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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 team’s strength and motivation. Regardless of both team’s 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.

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.

Types of second half betting

How do second half bets work? There are two main types of second half betting markets.

  1. The pre-match markers, with odds “evolving” during live betting: 1X2, over/under goal, both teams to score, correct score etc.
  2. The specific second-half betting markets, which 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 to bet at pre-game second half market

I’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 in numbers. Bookies just analyze numbers (which team has better second-half performance, how many goals are scored in 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 lean to numbers. If both sides (you and the bookmaker) are doing the same thing, it’s almost impossible to find a valuable bet.

Fair odds at 2nd half bets

The basic rule for finding value in 2nd halftime bets is that the bookie should offer “fairer” odds compared to pre-match ones. What do “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, the 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

If you'd like to win a 2nd half bet explained clearly and form a specific strategy, you need to do some research to numbers. You’ll find many useful things, which will help you to decide more accurately what are the most valuable second half bets.

The most tricky part of this statistic analysis is the difference between first and second half goals. At the following table you can find the clubs of top five leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France) with the highest difference on their goals scored on each half (with most scored in second half, of course) for the 2017-18 season. Read this and you'll be able to answer yourself 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 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 of 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 worthy to focus on mid-table or even struggling teams, who are scoring some 60%+ of their total goals in second half.

Best 2nd half strategies

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

  1. Over 1,5 2nd half: This is one of the most profitable strategies, expect 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. Best leagues to follow with this strategy is 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: A popular strategy, advised only in matches where the basic market of pre-match corners is 9,5 or 10,5 and in 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 Eredivise and Belgium Jupiler League match to practice this strategy.
  3. Over 1,5 yellow cards second half: Another strategy affected by the score. 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 card in second half.
  4. Both teams to score in 2nd half: This is a strategy to follow regardless of the half time score. Of course, the possibility is higher (and, of course, the odds are higher) when there’s a goalless draw at the first half, but that’s not for sure. Try to follow leagues having many goals and many teams who are in the same level an 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 to score at least one goal in the second half.
  5. Late goals: This is another strategy, which deserves to be analyzed properly in a different article. Late goals a.k.a. goals after 75th minute is 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 last quarter of their 16 out of 38 matches.

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