Half Time / Full Time Betting
According to research, the football cliché that annoys people the most is the idea that ‘it’s a game of two halves’. That’s convenient really, as this piece is about the Half-Time / Full-Time betting market and the fact that football quite literally is a game of two halves. The beauty is that that gives us a really nice thing to bet on with plenty of variations to think about. If you haven’t heard of the bet before then I’ll explain it in detail, with the main idea being that you need to have a think about which team you reckon will be leading at half-time and then full-time.
There are, as I’ve just suggested, many variation within that market. Will it be a draw at half-time? Will the home team struggle in the first forty-five but make a valiant comeback in the second period? Here I’ll explain how the bet works, what you need to do to take advantage of it and what the statistical chances are of the various outcomes actually happening.
What Is a Half Time / Full Time Bet?
Let’s start at the most obvious point, which is looking at what exactly a Half-Time / Full-Time bet entails. As with other pieces I’ve written for the site, I understand that you might well be a practiced bettor and think that explaining the bet is akin to teaching grandmother to suck eggs, but I’m also aware that plenty of people haven’t done much betting before and will be keen to learn how this particular type of bet works. That’s what this section is all about, so feel free to skip over to the next one if you already know your stuff.
A bet on the Half-Time / Full-Time market is a bet in which you need to correctly predict which team will be leading at half-time and which one will win the match – if there will indeed be a winner. How will each forty-five minute period finish? Will one team be leading at half-time and therefore essentially ‘win’ the half? Will it be a draw at half-time and therefore not have a ‘winner’? That’s what you need to be thinking about if you’re looking to place a Half-Time / Full-Time bet.
You can see how the layout looks from the screenshot of the Ladbrokes site here. As you’d likely expect, the ‘result’ at half-time comes first, with the full-time result coming second. Looking at the first option on that list, it’s suggesting that Liverpool are ahead at half-time and then go on to win the match. A selection of the second option would be you suggesting that you think Liverpool are going to win the first-half, but that Watford will get back into the game and it will be a draw at full-time. I’m not going to go through the entire, list as I’m sure that you get the idea.
1st Half Result, 2nd Half Result Is a Different Bet
One thing to look out for is a variation on this particular theme employed by some bookmakers. William Hill, for example, sometimes offer a bet that is on the result of the first-half and the result of the second-half, as though they’re mini-matches that are both forty-five minutes long. Here’s a look at how it appears on their website:
The reason it’s important to draw the the distinction between the two ways of betting is that they mean very different things. For example, you could bet on Liverpool Half-Time / Liverpool Full-Time and your bet would be a winner if the Reds won the first-half 5-0 but the match finished 5-4. That’s because Watford ‘won’ the second-half, but it was irrelevant to your bet as you thought Liverpool would win the first-half and then go on to win the match.
If you’d placed that same bet on William Hill’s 1st Half Result / 2nd Half Result market, however, you’d have lost it. Liverpool will have won the first-half 5-0 and lost the second-half 4-0, meaning that only Liverpool 1st Half / Watford 2nd Half would be a winning bet. With William Hill’s variation, the actual result of the match really doesn’t matter as long as your predictions of who will win each ‘mini-match’ are correct. With Ladbrokes, on the other hand, who ‘wins’ each half is irrelevant and the only thing that matters is who, if anyone, is leading at half-time and what the final result of the game is.
What to Bear in Mind
There are a couple of things to think about when you’re placing a Half Time / Full Time bet. The most obvious one is that you’re placing a bet on the scores of the match in normal time. I point that out because you can place bets on knockout games, which might end up going to extra-time or penalties. Here’s a look at BetVictor’s odds for Arsenal’s second-leg tie against AC Milan in the Europa League, after the Gunners had won the first-leg 2-0:
Any bet that you place on the Half-Time / Full-Time market is for the game, not the tie. That means that you could bet on the Draw / AC Milan market and the score might be 0-0 at half-time and 1-0 to AC Milan at full-time, but because Arsenal won the first-leg 2-0 they’ll still qualify. That the London club will make it through to the next round of the competition because they’ve won the tie won’t have any affect on your bet, which will be a winner.
