How Often do Teams Winning at Half Time Win at Full Time

Half Time

Football can be a hard sport to call. No matter how much research you put into your bets, there’s always a rogue result or two that leave you scratching your head.

However, the vast range of betting markets that are now on offer allow much more betting creativity than was possible in the past, and this means that you can almost bypass these banana skin games in favour for markets that are less volatile.

Half-time/Full-time betting is one of those markets that allow you to take your research and betting potential to the next level. Football is often referred to as a game of two halves, which means that the second half might not follow the trend of first, and that is where this betting market comes in.

What’s great about these types of bets is that different data sets can be applied to each match. You would expect that teams winning at half time would go on to win the match more often than not, but the data is a little more complex than that.

Premier League Stats and Results

Premier League Logo

We’ve taken data from a number of different sources from games that took place over several seasons up until the 2018/19 season.

The table below shows the half time and then the full-time results for these matches, along with the percentage of games that followed this pattern.

Half time Result Full Time Result %
Home Home 27.9%
Away Away 16.74%
Draw Draw 15.89%
Draw Home 15.42%
Draw Away 11.53%
Home Draw 4.63%
Away Draw 4.00%
Away Home 2.16%
Home Away 1.84%

As you can see, the most common result from the table is that the home team will be winning at half time and will go on to win at full time as well. Given the home advantage that we have written ore about here, this isn’t too much of a surprise, but before we move on please note that this is not necessarily a win for a winning both halves bet.

For example, the team might be 1-0 up at half time and then 1-0 at full time as well. If you were betting on to win each half, then they would win the 1st half and draw the 2nd half, so the bet would lose.

The data shows that more than a quarter of games finish with a home team leading at half time and full time. The standout info here for us has to be that the half tie result foreshadows the full time result almost 60% of the time. So, if the away team is winning at half time then it’s more likely they will win the match, and then if the game is a draw at half time it’s more likely to be a draw at full time than any other result – although the draw and home win are a very close 4th.

Home Team Winning at Half Time

Let’s break some of this data down into more manageable chunks, starting with scenarios where the home team is leading at half time.

Half time Result Full Time Result % Implied Odds
Home Home 81.11% 1.23
Home Draw 13.5% 7.41
Home Away 5.83% 17.2

As you can see, when a home team is leading at half time they have a huge advantage over the final result, going on to win 81.11% of games. The draw and away win can almost be ignored in this example, such is the dominance of the result.

If we were to convert this into odds, then you would be looking at 1.23 based on an implied probability of 81.11%. You could easily look to find games that are priced around or even higher than this, and based on this data you could state with confidence that these bets offer good value for the team to go on and win the game.

Draw at Half Time

This one opens something of a can of worms, because there is no clear path to take.

Half time Result Full Time Result % Implied Odds
Draw Home 36% 2.78
Draw Draw 37.10% 2.7
Draw Away 26.90% 3.72

When the draw occurs at half time, the game really could go in any direction, there is very little between both the home win and the draw at full time here. As you can see against the implied odds, there is very little to choose between the two. The Away win is the least likely of the three, but still comes in more than 1 in 4 times, so you can’t discount it too quickly.

Away Team Winning at Half Time

As we know from the original table, the away side leading at half time is a less likely result than the home side leading, but let’s take a look at the numbers from that point on for the games when this does occur.

Half time Result Full Time Result % Implied Odds
Away Home 9.43% 10.6
Away Draw 17.47 5.72
Away Away 73.10% 1.37

As we can see, when the away team is leading at half time, they are much more likely to go on and win the game than any other eventuality taking place. But it’s interesting that the percentage is lower than the home team’s chances of following through; from 81% to just 73%.

Important Note

Before we move on, we want to emphasize that these are industry average stats, so they don’t apply as written to each and every game. It may sound obvious but you need to consider the two teams that are playing, what’s gone on in the first half, and then what might happen in second half.

For example, you might see that a team is 1-0 up at half time playing at home. Based on our data they would have an 81% chance of winning the game from there. But this doesn’t take into account that the team has had a player sent off right at the end of the half and the away team has actually been much more dominant aside from a lucky goal.

