Football Trading Series: Second half betting

With their first-half bets still going, Alex Ong explains how nothing needs to happen for you to make a profit or limit your loss

You can trade a football match at any point, and here Alex Ong explains his strategies form trading to a profit during the second half based on goals being scored...

Whereas in the first half of games our strategies primarily focus on goals not being scored, the second half is completely the opposite. All but one of my second half strategies is built around the idea that a goal will be scored at some point.

There are a number of ways that you can trade the second half depending on your conviction of how many goals will be scored and by which team.

Backing or Laying a Specific team

If there is a strong favourite in a game, you will often get better odds constructing a trade around the idea that the strong favourite will score a goal than you would going to the goal markets.

For example, at half time in a 0-0 game between Liverpool and Norwich, I might get odds of 1.558/15 in the Over 1.5 Goals market, but backing Liverpool outright I may get something closer to 1.75/7 or 1.84/5. The drawback there of course is that you will need Liverpool to take the lead at some point to make money using this strategy, whereas if you had just backed the over 1.5 goal market it would not have mattered who had scored.

Having said that, if I do have conviction behind a particular team and the pre-match research backs this up then I will look to two trading strategies.

The first I will use if the score is a tie; 0-0, 1-1, 2-2 etc. I will back the favourite at or around half time at odds of 1.84/5 or better. Of course, I will want to look at the in-play stats to make sure that the team I am baking are playing well, but if that all lines up I will simply back the favourite.

I will then cash out of my position when the team that I have backed have taken the lead. If they go behind, I will look at the possibility of backing them again, laying the leading team or perhaps backing the draw. This all depends on when the goal is scored and who is in control of the game. Sometimes it is better just to take the loss and move on.

The second strategy I will use if the favourite is one or two goals down in a game and the in-play stats show that they have been the better team but are just unlucky, then I will lay the leading team at odds of 2.01/1 or below.

As soon as the favourite gets one goal back, I will close the trade for a profit.

If they go a further goal behind then more often than not I close the trade and take the loss.

Backing Goals

The alternative and perhaps the safer option to backing or laying one team is to hop across to the Goals markets and structure a trade around there being more goals in the second half.

A very simple strategy for a beginner is to look for the Goal market that is 1.5 goals ahead of the current score. So, for example if the score is 1-0 I would look at the Over 2.5 Goals market. I would back over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.84/5 or above with 50% of my stake. If a goal isn't scored by the 65th-70th minute I will then back over 2.5 goals again with my remaining 50%.

I split this trade into two tranches because the price of this market rises rapidly and I want to make sure that when a goal is scored I am always in a position to take profit.

As soon as a goal is scored, I will cash out for a profit. If no goal is scored by the 80th minute I will take the loss.

Lay the Draw

A personal favourite of mine is to look to lay the draw. That is to say that I don't think this game will end a draw. You can do this if the game is tied, but there is a clear favourite that you expect to go on and win the game.

I lay the draw at odds of 2.26/5 or below. When a goal is scored you either cash out completely, or at least remove your risk from the trade and let it ride until the end of the game.


So, there you have it. Just a few ways that you can take advantage of second half goals. When you become more experienced you can look at more sophisticated ways of structuring these very same trades, that maximise your profits and minimise your losses, but for now you have something to get you started.