Other than soiling yourself (do not Google Image search Gary Lineker against Ireland at World Cup ’90), scoring an own goal has to be the ultimate humiliation out on the football pitch.
They are surprisingly common too, and so it’s interesting to consider the impact they have on the various betting markets.
Do own goals count towards first goalscorer markets? Do they bequeath punters a winning anytime scorer bet when their chosen player puts through his own net? And do own goals count towards correct score, both teams to score and other such markets?
In this article you’ll find out everything you need to know.
How Do the Bookies Determine What’s an Own Goal?
There are those times in football where nobody’s sure if it’s an own goal or not.
From goalkeepers flapping a cross into their own net to almighty deflections that send an otherwise weak shot into the bottom corner, sometimes there is a debate to be had over what constitutes an own goal or not.
The bookies need a definitive system in place in order to settle bets correctly, and eliminate the confusion of those murky ‘were they or weren’t they?’ own goals.
And so they have partnered with Opta (part of Stats Perform), the football data firm, who has the final say – the bookmakers settle bets based upon the verdict of the stats men.
If they say it’s an O.G., then the bookies will determine their results accordingly.
How Do Own Goals Affect Player Markets?
It should be noted that own goals actually impact upon two broad types of betting market differently: player and non-player markets.
The player markets we are referring to include First Goalscorer, Anytime Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Player to Score 2+ and so on. And the interesting thing is that own goals DO NOT count in these cases.
So, let’s say you have backed Mo Salah to be the first goalscorer for Liverpool against Manchester City, but up steps Kyle Walker to score the opening goal in his own net. The good news is the defender’s O.G. doesn’t count, and so if Salah scores next to make it 2-0 then your First Goalscorer punt will be settled as a winner.
The same is true of Last Goalscorer bets. From the example above, if we reverse the roles – Salah scores first, followed by Walker’s own goal – then Last Goalscorer bets on Salah would be settled as winners.
If you have backed a player in the Anytime Goalscorer market, and they actually go and score an own goal, then unfortunately that’s not a winning selection.
To round out this section, we can mention Scorecast bets too. So, let’s say you’ve had Salah to score first and Liverpool to win 2-0 against Man City. Kyle Walker scores his own goal, Salah bags second and the Reds triumph 2-0….the good news is that your bet is a winner in this case. Own goals don’t count towards goalscorer markets, but they do to those impacting the final score.
How Do Own Goals Affect Non-Player Markets?
As we’ve learned, own goals don’t count when they relate to the player-based markets. However, they DO count towards those where the final score is affected.
To give you an example, if a game ends 1-1, then Both Teams to Score wagers would be settled as winners. But what if one of those goals was an own goal? Happily, the bookmakers still recognise such bets as successful – the own goal counted towards the final score.
Ironically, if you have bet on Both Teams to Score – No, then own goals do once again count and so your betslip would be flummoxed.
This logic can be applied to a myriad of other betting markets too, including Over/Under 2.5 Goals, Correct Score, Match Odds, Half Time/Full Time, Handicaps and so on. Own goals count in all such cases.
How Common are Own Goals?
If you like a flutter on the football, from time to time you will come across games affected by an own goal – sometimes they’ll go in your favour, other times they won’t.
In the 2020/21 Premier League season, some 37 goals were classified by Opta as own goals – a sizable number even in a campaign that saw a total of 1,024 goals netted. Craig Dawson, the West Ham defender, was the worst offender with two own goals to his name.
Mind you, Dawson has some way to go before he can beat Richard Dunne’s infamous record – the Irish defender scored a whopping ten own goals during his Premier League career, which is three more than any other player!
If you want to avoid own goals in your bets, perhaps give a wide berth to Everton – they have contributed more own goals (55) in the history of the Premier League than any other club.