In the fast-paced world of gambling, bookmakers are always coming up with new and exciting ways to part you from your money! And shirt number betting used to be one of the most popular ways to have a bet – mostly for fun.
What is Shirt Number Betting
The idea was that you bet on the sum of the shirt numbers from the players who scored the match goals. However, that was in a time where shirt numbers were actually 1-11. Of course, there were a few stray numbers added in as larger squads developed. But they were still generally low numbers.
Let’s say that in an Arsenal V Man Utd game, the shirt spread is set at 27-30 by the bookmaker. You bet on whether the goals in the match will be scored by players wearing shirt numbers that add up to either less than 27 combined on their shirts or more than 30. You may think that it will be a high scoring game and as such bet on over 30. As long as the combined shirt numbers of the goal scorers add up to more than 30 you win.
This was never an easy market to make money and you really needed to do your homework first. As teams extended, shirt numbers became rather erratic. The mandatory use of 1–11 for the starting line-up is no longer there. As long as the number is unique within your team, you are free to wear any number between 1-99.
As a result, some players have high shirt numbers, particularly if they are on the fringes of the team. The highest number worn by a player in the Premier League is 78. That was by Manchester City’s José Ángel Pozo against Sunderland in 2014. New signings also tend to take higher shirt numbers but some strikers still wear relatively low numbers.
So what does this all mean in terms of betting. Basically, it means that it became far too difficult for bookmakers to create a realistic spread. With potential goalscorers wearing everything from 1 to 78, there is almost no spread that couldn’t be beaten by one goal from the right person.
So while the idea of predicting who would score and totting up their numbers was fun, it is now almost impossible. And because of this, almost no bookmakers offer it as a betting option. There are some specialised spread betting companies who do so if it is something you are interested in, you can check them out.
All other bets including over and under goals, first goalscorer and outright wins, can be found at your favourite bookmaker.