Betting on Goals in Football: a Brief Introduction

Football is all about goals. A team is not going to win a match without scoring at least once in a fixture. So goals are the currency of football and there is a wealth of betting markets available focusing on just the goals aspect of individual soccer matches.

Features of Goals Betting

One of the main things about goals-based betting, is that higher odds can be found, especially when compared to the standard W/D/W (1-2-3) outright selection. If you are picking an outcome in a match you know you have a choice out of only three potential outcomes.

If you are trying to pick how many goals are going to be scored in a game, or who is going to score the first goal of a fixture, then the variables skyrocket. Even just on the First Goalscorer market, you have 10 outfield players in each team, plus the three substitutes which each team could make.

So that’s a one in 26 chance of picking the correct Last Goalscorer and that’s not even taking into consideration unlikely events like a goalkeeper scoring, or even knowing which players are going to come off the bench and into play. So the risk goes up and up the more variables that you are dealing with.

But betting on goals in soccer matches is a hugely popular area of wagering in the sport. There are many different options and many different ways to play goals bets including during live action. Here is a look at some of the most common types of goals bets.

Both Teams to Score

This is a straight forward, yet very popular proposition football bet. It is a 50/50 pick of whether or not both teams will score in a given fixture.

Next Team To Score

This can be found in live betting options for a football match. It simply determines which team is going to score next in the match. This happens while the game is going on, so bettors could be watching the game and getting a feel of the flow it. That may help decide which team looks more likely to net next.

First Goalscorer

This is one of the most popular goals markets that there is in soccer betting. It is a selection of which player will score the opening goal of the fixture. If the selected player didn’t open the scoring but scored the third goal of the game for example, the bet would not win 

Anytime Goalscorer

The anytime goalscorer market offers more flexibility for lower odds than the First or Last Goalscorer markets do. That’s because a selection can score at any time (it could be the first or last goal of the game for example) and the wager would be successful.

Last Goalscorer 

Like the first goalscorer market, this is a call on which player will be the last to score in a game. Of course, if there is only one goal in a fixture, this could also be the first goal too! The exact player has to score the final goal for the bet to win, any other goals the player scores in the game won’t count on the market. 

Top Goalscorer

Differing from the individual match options of things like First or Last Goalscorer, Top Goalscorer markets apply to tournaments. Think of the FIFA World Cup where a bettor would pick which player they believe is going to score the most goals at the overall tournament. This market can be found on domestic leagues and cups as well.


Because of the frequency average of goals in soccer matches, the most popular line in an Over/Under market is 2.5 goals. A punter picked whether there will be fewer or more than 2.5 goals produced in a game. It doesn’t matter which team scores the goals, nor the result. The half goal is there to avoid any situation of a drawn outcome. Goal lines will vary from Under/Under 0.5 goals to over 4.5 and more.


The Exact goals in a fixture can be bet on as well. It doesn’t matter which players on the day score the goals (if any) or the result. It’s an exact selection on the number of goals. Variations on this can be found for the Exact First Half goals and the Exact Second Half goals.

Winning Margin 

The winning margin is a goals market for soccer. It’s a way that punters try and extend value against the 1-2-3 market. For example in a fixture with a strong favourite, that favourite could be odds-on to win the match. An alternative market backing the same outcome of the win, but putting a condition in of a winning margin (for example Liverpool to win by 2 goals) is what the wager calls for.

Handicaps/Asian Handicaps 

These are goal-related wagers. This is because with a handicap option it’s not just about the outcome of a fixture. It is about judgements on how many goals for a example, a stronger team can score in a fixture to cover a spread. Handicapping, say starting a favourite at -1 involves the better thing that the selection is good enough to win (therefore score) at least two goals in the game.

To score 2 or more

When it comes to Goalscorer markets (settling for just seeing a selection scoring Anytime in the game, for example), you can back a selection to score 2 or more goals. So backing a selection To Score 2 or more, at least two goals have to be scored by the player. It doesn’t matter how many more than 2 they score, it won’t increase winnings.

To Score 2+ Goals

There is a team version of scoring at least 2 goals in a match. The To Score 2+ goals market will offer odds on either team in a fixture doing so. Alternatives include To Score 3+ goals, To Score 4+ goals or To Score 5+ goals, the higher the number of goals, the longer the price will be. 

To Score First

This is a team selection market for a soccer match and it looks at the collective instead of the individual goalscorer. It’s nominating the team (if either) that will score the first goal of a game. There are shorter odds in this market than on the individual First Goalscorer market in a game because it doesn’t matter which player from your selected team nets the goals.

Team To Score Last

Just as in being able to find a market for First Team To Score, a selection on the Team To Score Last is available as well for soccer betting. Again, this is not anything to do with picking an individual, it is a collective of any player from the selected team scoring the last goal of the game. 

Total Goals Odd/Even

Another popular proposition bet for soccer. It’s a 50/50 pick between the game finishing with an odd or even number of goals. Scorers of the goals are not relevant, only the total that the fixture produces.

HT Score

The HT Score is something that asks for the correct call on what the half time score fixture will be in a game. While more goals are scored in the second half of football matches on average, it’s still no easy thing to predict a HT correct score from such a highly unpredictable market.

Correct Score

The Correct Score market is one that punters like to take on. It’s a notoriously difficult market to play, however. That’s because it is so widely unpredictable. Even a heavy favourite for a fixture can easily have an off-day in front of goal. A team who hasn’t been scoring many goals in recent form could easily be awarded a penalty kick. There are long prices in the market because of the high unpredictability.

Goal in Both Halves?

Another proposition bet for soccer betting. This is simply a call as to whether or not there will be at least one goal scored in both the first half and the second half of the game. Any team can get the game’s goals and result is not relevant.

To Score a Penalty

Will a penalty be scored in the fixture? That’s the simple question being asked in this proposition bet. The scorer of a penalty kick is not relevant.

Highest Scoring Half

Another soccer proposition bet. For this one, a prediction is made on whether there will be more goals scored in the first half or the second half of a given fixture. 


Goals betting can add a lot of variety to regular soccer betting, both pre-match and in-play. They are usually attached with bigger odds than the outright market because of higher-risk variables. But while some markets are challenging, there are plenty of proposition bets to explore as well.

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