There are a few different markets available to bet on for goalscorers, and the main ones include ‘first goalscorer’, ‘anytime goalscorer’ and ‘last goalscorer’, but over recent years this has expanded and a list of the main types is detailed below.
Goalscorer bets can be good fun, and they pay decent odds and can be targeted. If you expect a dirty match then knowing who will take a penalty can maybe tempt you into an ‘anytime goalscorer’ bet. If a centre forward is on fire and they are playing against lowly opposition then try for the first goalscorer bet. Just keep an eye on the odds as they are naturally affected by who the opposition is.
First Goalscorer Betting
Fairly straightforward; which player will you back to score the first goal in the match. For this you need to have some ideas on how the game will pan out, but you will also need to do a little of research into the reality of something you might believe. The odds on Van Persie being first goalscorer were relatively low for most of the 2012/13 football season and it didn’t happen all that often. In fact, it doesn’t happen all that often full stop.
So treat these as relatively high risk bets on a week by week basis as they are difficult to pull off consistently. Any run of it occurring (e.g. same striker in previous 2 games) will mean that the odds offered by the bookies will decrease as they won’t want to keep getting hit by it, so the possible return may not be worth the risk again.
International matches can be interesting for first goalscorer bets, and you can sometimes cover a large likelihood of winning by spreading your bet across 2 players. In the season prior to the 2012 European Championships Rooney and Welbeck had played together 22 times and scored 33 goals between them at Manchester United. The night they lined up together to start for England against Ukraine it seemed that form could translate, and it did with Rooney scoring first. But even that data just gave a small chance of the bet coming off, it was still very lucky.
NB: Look for offers and promotions from the various bookmakers that can make your first goalscorer bets go even further. For example, BetFred have been running ‘Double Delight, Hat Trick Hero’ for a while now on selected matches. If you get the first goalscorer correct then they double the odds if he scores again, and triple them if a hat trick is scored. Rooney was 9/2 to score first on that night against Ukraine, had he scored again at any point in the match then it would have paid out at 9/1. Sometimes bookies such as William Hill will run an offer that if your first goalscorer bet fails but he scores the second goal then you get your stake back as a free bet. Get on which ever offer is best for your bet, anything such as this that increases your chances of getting something back is a good thing, so like everything else in life it pays to shop around! See if the bookmaker also offers these as each way bets. Paddy Power offer 1/3 of the odds if you bet each way and your player doesn’t score the first goal but scores later in the match. Check this against the odds for an ‘anyime goalscorer’ bet though – it might be better to just place a separate anytime bet rather than go each way, but you can work this out if you have both odds in front of you. Just divide the first goalscorer odds by 3 and see if they are better or worse than the ‘anytime’ odds.
Final point – if an own goal is scored first then it doesn’t count for the settlement of the bet; your bet is still alive and the next goal scored will count (unless that is an own goal too!).
Last Goalscorer Betting
This works exactly the same as the first goalscorer bets, and the odds are usually the same for first or last goalscorer. If you prefer a bet that will last the full 90 minutes then this is preferable to first goalscorer as that bet can be dead after 20 seconds if the wrong person scores a quick opening goal. As long as the game goes on you always have a chance of getting this bet up right to the final whistle. This is a preferred bet of ours when we are going to be watching a football match live; adds to the excitement.
Anytime Goalscorer Betting
Again, fairly straightforward, this time you are betting on a player to score at any point during the game. As usual, an own goal does not count. You have a higher chance of getting these bets up than first or last goalscorer bets, but again nothing is certain in football. The odds are much lower than other goalscorer bets, and may not present much value at all when they are around 7/4. Look around for statistics and research your bet before you place it – there are some great articles out there, and here’s an example from Ladbrokes about Wayne Rooney. None of the stats or opinions will be gospel, but they can point you in a direction and help you hone in on a bet that has a chance of coming through.
If there are a 2 or 3 (or more) players at different teams that you think are in form and can feature as goalscorers then consider stacking up the bets into an accumulator. You can lower your stake and place a far more exciting bet that will pay out well if it comes off.
Somewhere between the first scorer bet and the anytime scorer bet is the ‘first to score for their team’ that some bookmakers offer now. Worse odds than first or last goalscorer, but better than ‘anytime’, this might be the better choice if a certain player appears to be the only scoring option for a particular team.
Goalscorer Bets – Number Of Goals
You can also usually bet on the number of goals a player will score too. If you think a forward is goal hungry or has a good record against a certain team or in a certain competition then it’s worth looking at the odds for that player to score 2 goals or more, or to score a hat trick. Here’s a sample set of odds from Paddy Power for Celtic away to Elfsborg in a Champion’s League Qualifier – we’ll look at G Samaras, who scored in Celtic’s last two qualifiers:
To score 2 or more goals – 13/1
To score a hat trick – 66/1
Compare this with the other scorer odds for Samaras:
First Goalscorer – 6/1
Last Goalscorer – 6/1
Anytime Scorer – 15/8
First to score for team – 7/2
With these figures in mind, our advice for goalscorer bets is to do your research on the players, recent form of scoring, history against the opposition and then consider your findings against the range of goalscorer bets and odds that are on offer. Don’t get too fixated with just going for the first goalscorer bet, consider that against ‘first to score for their team’ or to score 2 or more goals etc and then put your money down.
Suarez against Norwich is a bet we used to always take a bite out of when he was at Liverpool – we miss that cash machine fixture. As an aside, now we’ve mentioned him, some bookmakers offered odds of up to 150/1 before the 2014 World Cup that Suarez would bite a player of the opposition…some people won big on that one!