In football, all that matters is the overall scoreline. One team could go three goals ahead within half an hour of the game only to concede four times in the second half, losing 3-4 at the end of the match. According to the league table, that first-half result is meaningless.
Things work very differently when it comes to the ‘Half With Most Goals’ betting market.
What Does The ‘Half With Most Goals’ Betting Market Mean?
Rather than betting on the winner of the match or which team will win the first or second half, you’re punting on one half to have more goals than the other. Generally, there are two options for you to choose from:
- The 1st half to have more goals than the 2nd half.
- The 2nd half to have more goals than the 1st half.
Some sportsbooks offer a ‘Tie’ option. In this instance, you’re betting on the same number of goals being scored in both halves.
If your selection matches the outcome in real life, the bet wins. For an official description from one of the UK’s top bookmakers with regard to this market, here’s SkyBet’s definition of ‘Half With Most Goals’:
Sky Bet’s definition
You’re betting on: which half will contain the most goals scored.
Examples Of Half With Most Goals Bets
To better understand this market, let’s run through a real-life example of a match that has happened, as well as one that is yet to take place. We’ll use actual odds listed on UK bookies when discussing the upcoming game and hypothetical prices for the already-played event.
1. Aston Villa vs Everton – Real Odds
Villa welcome The Toffees to Villa Park in the Premier League at the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season. Both sides’ opening matches ended in defeat, with Steven Gerrard’s outfit succumbing to newly-promoted Bournemouth and Frank Lampard’s Everton losing at home to his former employers, Chelsea.
Historically, the hosts have enjoyed the better results in this fixture; coming out on top in three of the last four affairs. More goals were scored in the second half in two of those meetings, with the other matchups ending 0-0 and 0-1 (first half goal). Therefore, we can ascertain that a bet on more goals to be scored in the second half would be the wiser of the two.
SkyBet is offering ‘Second Half’ at 2.10 (11/10) in the ‘Half With Most Goals’ market. This means a £15 stake would have potential returns of £31.50, effectively doubling your money.
For your bet to win, you need the second half to see more goals scored than the first half. Examples of winning scorelines can be found below:
- 1st Half: 1-0 & 2nd Half: 2-1 → Match Result: 3-1
- 1st Half: 0-2 & 2nd Half: 2-1 → Match Result: 2-3
- 1st Half: 1-1 & 2nd Half: 2-2 → Match Result: 3-3
In each of these hypothetical scenarios, more goals are scored in the second half. As a result, you earn maximum winnings.
2. Leeds United vs Wolves – Hypothetical Odds
Leeds and Wolves went head to head at Elland Road on the opening weekend of the Premier League 2022/23 campaign. The two sides are still getting familiar with new systems heralded by their managers, with Jesse Marsch and Bruno Lage yet to settle on a sound formula.
Lage utilized a four-man defence domestically to set the stall for the new season, having opted for a three-at-the-back approach since taking over at Wolves. As such, former club captain Conor Coady fell out of favour at the club; leading to a loan switch to Everton. As for Leeds, Marsch’s men endured a difficult pre-season after losing star-player Raphinha to Barcelona over the summer.
By the full-time whistle, any concerns regarding creativity amongst Leeds supporters were thrown out the window.
But let’s begin with the first half result. Wolves broke the deadlock just six minutes in before Rodrigo levelled the score for the home team. 1-1 at halftime.
An own goal from Ait-Nouri with 15 minutes to spare saw Leeds take all three points. However, it also meant that bets on ‘Second Half’ in the ‘Half With Most Goals’ market lost. Only selections on ‘First Half’ rewarded punters with winnings.
This is because there were two goals in the first forty-five minutes and one in the second. Here are some examples of how the odds may have looked and how much bettors could have won with this scoreline:
- ‘First Half’ at 2.00 (1/1) at Bet365 – £10 stake returns £20.
- ‘First Half’ at 2.50 (6/4) at SkyBet – £20 stake returns £50.
- ‘First Half’ at 1.80 (4/5) at BetVictor – £50 stake returns £90.
Half With Most Goals Betting Strategy
Given the vast array of data for goals in today’s statistics-focussed world, this market is one of the easier to predict. Unlike corner markets and booking odds, you can quickly skim through recent results to see when and how goals were scored.
Was there a flurry of goalmouth action at the end of the first half? Does this team tend to throw the kitchen sink at the opposition in the last 15 minutes? Is there a super-sub that consistently strikes last-gasp winners?
All of these questions can be answered by researching teams involved in your proposed selection. That brings us to our first point…
1. Research Goals Per Half
Thanks to online statistics provided by various websites and apps, bettors can stay up to date with the latest scorelines, in-game events and analysis. In the past, you may have had to catch up on football news by tuning in to the news on the radio or flicking through TV channels. Today, it’s all available from the comfort of your phone.
Here are some useful apps we recommend downloading to check up on goal information:
- Sky Sports app (no subscription needed)
- Premier League app
For instance, by opening FotMob and viewing Sunderland’s recent match history we can see that, of the seven goals scored in their matches (as of Championship Matchday 2), four have been scored in the second half. Moreover, FotMob details that in Sunderland’s game against Bristol City, Alex Neil’s side had an xG (expected goals) of 1.04 in the second half. In the first half, that number was a meagre 0.23.
With just this information, we can lean towards a bet on ‘Second Half’ in the ‘Half With Most Goals’ market for Sunderland’s next outing. The same principle applies to all other fixtures you want to bet on.
2. Don’t Fear The ‘Tie’
Betting on a stalemate is one of the least popular wagers in the entire online sports gambling industry. It makes sense – draws represent a boring, dull game. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. This is especially true when you look at the prices listed for ‘Equal Scoring Halves’ in the ‘Half With The Most Goals’ market.
Let’s start with some key statistics:
- In 2021/22’s Premier League season, precisely 23% of matches ended with the points shared (courtesy of FootyStats.org). That means that of 380 matches, teams could not be separated in 88.
- 2020/21 saw 22% of games end drawn.
- 24% of 2019/20’s Premier League matches were drawn.
You get the picture. In recent history, draws are more common than many people think. This is great for anyone betting on this market as draws often see equal scoring halves. However, equal scoring halves do not necessarily always lead to a draw (read on for more on this).
Earlier we alluded to the prices on ‘Equal Scoring Halves’ being better than ‘First Half’ and ‘Second Half’ selections. This is not something we would state without reason. Look at some examples below to see what we mean:
Arsenal vs Leicester
Brentford vs Manchester United
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur
Those are three randomly picked Premer League fixtures. Each game has one key aspect in common; the prices for ‘Tie’ or ‘Equal Scoring Halves’ are more rewarding than the other two options. With over 20% of Premier League matches ending in a draw, this looks like a solid wager for certain matches.
To win this bet, all you need is for the same number of goals to be scored in the first and second half. For instance:
- 1st Half: 1-1 & 2nd Half: 1-1 → Match Result: 2-2
- 1st Half: 2-2 & 2nd Half: 2-2 → Match Result: 4-4
- 1st Half: 2-1 & 2nd Half: 1-2 → Match Result: 3-3
And, best of all, the game doesn’t necessarily need to end in a draw for your bet to win. As long as the number of goals in the first half matches that of the second, your wager will win. Here are some example scorelines where there are an equal number of goals scored in the first and second half, yet one team wins:
- 1st Half: 1-0 & 2nd Half: 1-0 → Match Result: 2-0
- 1st Half: 0-2 & 2nd Half: 1-1 → Match Result 1-3
- 1st Half: 2-1 & 2nd Half: 0-3 → Match Result: 2-4