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Second Half Betting

The best bet is always the one you think you would have placed after the match, right? But that’s impossible unless you’ve invented a time machine. The only way to experience this is by placing second half bets. You take notes during the first half, you see what’s happening and you can place a valuable bet, usually at increased odds than the ones existing in the pre-game market. By deciding this, you're armed with two powerful weapons bound to give you profit in the long term.

The first weapon is obvious: You’ve already seen half of the show. You don’t need to guess the starting lineups or wonder what the weather's like. You have this information in front of you, together with a lot of other useful things: Which team is more aggressive, what are the main tactics of the coaches, how fit and creative are the key players, and how is the referee directing the match.

The second weapon is more interesting: The odds are affected more by factors other than the team’s strength and motivation. Regardless of both teams’ potential, shots on goal or general offensive and defensive play, the odds adapt to countable figures, such as the current score and the time. This situation is creating a lot of chances for valuable bets.

Do you need an example? Supposing you’re watching a match where the pre-game 1X2 odds were 1,65-3,60-5,00 and 1,80/2,00 at the over/under 2,5 goals market. How would these odds be affected if the match is struck to a goalless draw at halftime? Even if the home team is absolutely dominating the match, with strikers hitting the bar twice and having already had a goal disallowed, and the opponent delivering some dangerous counterattacks?

The match potential would be, of course, taken into consideration by the bookie, but he couldn’t offer the same odds with half the match gone. The most probable scenario is that the 1X2 would be transformed to something like 2,00-2,30-8,50, and the over 2,5 goals odds would be rising to over 2,80. Having witnessed the home team domination during the first 45 minutes, a second half bet to the home team or to the over 2,5 goals odds would be a valuable one.

Popular Types of Second Half Betting

BMB_ListHow do second half bets work? There are two main types of second half betting markets. The pre-match markers, with odds “evolving” during live betting: 1X2, over/under goal, both teams to score, correct score etc. Also, the specific second-half betting markets are taking no consideration of what happened to the first half. For example, you can place a bet at a “both teams to score in the second half” market regardless of the first half score, or even place a bet of “winner of the second half”, counting only the goals scored after the break.

Why not bet at the pre-game second half market

BMB_StopI’m sure you’ve noticed some second half bets in the pre-game markets. These are usually coming along with the first half bets, which are by far more popular and valuable. My advice is to keep away from second half bets at pre-game, simply because you give away your greatest weapon, the knowledge you have after actually watching the first half.

Think it in another way: These pre-game second half bets odds are based almost totally on numbers. Bookies analyze numbers (which team has better second-half performance, how many goals are scored in the second half etc.) and offer odds. But that’s exactly what YOU do to decide which bet to place. If you have no “live data” from the match, you’ve got to learn to numbers. If both sides (you and the bookmaker) are doing the same thing, it’s almost impossible to find a valuable bet.


Also Read: Betting on comeback victories


Fair odds at 2nd half bets

BMB_Markets GenericThe basic rule for finding value in 2nd halftime bets is that the bookie should offer “fairer” odds compared to pre-match ones. What does “fairer” mean? This is a question of personal taste, as every punter sets his own limits. There are some commonly accepted ones, though. For example, if the odds for a home win stood at 1.50 before the start of the match, they should rise around 2.20 at halftime (provided no team is winning). A pre-match home win offered at 2.00 odds should be offered around 2.60-2.80 or higher at halftime to be considered a tempting one.

Second half bet statistics

BMB_StatsIf you'd like to win a 2nd half bet explained clearly and form a specific strategy, you need to do some research on numbers. You’ll find many useful things which will help you to decide more accurately what are the most valuable second half bets and how to make money from last minute betting. The most tricky part of this statistical analysis is the difference between first and second half goals.

In the following table, you can find the clubs of the top five leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France) with the highest difference in their goals scored in each half (with most scored in the second half, of course) for the 2017-18 season. Read this and you'll be able to answer the "betting in which half has more goals strategy?" question.

Club Country 2nd Half Goals Total Goals %
Leganes Spain 26 34 76,5%
Freiburg Germany 23 32 71,9%
Alaves Spain 28 40 70%
Benevento Italy 22 33 66,7%
Hertha Berlin Germany 28 43 65,1%
Swansea England (Wales) 18 28 64,3%
Rennes France 32 50 64%
Chievo Italy 23 36 63,9%
Atletico Madrid Spain 37 58 63,8%

Which is the most important conclusion someone could bring away from this? If you look carefully at the table, you’ll find no powerhouses such as Bayern Munchen, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain of FC Barcelona. So, if you’d like to chase second half bets, it’s really worth focusing on mid-table or even struggling teams, who are scoring some 60%+ of their total goals in the second half.

Profitable 2nd Half Strategies

BMB_Football BallWhen it comes to football betting, a second half strategy chosen by the following popular five could lead to long-term profit.

  1. Over 1,5 2nd half: This is a profitable live betting strategy, except two goals instead of three are needed to get paid. If the score is 0-0 at HT, the odds would be a little higher than the pre-match over 2,5 goals market. If there’s one goal, then the odds are a little higher than the pre-match Over 0,5 goals. The best leagues to follow with this strategy are German Bundesliga and Italy Serie A. Some 58% of the German and 57% of the Italian matches have more goals in the second half.

  2. Over 4,5 corners second half: The popular corner betting strategy is advised only in matches where the basic market of pre-match corners is 9,5 or 10,5, and in the first half, there have been under 4,5 corners. Of course, the number of corners is affected by the current score (you’ll see much advice to prefer matches where the favorite is not winning), but in general, there are more corners in the second half, regardless of the score. Watch out for Dutch Eredivisie and Belgium Jupiler League match to practice this strategy.

  3. Over 1,5 yellow cards second half: Another strategy affected by the score refers to football card betting. If the favorite has managed to score a goal or two in the first half, don’t expect much aggression. But if there’s a draw or the underdog is winning, the defensive effort would be much higher. In general, referees are rather thrifty in the first half giving away yellow cards and become more sensitive in the last minutes. The English Premiership is the best league to follow when it comes to this type of bet, with over 77% having over 1,5 yellow cards in the second half.

  4. Both teams to score in 2nd half: For several bettors, this is the best football betting strategy to follow regardless of the halftime score. Of course, the possibility is higher (and, of course, the odds are higher) when there’s a goalless draw in the first half, but that’s not for sure. Try to follow leagues having many goals and many teams who are at the same level, and there’s no clear favourite. The Norwegian Tippenligaen and the Mexican Premier League are the best leagues for this market. There’s a 52% long-term possibility of both teams scoring at least one goal in the second half.

  5. Late goals: Do you want to build a late goals betting strategy? This pattern deserves to be analyzed properly in a different article. Late goals, a.k.a. goals after the 75th minute, are getting more popular because of the increased odds. Try to find teams which are capable of chasing the score regardless of the current match result. For example, Liverpool has scored after 75th minute at over 50% of their Premier League matches during the 2018-19 season (11/19 home and 9/19 away). This applies to mid-table teams if you do your homework: Crystal Palace has managed to score in the last quarter of their 16 out of 38 matches.

Best Bookmakers For Second Half Betting

BMB_Best IconIn the list below, you can discover the top betting sites that offer high odds and the broadest range of markets for 2nd half betting. All of them accept players from your country.

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