Betting on goal scorers has become increasingly popular during recent years among bettors. Apart for being an amusing choice for amateurs and apprentice punters, it’s a competitive alternative for professional players who don’t like to place bets on heavy favourites.
Of course, it’s harder to predict a goalscorer than a match winner (and the bookmakers commission is traditionally higher) however if you place your bets smartly you can start earning steady profits.
What are the basic goal scorer bets?
There are 3 basic goal scorer markets, available in the vast majority of online betting websites.
- First Goal Scorer: You bet on a specific player to score the first goal of the match.
- Last Goal Scorer: Similar to the above, regarding the last goal of the match.
- Anytime Scorer: You bet on a player to score at any time of the match (overtime is in most cases excluded)
In general, you can see that online bookmakers offer doubled odds on the same player to be the “first goalscorer” or “last goalscorer” compared to the “anytime scorer”. That’s why the first or last goal scorer of a match can obviously be only one player. On the other hand, an anytime scorer could be anyone at any given time, meaning that there are more chances of winning this bet.
Other types of goal scorer betting
Τhere are some other betting types concerning goal scorers. They might not be available on every online bookmaker, and when included, are usually found on top leagues, international cups or national teams’ tournaments.
To score 2+ goals: You’re betting on a player to score more than once.
To score a hat-trick: Your chosen player needs to score three goals. Keep in mind that if he scores more than three, some online bookmakers might declare your bet as a lost one. Check the bookmaker’s terms and conditions before placing this bet.
Type of goal: You get different odds if your player scores with a shot, header, direct free kick or a penalty.
Own goal: This is a totally different market, that involves lots of luck and huge odds. It is usually available only in World Cup matches.
Each Way 1/3: A variation of the First Goal Scorer bet. Your chosen player needs to score one of the first three goals of the match.
Combo types of goal scorer betting
Some online bookmakers offer combination (combo) bets with goal scorers.
Wincast/Anytime Wincast: A bet combining first or anytime goalscorer and the winning team.
Scorecast/anytime score cast: You need to find the first goal scorer of the match and predict the correct final score.
Timecast: Pick the first goal scorer and the exact time of his goal (usually 10 min. wide).
Strategy: How to pick successful goal scorers
Betting on goal scorers might seem easy, but the truth is that it might prove to be quite challenging. In general, high rollers avoid this market, as they assume that luck is a crucial factor and refrain from staking huge amounts, purely based on chance. However, with some extra attention on certain match data and some smart analysis, you’ll see that there are a lot of betting options to exploit.
At first, you have to take a serious look at general match stats and some basic information, such as:
- Be sure that the player you intend to place your bet on is fully fit and in the starting lineup. Some online bookmakers will consider your bet as void if the chosen player is on the bench and doesn’t get subbed in. Keep that in mind, as it makes no sense to place a bet when there are no chances of winning it.
- Watch the weather forecast. If your player relies more on technique than sheer strength, he might find it difficult to score when playing at a heavy pitch.
- Team motivation is something you should always bear in mind. If your player’s team is desperate to grab points, he will surely have more scoring chances. If it’s a boring match, he might find himself less involved.
- Count how many goals your chosen player has scored in the last six games. If he’s on fire, he will have more possibilities of scoring once again. Consequently, he will also be offered on lowered odds, as bookies expect him to score as well.
- Don’t forget to read the online bookie’s terms and conditions for the specific market. Rules may differ from one another, especially regarding when a bet is considered void.
In addition, you have to remember some different match stats, news and special data, as:
- What is your player’s attacking behavior against a specific opponent? Many strikers find it easier to score goals when they confront certain teams, even if this can not be explained rationally. It’s less a matter of playing style (opponent’s defending style) rather than confidence that boosts the striker’s morale.
- Is your player the first option when it comes to taking penalties? This fact increases his chances of scoring, and is considered as a crucial element by the bookmaker. It’s equally wise to put your money on a free-kick specialist. Be aware, though, of other set pieces like corner kicks. If your player is taking all the corners, he has less chances of scoring from set pieces.
- Quite often, a striker may score more goals when he is assisted by specific midfield players. Take a look at who is making these assists and make sure that he is also in the starting lineup.
- Extra motivation for a player to score might even come from irrelevant factors. A player who has just fathered a child, is celebrating his birthday, or counts 100 matches in the league, might be more motivated to score than others. In the same manner, his motivation will be significantly boosted when he is chasing the league leading scorer title.
Pick defenders and midfielders
This piece of advice is directly derived from odds. Usually, bookies set their odds according to a player’s position. Starting strikers and other attacking players are the prime candidates and usually receive the largest amount of bets.
However, there are midfield players or even defenders (especially stout centre backs) who are frequent goal scores, either by headers and penalties, or by individual attacking efforts. This is worth exploiting, as their odds are usually much higher compared to the actual possibilities of scoring. Be on the lookout for certain circumstances, for example if the team’s leading scorer is missing due to suspension or injury.
You should also remember that putting money on scorers can be a profitable alternative when chasing strong favorites. Instead of placing a 100€ bet on FC Barcelona to win at 1.18 odds, you could place a combo bet at Messi (4,00), Neymar (5,00) and Suarez (3,60) to score the first goal, something that happens eight times out of ten in their matches. If you place 30€ on Messi, 24€ on Neymar and 33,3€ on Suarez and one of them scores, you get 120€ with a combined bet of 87,5€. This corresponds to 1.37 odds, more than double compared to the original Barcelona win.