Nothing encapsulates the emotions associated with football like last minute goals. Few things compare with witnessing your team score a late winning goal as any Manchester City fan relive that Aguero goal vs QPR in the 2011/2012 season. This is the case in football betting as well. Winning a wager in the dying moments will leave you basking in the glory of your choice, while on the other hand, losing will not only get you down, but can also harm your bankroll especially if you are not disciplined. The question that matters though is how you can use a late goals betting strategy to make a profit?
Late goals stats
Late goals are a normal part of football, no matter how frustrating they are each time they cost us a bet. Experienced bettors are well used to the idea that a late goal is something that can be expected with some of them employing cash-out and cover-bet strategies. There’s a logical explanation behind this: high pressure from the favorite to score a winning or equalizing goal, exhaustion from the underdog players, or a lack of defensive mentality that can lead to a counterattack.
As a matter of fact, a high portion of goals are actually scored in the last fifteen minutes. A brief look on the late goals stats from the English Premier League clearly shows that around 20% of all goals are scored after the 75th minute. This percentage is similar to pretty much every top European league, where a large number of late goal bets are placed.
It fairly easy to find the goal time distribution from these leagues. Many football data-oriented websites provide such information, not only in raw mode (recording football goal times data, but also in processed mode. For example, websites like soccerstats let you easily find the teams with most goals scored in injury time or specific clubs data on conceded ones, such as Arsenal late goals.
Best odds for late goals betting
Pick a strategy
There are two obvious types of strategies in late goals betting: Backing and laying.
10 minute lay betting system: This is a strategy you can to follow if you’re good at finding matches, when no goals will be scored in the last minutes. There are some requirements that must be fulfilled though, that will limit your risk. You’re advised to avoid placing bets on matches where the current result is a draw or the underdog is leading by one goal. The favorite is bound to increase pressure as time passes, by shifting more players to the attack. Even if they don't manage to score, they are left vulnerable at the back and might easily concede a goal. Pick matches where the score is unlikely to change (a team leading by two goals or more), or with a convenient draw between two teams that are considered of equal strength. In both cases, these sides have little to gain by playing an all-out attacking game making them prime targets for laying a last minutes goal.
The advantage of this strategy, as in any lay betting strategy, is that you can personally set the amount you’ll claim. You are advised to be cautious though, as the odds of a late goal in these matches are high, meaning that you are required to offer a high stake.
Late goal strategy: This is a backing strategy, that is really popular during live betting, due to its high odds. In this case you basically act the other way around from what we mentioned above:
- Matches standing at a draw, where a point sharing doesn't suit any side.
- Ties where the underdog is leading or is holding on to a draw. In this case the favorite is forced to push forward all its players to attack.
Generally speaking, the best advice is to patiently wait for certain pre defined odds before you place your bet. Most online bookmakers offer some late bet options even in pre-match odds, but in most cases they are not that tempting. Moreover, if you choose to bet this way, you are practically counting on blind luck to confirm your pick. You throw away your main advantage: watching the how the match unfolds and striking when the odds have value.
When you should strike
Here are some tips you should have in mind before trying your luck in late goals:
- Focus on matches where both teams have the ability to score and the motivation to do so. Don’t expect that only the favorite will score, even if it’s seems like the most obvious outcome. Even if the underdogs have dropped to their own half, they can easily punish their opponents with a counter-attack.
- Check out the general league stats along with how both teams have been performing lately. How often do they score or concede in the last minutes? How many goals are usually scored in their matches? These stats have a tendency to repeat themselves and can significant help you in your predictions.
- View the current match stats, if available. How many shots on target do both teams have? Two teams that play open and attractive football doesn't necessarily mean that they are able to score many goals. You need players who are confident and efficient enough to try to hit the target and send the ball into the back of the net.
- Find local derbies where many goals have already been scored. Even if a team is leading by a large margin, this doesn't mean they will try to pass the ball around and wait for the final whistle. They are trying to win with as many goals as possible, while their opponents will give everything they've got to avoid a heavy defeat.
- Always be informed about a match's backstory. If it is the second leg of a Cup tie or a European competition match, it is possible that the favorite desperately needs a goal and is bound to attack. Also, pay attention to matches that precede an important match, such as a league game before an UEFA Champions League Semi Final. In this case, the favorite will most likely try to secure the match early on and take a breather for the rest of the game.
What you should avoid
- Be careful of matches where the score remains goalless and you need one goal to get paid. In most cases this has not happened due to chance: Out-of-shape strikers, stressful efforts from both teams without clear mind, hasty attack build-ups; all these factors are killing the chances of a late goal, especially if a team will be satisfied with the draw.
- Avoid matches that have drawn the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. A well-known striker playing against his previous team, a coach returning to a friendly crowd or war of words between two rival coaches. Also avoid matches where the relations between the teams are considered friendly, especially between national teams.
- Bad weather conditions or a heavy pitch is also a recipe for destruction when looking for late goals. Avoid matches with heavy rain or, even worse, snowing. Players are likelier to slip while it is also extremely hard to pass the ball accurately.
- Last, but not least: Avoid the bettor's remorse. The key to doing so is to accept the fact you will sometimes lose and focus on finding valued odds. Backing late goals means that losing is a distinct possibility. Get used to it and start looking at your long term gains.