Despite football being a low scoring game, and difficult to predict the score line, understanding how the first goal impacts the result, and the odds, are key to finding high value trading opportunities. In this guide we will provide tips on how to predict the outcome of a game better once the first goal has been conceded.
Firstly, we need to understand and accept that goals are quite rare, and are often low scoring compared to other sports, which makes goals more important.
In Rugby, a side can score a try or a penalty every 10-15 mins, whereas in football there can be a whole hour where only one team scores.
Since the start of the Premier League 2007/08 season, there has been an average of around 2.71 goals per match.
Due to the importance of the first goal, it is highly recommended that you should look back on historical data on the probability of a team winning after scoring the first goal. When this has been done, you will then be able to recognise many in-play and/or trading strategies.
Scoring The First Goal
For a team to go on and win a game, they obviously must score a goal at some point during the game. We will see who is more likely to score the first goal, looking back at the seasons 14/15 to 16/17. As you could probably imagine, the home side scored first almost 58 per cent of the time, with the away team scoring first just above 42% of the time; these stats were with draws removed.
When looking at the stats even deeper, it was evident that the strongest 5 teams in the league scored the first goal 68 per cent of the time, showing that they are twice as likely as the weaker sides at scoring first.
Time Of First Goal
Looking at the same seasons, the first goal was scored in the first 15 minutes 31% of the time, and 75% of first goals were scored in the remaining 25 mins of the first half.
The effect of the first goal scored on the result:
Teams who scored first won 70% of matches
Teams who were losing won 11.5% of matches
Teams who were all level (draw) won 18.5% of matches
When you have the knowledge of a team’s chances of victory when a goal is scored, you can increase your chances of success when trading on football during in-play.
The chances of victory when a team scores the first goal increases as time goes on, with teams winning 88% of the time when they scored the opener between the 76th and 90th minute of play. This is evident that it is more valuable when the first goal is scored later, as the other team have less time to get anything from the game, being behind.
Applying To A Trade Situation
It is important to note that the chances of a home team’s success are almost matched by the away team’s chances after half time. If you back an underdog before the game, you will not see an increase of odds if the game is 0-0 during the first half. However, if the away team scores before the first half, then you will have a very profitable trade. You will also be able to strike a profit if the game finishes 0-0 at half time, as odds will rise for the away team.
The Factor Of Team Ability
As everyone is aware, there are many levels of quality regarding the teams that make up the Premier League, and various other leagues too. There are the big 5 or 6 sides at the top, with the mid table teams, and the strugglers at the bottom half of the table.
A team’s ability can have a massive effect on the outcome of the game after the first goal is scored/conceded.
Looking back at the very same seasons which were used previously, 14/15 – 16/17:
A top 5 team will win the game 80% of the time, on average, if they score first
At Home they have an 86% chance (if they score first)
Away they have 74% chance (if they score first)
A bottom 5 team will win the game just under 59% of the time, on average, if they score first
At home they have a 64% chance (if they score first)
Away they have a 50% chance (if they score first)
It is worth noting that a team can immediately respond if they concede a goal, with the top teams generally having just over a 50% chance of winning if they concede first, both home or away. The weaker teams however have a 34% chance of winning if they concede first, implying that they will most often draw or lose.
Everything that has been discussed in this guide will help you to predict the chances of a team’s success when the first goal has been scored, whether they are in the lead, all level, or behind in the game.