8.00 (7/1)

Best Bookies & Odds For Goalscorer Betting

Such is the popularity of ‘Goalscorer’ markets, most sportsbooks offer odds on ‘First/Last/Anytime’ selections. The failure to offer prices for this type of market would unquestionably lead to a dwindling customer base. 

The odds are simply too good for customers to turn down. Moreover, bettors can often mix and match ‘Goalscorer’ markets with other selections via the increasingly popular Bet Builder function. Using this, bettors can add a wide variety of bets to one selection. The result is a unique, rewarding wager.

No matter how you choose to utilise the ‘Goalscorer’ betting market, we can recommend the following bookies:

1. SkyBet 

Goalscorer Betting Market Explained - Skybet

2. Bet365

Goalscorer Betting Market Explained - Bet365

3. Betfair

Goalscorer Betting Market - Betfair

4. William Hill

Goalscorer Betting Market - William Hill

4. Paddy Power

Goalscorer Betting Market - Paddy Power

Each of the above is highly competitive in terms of odds. They provide prices early, so you can get your selections ready well ahead of time. Compliments must also be awarded to their insistence on paying out quickly, with the likes of Paddy Power and Bet365 gaining notoriety for delivering payments before anybody else in the industry for certain selections.

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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