Sizing Up Half Time Betting

HT versus FT time betting

Types of Bets

Here is a question that will divide many punters. Is backing the outcome of a half time result less risky than betting on the outcome of the 90 minute result? There are two very important sides to this same coin of course. The first argument would be that there is less time for a result to go against you if you are just beating over 45 minutes.

The counter-argument to that would be of course, over 90 minutes you have more time and therefore perhaps more chance of the result going your way.

It’s a tricky one and there is no right or wrong answer really. This is all going to be down to betting preferences and as with any type of betting system or strategy, it is all about those stats.

But when it comes to half time betting there are certainly differences between that and the match outright result. Let’s take a look at some of the stand out variables.

Lack of First Half Goals

You statistically won’t find as many goals being scored in the first half of matches as in the second half of games over the course of the season. If you look back at the 2017/18 Premier League final table then the most frequent half time scoreline was 0-0 which happened in 33% of all fixtures. The other two most frequent half time results were a 1-0 home and a 0-1 away scoreline. Those all total up to 66% of all half time scores in the English top flight last season.

In contrast the most frequent full time score in matches were a 1-1 result with a 1-0 home win right behind that. Just 8% of all final score results were 0-0 draws in the Premier League that season which simply states that the bulk of goals do happen after the half time break.

Narrow Ranges

So if you study that closer you are looking at a much narrower band of correct options on the half time market than you have on the full time market. Basically going beyond a 0-0, 1-0 or 0-1 option for half time betting is leading you away from high probability. So that is something seriously to consider for your first half betting options.

With such a low percentage of goals in the first half of matches, then that can lead you down another important avenue. Because there are fewer goals in the first half of matches, it also cuts down the range of under/over probabilities. Just by looking at those most frequent half time score lines that would probably lead to great appeal on under 1.5 goals at half time cropping up.

So just from that very straightforward, basic analysis of half time scores from the 2017/18 Premier League season you have narrowed a tremendous amount of options and outcomes that you could consider for the match. Then if you stack that up against the wide variety of full time scores then you can see how much more appealing correct score betting on the first half of matches could be.

Full Time Bigger Ranges

The only two full time results in the 2017/18 Premier League season that made up for more than 10% of all full time scores was the 1-1 and the 1-0 scorelines. They each totalled up 12% of all final scores in the English top flight that season. Just stack that up against the half time score lines. A 0-0 and a 1-0 correct score at half time from that season tallied up for 52% of all half time results in the league that term.

It basically easy to see that you have a much more unpredictable range of outcomes on the final score of matches. So if you interpret that over to probability and risk/reward type of situations for your football betting then you can see you are far more unlikely to pull off a correct score option over 90 minutes than you are in a half time result.

Half Time/Full Time

Taking a long hard look at first half results and trends can lead you down the path of half time/full time betting. This is something that can add extra value to your betting, especially in the scenario where the game looks lopsided with a very strong team stepping out onto the field of play. If you can narrow down the outcomes of a first half scenario then you can put it together with the combined option of getting the full time outright result as well.

Most teams will sit back and take things easy over the first half of games. Teams feel each other out as well as trying to conserve energy. Basically on a lot of occasions you will see teams, especially those away from home, being reactionary. But that we meant that they won’t come out of their shell until they have conceded for example. So teams do generally cancel easy other out over the first halves of games. Going back to the half time results, the draw is the most common outcome at the half time break in games.

Then in the second half of matches, things like mental and physical fatigue can play its part in mistakes happening. When the finish line in a match starts creeping more in to focus you will see teams trying to push a little harder for a winning goal, or in trying to grind out an equaliser. You get fresh legs coming on through substitutions which can impact a game and these are all things which lead to a higher value of second half goals.

So if you can start to piece all of this together, you will see the most common outcomes of a half time/full time bet are either a Home Team/Home Team or a Draw/Home Team. Again all this analysis is basically cutting down your ranges of realistic, probable outcomes so that you can narrow your betting choices.

Remember of course that nothing is set in stone when it comes to sport. There are going to be those occasions where an away team overturns a half time deficit, there are going to be times when a first half produces four of five goals.

The Half Time Underdog

This is another, very interesting aspect of looking at half time betting. It’s true that if you were looking at a Man City v Huddersfield fixture, for example, you would expect Manchester City to come out produce three points. But you would naturally expect the Terriers or any underdog in a situation, to come out and produce a stronger first half performance against a strong side that after the break.

That is because they are fresher, the mental focus in terms of holding tactics together is gonna be there much better than in the latter stages of the game. So backing underdogs to get a draw at half time, even though their overall chances of avoiding defeat in the match are slim, does give rise to decent options to back them.

What you can normally find is big underdog value in such half time situations in those leagues which are just a bit more obscure to the average punter. Why? Because bookmakers tend to overprice underdogs in this obscure leagues, which means that they are given a smaller chance of winning the game than perhaps they should be.

Underdogs teams tend to fall away in the second half matches. It’s hard for them to dig out a result, to see things through over 90 minutes. But a bit of first-half gusto and a stronger mentality is where value can be taken on an underdog. The key to all this is just to try and scour around and look for trends because underdogs have a stronger chance of delivering a positive at the half time result than over the full time result.

It’s tough to back an underdog over 90 minutes, and that is because underdogs have a hard time not being pegged back in matches if they have gone ahead in the first half. They increasingly fall under pressure and that is why they are underdogs to start with.


So these are some insights into half time betting and it is something worth exploring for your betting. We can’t stress enough the importance of looking at statistics and weighing up your options in looking through trends. Look for those big half time trends. Look for teams who are commonly being held level at half time. Look for those underdogs who tend to perform well over the first 45 minutes of games, even if their 90 minute results suck.