When is the first goalscorer not the first goalscorer?
When they score the second, third, fourth goal etc., and you enjoy an each way payout accordingly.
That is an option available to punters now with many leading bookmakers, with a number of different firms paying out if your chosen player scores at any point during the game – albeit you score a revised payout based on the each way terms taken.
So is it worth it? Or should you just bet ‘on the nose’ on your first goalscorer bets?
How to Bet on First Goalscorer
As you probably know, when you bet on first goalscorer you are wagering on the player you think will put the ball in the back of the net first.
No prizes for getting that question right.
There’s a ‘rollover’ when the first goal is an own goal, but for the most part this is a betting market that is the embodiment of all or nothing – your player scores first and your bet wins, or they don’t and it doesn’t.
Well, that was how it used to be.
Now, you can bet on first goalscorer markets each way – meaning that you will be paid out if your selected player scores at any point during the match.
The key thing to note is that the each way terms are, typically, 1/3 of the odds, so you will get a reduced return if they do go on to find the net.
To place your first goalscorer bets, simply select the player you want by clicking on their odds to add them to your betslip.
Now you have a choice to make: are you going to bet outright on them being first goal scorer (securing a full payout if they net first) or take the each way price and bag a 1/3 return if they score at any time.
How to Calculate Each Way Payouts
So let’s imagine that we have taken those odds of 11/2 in the image above.
If Anthony Gordon does score first, our payout is easy to calculate if we bet on the nose – you’ll get £5.50 for every £1 wagered.
Now let’s consider the each-way payout.
If we have £5 each way, we are placing £5 on the win part and £5 on the places for a total outlay of £10.
- Gordon scores first – £10 returns £46.66
- Gordon scores any time (but not first) – £10 returns 14.17
- Gordon doesn’t score – £10 returns £0
So betting on 11/2 first goalscorer chances does yield a return if your player scores at any time.
For reference, the sweet spot is 3/1 – odds shorter than this will mean you lose money even if your pick scores, but any odds longer than 3/1 will leave you ahead.
First Goalscorer (Each Way) vs Anytime Goalscorer
There is an alternative option to explore.
Rather than hedging your bets by taking the each way places on the first goalscorer market, couldn’t you just take the anytime goalscorer price on the same player?
Let’s wind it back. We placed £10 in total on Gordon each way to score first. If he scored the second goal, we would have yielded a net win of £4.17.
But what if we’d just backed him in the anytime goalscorer market? The odds for that were 15/8, so a £10 bet would yield £28.75 – a net win of £18.75, which is more than four times that of our first goalscorer punt.
However, the money made on our first goalscorer bet (if Gordon does notch first) would be £36.66 – double that of your anytime goalscorer wager.
So here’s the key: how confident are you that your chosen player will score the first goal?
If they are amongst the favourites (but 3/1 or longer), taking them in the first goalscorer market each way is arguably the smarter option. If they are more of an outsider, taking the anytime goalscorer market is savvy given that you’ll get a better return this way than you would each way in the first goalscorer category.
One of the challenges of first goalscorer betting come with knowing when to bet.
Do you get the best price before the teams are announced, or do you wait to see if your chosen player starts the game, at which point their odds might shorten?
If your player is selected as a substitute, your bet will be void and your stake returned if a) they don’t get onto the pitch, or b) the first goal is scored before they enter the field of play.
But here’s the rub: if they enter the field of play at 0-0 (or if any goals scored were own goals), then your first goalscorer bet is activated – even if they come on with only ten minutes to play.
Our advice? Make sure your first goalscorer selection starts the game before betting, and then follow the staking system outlined above.