Placing in-play bets on the number of goals that will be scored in the first half can be extremely lucrative. In fact, I developed a whole strategy based on this.
The Strategy involves placing bets on one more goal being scored in the first half when the appropriate opportunity arises. It involves selecting matches where there is a clear favorite to win and then carefully following the in-play stats to determine whether an opportunity exists.
The primary stats that we focus on are Dangerous Attacks and Shots On Target – both of which demonstrate and predict the likelihood of the stronger team scoring one further goal in the first half.
What if no goal has been scored?
An interesting question arises, however, when no goal has been scored by the time the odds become favourable.
The team who are strong favourites to win are dominating in all the required areas:
- Shots on target
- Dangerous attacks
- Corners won
But they have yet to score. The question is, do you place an Over 0.5 First Half Goals bet when this arises?
My answer to this is, only in special circumstances. It is my experience that if a team has already scored, they are much more likely to score another goal than a team who have yet to score.
Let’s look at some examples to illustrate this.
Celtic v Falkirk
As we can see from the odds above, Celtic were very strong favourites to win this Scottish cup clash. And, naturally, they were strong favourites to score the first goal. The Match Goals odds tell us that four goals are expected in this match.
30 mins into the first half
30 minutes into the first half, and Celtic are dominating. They have made an impressive 32 dangerous attacks, have won four corners and have dominated possession.
But they have only had one shot on target.
Celtic are threatening to score, and it seems that it is only a matter of time until they do so. Falkirk are playing a deeply defensive game. This is, after all, a cup tie, and their objective is to frustrate Celtic for as long as they possibly can.
It is, of course, tempting to place a bet on Celtic scoring a goal in the first half. Odds at this point in the game on their being over 0.5 goals are attractive. You could also consider placing a bet on Celtic’s first half goals being over 0.5, if these are available, or -0.5 Asian odds.
But my advice in these circumstances is to hold off. Wait until Celtic have actually scored and then place a bet on further goals being scored.
In the end, Celtic did not score in the first half. They continued to attack, and hit the target in two more occasions, but Falkirk’s defence held.
The Second Half
It was not until the 56th minute that the first goal arrived.
And, once Celtic scored, more goals inevitably followed.
Celtic scored their third and final goal in the 79th minute.
Let’s contrast this match with another.
Japan v Mongolia
As we can see from the above, Japan are very strong favourites to win this match and to score the opening goal. The Match Goals odds tell us that six or seven goals are expected.
In contrast with the Celtic match above, Japan score their opening goal relatively early in the first half.
They continue to attack. By the 21st minute, they have only had two shots on target. Odds on over 2.5 First Half Goals are now 4/7. I don’t favour these odds, preferring, as much as possible, to betting on one more goal being scored rather than multiple goals.
Japan score their second goal only minutes later.
The second goal confirms that Japan are well capable of scoring and that Mongolia’s defence is weak. The fact that two goals have been scored effectively means that Japan are going to win this match and Mongolia have little enough to play for. We can now expect more goals to follow.
As I mentioned above, I favour placing bets on another goal being scored when the strong favourites are dominating the match in the desired manner. At this point in the game, odds on there being another goal scored in the first half are not worthwhile. However, if we look at the odds on Japan scoring another goal before the 40th minute, we see that they are 1/2.
I consider these odds to be very good value. I place a bet and it wins within a minute!
Japan continue to dominate and, unsurprisingly, score more goals.
When it comes to betting on goals scored in the first half, ideally we want to see a goal or a number of goals scored by the strong, dominant team before we place a bet.
If a goal or a number of goals have been scored, we know that the stronger team is capable of penetrating the weaker team’s defense. If the stronger team score, it boosts their confidence and diminishes the confidence of the weaker team. This makes the likelihood of more goals greater.
If the stronger team is dominating the match and hitting the target, but failing to score, this can lead to frustration. It might also suggest that the weaker team is playing at a higher than expected level in terms of defense.
In short, a lack of goals makes the opportunity, when it arises, less desirable than an opportunity where there has already been a goal or a number of goals. This is not to say that a bet should never be placed on Over 0.5 First Half Goals. But it is not the ideal scenario and ought to be treated with due caution.
The ideal opportunity arises when the stronger team is scoring at regular intervals and maintaining the intensity of their attacks.
Remember, the Inplay Strategy is all about patiently waiting for the optimum betting opportunities to arise and profiting from them when they do. There is no need to take chances on inferior opportunities when there are adequate first-rate ones available.