This is where you need to be creative in terms of the information that you take into account for your bets. Yes, use the data and apply it where appropriate to get a base level for the market, but don’t take it as gospel and weigh it up against other relevant data.

Finding Value in Half Time/Full Time Odds

You can take this data into account in a much more meaningful way pre-match than you can after the game has kicked off.

We can start by looking through the odds of each half time/full time result, before then seeing if there is any value based on the implied probability from this.

We are going to be looking at an upcoming match between Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League. Here are the odds in question:

Half Time Full Time Odds

In order to find value from this market we are looking for odds that are larger than the ‘true’ odds that would be offered based on the league averages. We’ve purposefully chosen two evenly matched teams that are mid-low in the league table, meaning the game should be competitive.

Let’s break this down and include some implied probability as well.

Result Odds Implied Probability League Implied Probability League “True” odds
Burnley/Burnley 4.75 21.1% 27.9% 3.58
Draw/ Burnley 6.5 15.4% 15.42% 6.49
Southampton/ Burnley 31 3.2% 2.16 46
Burnley/ Draw 18 5.6% 4.63% 21.6
Draw/ Draw 5 20% 15.89% 6.29
Southampton/ Draw 18 5.6% 4.0% 25
Burnley/Southampton 34 2.9% 1.84% 54
Draw/ Southampton 6.5 15.4% 11.53% 8.67
Southampton/ Southampton 4.8 20.8% 16.74% 5.97

Interestingly, the best result to take here would be Burnley to be winning at half time and then again at full time. The odds on offer here are 4.75 compared with the ‘true’ odds of just 3.58. In fact, this is a very large jump.

All other prices are either equal or much further in the bookmaker’s favour. Obviously, this can be based on the two teams that are playing as we have already mentioned, but a gap as big as the one we have seen for the Burnley/Burnley price in an evenly matched game is too good to turn down and offers great value.

Arsenal
Credit: Joshjdss Flickr

One of the other things that you can look out for are trends in certain teams or matches. For example, it may be the case that a team is a notoriously slow starter but that they always finish strong.

Arsenal used to be guilty of this, and in the 2018/19 they had one of the worst 1st half records of any team in the top half of the league, but the flip side is their second half results were up there with the best. In this case you would be looking at bets such as the draw and then Arsenal to win, or even a loss at half time then Arsenal to win by full time in the second half. This would also provide huge odds given the team and the result in question.

Obviously, you can flip this around as well, with teams like Man City being amazingly fast starters, scoring in the 1st 20 minutes of around 60% of their games and then going on to win the match as well.

Word of Warning – Bookmakers’ Margins

Margin

Before we sign off we have to highlight the fact that these markets can offer some high margins for bookmakers. They are going to range for each bookmaker, but given that there are lots of possible outcomes, margins can be very high.

In the above example you will see that BetVictor’s book adds up to 110%, which is actually pretty low for this type of market, so that is good for the punter. This means that they basically take 10% of the bets that are placed for this game and market. As a point of reference, you can see these margins creep up to exceed 20% in some places, so you need to be aware of that.

You can use bet calculators to work out the implied probabilities of each bet and then see the market overround if you are concerned you’re paying too much for your bets. Make sure you shop around for the best prices to avoid being stung.

Wrap it Up

Footballer Victory

This data really does put these bet types into perspective, and if you were completely new to betting or even betting on the Premier League, then you could take this data and create solid arguments for your bet.

To get back to the original question though, we have seen that teams winning at half time go on to win just 44.64% of the time overall, which includes both home and away teams leading to begin with. But when we dive into the numbers based on the home team and the away team, they become much more detailed, with 81% of home teams winning the match after a half time lead, and 73% of away teams getting the three points after leading at the half time whistle.

The key here is to take the implied odds for each of these and then apply that to the odds on offer. You’re looking for higher bookmakers’ odds than the industry price, and if you find it you’ve got a value bet on your hands.