Betting on the goalscorer has been one of the most popular betting markets for some time now. The concept of the bet is very simple; all you need to do is select a player to either score first, last, or at anytime within the match. These are three different takes on the same bet type but you can choose whichever option you like.
The bets are popular ones because the odds are usually quite high, especially for the first or last goalscorer, so if they come off the rewards are great. This is reflected in the difficulty of getting the bet right, but there are ways in which you can maximise your potential winnings here, and we will highlight them within this article.
What we will say is that you need to pay attention to the prices on offer and any discrepancies that you might find. For example, if the odds for a player to score first are uncharacteristically high, then you may want to check the likelihood of that player actually starting the game. Whilst it is possible to win these types of bets with players coming off the bench, it is much less likely.
The Different Bets
The first goalscorer market is probably the most popular of these types of bets, and that’s because they will usually return the highest odds.
Even for favourites in the market you can expect odds upwards of 5.00, with some of them ranging to as much as 100.00, although they are usually reserved for defenders who don’t find the net very often.
Your selected player will have to score the first goal of the game, and any own goals scored will not count against your bet.
For the last goalscorer bet to be successful you will need to predict the player who will score the last goal of the match.
These are again fairly heavily priced, but we think that they are much harder to call as you can’t really predict which players will still be on the field at full time, or what has gone on in the match previously. Of course, a 1-0 win will make the same player the first and last goalscorer in the game, so you could use this bet type for a game you think will be low scoring.
The market is much more of a gamble than the other two though, and the odds do reflect this.
With this market you will need to select a player to score at any time during the match.
The odds for these types of bets will be much smaller than those of the first or last goalscorer due to the fact that your player has a full 90 minutes to hit the net regardless of any other goals that are scored. In short, it’s an easier bet to win.
The anytime market is great for longer odds players (usually midfielders/defenders) who are likely to pick up a few chances as the game wears on but aren’t the teams lead goalscorer.
Goalscorer Betting Strategy
The strategy that we have stated below will apply to all forms of these bet types unless otherwise stated.
Find the obvious picks
For these bets we need to find out who we think is most likely to create chances for themselves throughout the game. The obvious place to start is that of the set piece takers for both direct free kicks and penalties. These players, at some point in the match, will definitely get at least one or chance at a goal, which is exactly what we are looking for; although ideally they will get more. A good tip is to target teams who use either midfielders or even defenders for these, as their odds should be better.
For example, Everton have used defender, Leighton Baines, for both their direct free kicks and their penalties over the last couple of years. He usually chips in with around 5-10 goals per season as a result, and whilst this isn’t massively high compared to a forward, the odds for him to score, being a defender, remain better than those of attacking players.
Finding strikers that are not only capable of scoring in open play situations but who also take penalties and free kicks will also be a good option, but bear in mind that you will get massively reduced odds on these types of players as a result.
Do the maths!
We can use some relatively simple maths to help us with the wagers that we are making with each bet type in the goalscorer market. To do this, we first need to work out what the bookmaker thinks the probability is of the player scoring. This can be worked out by simply dividing 1 by the decimal odds that are on display.
So, a 7.00 shot would be 1/7.00 = 14.28% chance that the player will score.
Next, we can take that probability and ask ourselves whether we think that provides a true reflection on the price in hand.
Also, we need to work out if we think the player is capable of scoring in that specific match? Are they in good form? Do they take penalties or set pieces? The list of questions could be pretty much endless, it’s up to you to decide which factors are important and whether you think the percentage represents the true chances of that player scoring.
Players often follow a pattern when it comes to goals scored against specific teams.
Some players just tend to do well against some teams rather than others, and while you might not understand why exactly that is, you can find this information out by doing a little bit of research.
For example, Wayne Rooney has an unbelievable record of 14 goals from just 15 appearances against the Magpies at the time of writing. Even if Rooney isn’t as prolific as he once was, this is always going to be a solid bet statistically.
This is both pretty vague and rather obvious, but simply picking players that are in form will take you a long way with these types of bets.
Backing Jamie Vardy in the 15/16 season would have made you some really nice coin when he went on a run of scoring in 11 successive Premier League games, for example.
Whilst the odds would have likely decreased for each game that went by as the bookies got wise, just backing on form alone would have definitely been a strong bet.
General Betting Rules
Below we have listed some general rules for these types of goal scorer markets, and whilst they will apply to most bookmakers some might have slightly different rules. We highly recommend that if you have an issue that you contact your bookmaker directly.
- Own goals will not affect the outcome of your first goalscorer bets and the goal scored after (assuming it’s not another own goal) will be the result for that market. This applies to the last goalscorer market also, and should your anytime goalscorer selection score an own goal it will not count.
- If a player that you have backed comes off the bench after the first goal has been scored then your bet will be void for the first goalscorer market. However, it will still be running for anytime scorer bets unless your player doesn’t feature, where bets will again become void.
- The official goalscorer for most bookmakers will be finalised by the league or cup governing body for that match.