The tension. The silence. Thousands draw their breath, waiting for the critical moment. Once the referee blows his whistle, the player begins his run-up. Does he do a hop-skip-and-a-jump before striking the ball? Will he go for power over placement? Does he look nervous?
You, the bettor, are powerless. Provided you’ve researched both teams’ penalty takers and are confident in your decision; there should be no cause for concern. Nevertheless, you shuffle to the edge of your seat in anticipation. Whether or not it goes in, you’ve become part of something for a split second.
That’s why it’s important to have a betting strategy. Doing so gives you peace of mind that your wager was founded upon concrete facts and information.
To Score/Miss A Penalty Betting Market Explained
Before plunging into the ins and outs of what it means to place a bet on ‘To Score/Miss A Penalty’ markets, we need to know how sportsbooks define them. See below for SkyBet’s description of both markets:
- A Penalty Scored – You’re betting on: whether a penalty will be scored over the course of a match, or whether the specified team will score a penalty.
- A Penalty Missed – You’re betting on: whether a penalty will be missed over the course of a match, or whether the specified team will miss a penalty.
This definition is echoed by William Hill:
Predict a penalty to be awarded and scored or missed during a match.William Hill
All in all, the fundamentals are standard across the board. All bets on ‘To Score’ and ‘To Miss’ in penalty markets are settled within 90 minutes of play, including added time at the end of the match. If no penalty is awarded, the bet is settled as a loss.
How To Place a ‘To Score/Miss A Penalty’ Bet
Depending on the sports betting site, you may or may not be able to bet on the scorer of the penalty. This is because some bookies only offer odds on specific teams to score from the spot rather than individuals.
No matter what type of penalty market you want to place a bet on, your first port of call is to open the ‘Football’ tab. Here, you’ll view upcoming and in-play matches. Select the game you want to bet on. Using a real-life example, let’s say you pick an MLS affair between Vancouver Whitecaps and Los Angeles FC.
On the event page, scroll down the markets listed under ‘All’ until you find the word ‘penalty’ being mentioned. For simplicity, most bookies bunch similar markets into one area – so you can assume that every penalty market resides next to one another.
In the Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA FC game, SkyBet has odds on the following relevant markets:
- A Penalty Scored – 3.00 (2/1)
- A Penalty Missed – 8.00 (8/1)
- Home Team To Score A Penalty – 6.00 (5/1)
- Away Team To Score A Penalty – 5.00 (4/1)
- Home Team To Miss A Penalty – 17.00 (16/1)
- Away Team To Miss A Penalty – 13.00 (12/1)
You should select an outcome that you see as realistic by clicking on the odds. This automatically adds the selection to your betslip. View your betslip to enter a stake (the amount of money you want to bet) and press ‘Place Bet’ to confirm your wager. After a short processing period, your bet will go through successfully.
To Score/Miss A Penalty Terminology
Penalty markets are some of the most simplistic markets to understand in all of football betting. As stated by SkyBet and William Hill, you’re betting on whether or not a penalty will be scored or missed during 90 minutes of play. There isn’t much more to know.
‘To Score’ in football is to add to the scoreline. When the ball crosses the goal line, the team attacking that end of the pitch is awarded one ‘point’. As such, when a penalty is given to a team, the player taking the spot-kick is attempting to make the ball cross the line with their free shot on goal.
‘To Miss’ is when a penalty is awarded to a team and they fail to score. Misses can occur due to the goalkeeper saving the shot, the player hitting the ball wide or striking the woodwork.
And lastly, ‘A Penalty’ refers to the set-piece credited to the team adjudged to have been fouled within the opposition penalty area – also known as a ‘box’ – and the result is a free shot from 12-yards. The player taking the penalty must place the ball on the penalty spot, marked by a white circle, and then await the referee’s whistle to kick the ball at goal.
If the player scores, bets that fall under ‘To Score A Penalty’ win. If the player misses, wagers on ‘To Miss A Penalty’ will win.
To Score/Miss A Penalty Betting Strategy
Some teams get more penalties than others. Similarly, there are particular players that are better at drawing in fouls to earn penalty kicks than their teammates. Most importantly, certain footballers are more capable at taking penalties compared to other players on the pitch. All of this must be taken into consideration before jumping the gun and placing a bet.
Hence, your first duty when setting up a betting strategy for penalty markets is to analyse the sides you’re betting on.
#1. Analyse Penalty Statistics
Ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, even the most basic of studying would tell you who not to bet in ‘To Score A Penalty’ markets – Wolverhampton Wanderers. According to the renowned football statistics website, Tranfermarkt, Wolves were awarded just one penalty in 38 games in 2021/22, which they scored, giving Bruno Lage’s men a misleading 100% success rate from the spot.
The reason this stat is misleading is this: we can’t be sure that Wolves are reliable penalty takers because they don’t get penalties. Instead, focus on teams boasting players talented at drawing fouls, like Mohamed Salah of Liverpool or Jack Grealish of Manchester City, when choosing who to bet on.
Even Everton, who endured a disastrous campaign, have an impressive penalty record. The Toffees struck gold in all but one of the seven penalties that went their way in 21/22, a success rate of just over 85%. They too had a slippery attacker in Richarlison, who attracted opposing defenders in the box and scored four spot-kicks during the campaign too.
To sum up – bet on teams that are given many penalties and make good use of them.
#2. Stay Up To Date With Team News
If you put all your attention toward penalty statistics and probabilities, then you’ll miss out on one vital factor: who’s taking the penalty?
This isn’t much of an issue for some clubs and countries. A number of squads are fortunate to have several lethal penalty takers in their ranks, with more than one player from Liverpool and Manchester scoring two or more penalties during 21/22 (Salah & Fabinho, Mahrez & Sterling). For the majority of teams, replacing the usual penalty taker is a difficult task.
There’s nothing quite like the pressure of taking a kick from 12 yards in front of thousands of supporters. On top of that, quite a chunk of those fans probably wants the player to miss and, consequently, torment the taker until the ball is struck. This is just another day at the office for regular penalty takers.
Thus, you should keep tabs on the latest injury news ahead of a game you plan to bet on.
#3. Look Out For Trigger Happy Referees
Gambling.com reported that between 2016/17 and March 2021, Michael Oliver awarded more penalties than any other official (41). Behind him were Anthony Taylor (40), Mike Dean, (37) and Jon Moss (28).
Perhaps more interestingly, Mike Dean had the highest PPG (Penalties Per Game) ratio compared to any of his fellow compatriots, blowing up for a foul in the box once in every 3.48 games. Taylor and Oliver were the only other refs to sit below the one-in-four mark, while Stuart Attwell had given a penalty every 4.15 games.
The fact of the matter is that referees matter more than we care to think when it comes to penalties. The proof is in the pudding. Where some referees allow play to continue, others view it as a clear-cut foul. The introduction of VAR has levelled the field somewhat, but, generally speaking, the decision goes the way of the referee’s original call.
So keep an eye out on which referee is officiating games – it could make all the difference.