Something else to think about is that the score in the match is irrelevant. It could be 10-2 to the home team at half-time and finish 10-11 in favour of the away side, but as long as your bet was on Home Team Half-Time / Away Team Full-Time, you’ll win. You don’t need to worry about who is scoring the goals, either. That’s an entirely different market and doesn’t matter as far as this one is concerned.
What Are the Most Likely Results?
It’s very difficult to look at how many times each variation has occurred in the history of football, with that information being hard to come across. News reports tend to tell you just the headline result rather than adding in the result at half-time to their coverage. Yet we can have a look at some of the more popular scores that have happened in Europe’s top five leagues to see if that can tell is anything. I see ‘we can’, but the truth is that Opta have already done the work for us, exploring the most common scores in the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga and Serie A between 2003 and 2012. Here’s a look at their findings:
|Half-Time Score||Premier League Average %||La Liga Average %||Ligue 1 Average %||Bundesliga Average %||Serie A Average %|
That data in and of itself doesn’t tell us a huge amount, of course, but when you compare it to the average full-time score you start to get more of an idea about how many times the full-time score differs from the half-time score and how many times the away team manages to get a result. Here’s the table:
|Full-Time Score||Premier League Average %||La Liga Average %||Ligue 1 Average %||Bundesliga Average %||Serie A Average %|
Opta have also helped us out by crunching the numbers on the likelihood of the match outcome changing between half-time and full-time depending on the scoreline, which is something to bear in mind when you’re looking to place your bets. Here’s the info:
|Half-Time Score||% Likelihood of Premier League FT Score Being Different||% Likelihood of La Liga FT Score Being Different||% Likelihood of Ligue 1 FT Score Being Different||% Likelihood of Bundesliga FT Score Being Different||% Likelihood of Serie A FT Score Being Different|
Now obviously what we don’t know here is what the score changed to, only how likely it would be to change from the end of the first-half to the end of the match as a whole. Serie A is the European league with the most second-half goals and a likely change of scorelines of 45.5%. France has the lowest likelihood of the score changing, with the overall average sitting at 41.8%.
Whilst you don’t need to predict the score of the match when you’re betting on Half-Time / Full-Time markets, it’s helpful to see so clearly how likely it is for a score to stay the same between the end of the first-half and the end of the match. Just shy of a third of the games in the Premier League, for example, are 0-0 at half-time, whilst less than a sixth of them end the same way. You can also see that about two-thirds of Premier League games end 1-1, so it wouldn’t be bad idea to bet on Draw Half-Time, Draw Full-Time on a fairly regularly basis if you want to play the percentages.
Half Time / Full Time Betting Market
Football is a game with all sorts of quirks and peculiarities to it. If you do your research about the way that matches tend to breakdown then you can put yourself in a decent situation to make intelligent predictions about how things are likely to work out in the Half Time / Full Time betting market. As an example, between the year 2000 and November 2012, Everton were behind 1-0 at half-time forty-six times and failed to win any of those forty-six games. That’s an incredible statistic and suggestive of the fact that betting on Away Half-Time / Everton Full-Time during the period would likely see you lose your bet.
Trends like that are common, so doing your research will put you in a brilliant position to see how likely it is for a team to come from behind to win. Across three seasons from 2008-2011 there were thirty-six occasions when a home team was winning 1-0 at half-time only for the match to finish 1-1, with twenty-nine matches ending 2-1 on the back of the same half-time score. Only six games ended 1-2 to the away side during the same period. Again, that’s suggestive of Home Team Half Time / Away Team Full Time being quite a rare occurrence. If you’re looking to bet on a specific team then make sure you have a look at their last few home matches to see if they regularly throw away leads. Alternatively, see if a team is a bit of a slow starter but tends to kick-on during the second-half of a match.
The Half Time / Full Time market is a good one to bet on because you can often get much better odds than simply betting on one team to win. There are more variables involved, of course, so more chance that your bet will lose, but if it doesn’t then you might well give yourself a nicer profit than going with a straight Match Result bet. One thing that you might want to consider is the possibility of exploring the odds of various outcomes from tipsters. Are they saying that there’s a chance that the away team might produce something of a shock? Perhaps bet on Draw Half-Time / Away Team Full-Time. Also, don’t forget the bookmakers that offer First-Half Result / Second-Half Result markets, as they’ll give you slightly more flexibility in terms of how you think the match might pan out.