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first goalscorer odds

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First goalscorer markets allow you to bet on which footballer will score the opening goal in a match. We’re going to explain everything that you need to know about first goalscorer odds.

What are First Goalscorer Odds?

first goalscorer odds from Betfred

There are betting markets which allow you to bet on the first scorer in football matches. It’s one of the most popular football bets available. This type of bet makes a match exciting to watch right from the first whistle, knowing that a winner could come at any moment that a player scores that opening goal.

You’ll find that first goalscorer odds are more generous than is the case of an anytime goalscorer market. As the name suggests, an anytime scorer bet pays out if the chosen player finds the net at any time during the match. With a first goalscorer wager, you are instead banking on a player scoring the opening goal, which makes it more difficult to predict.

First Goalscorer Rules – How Does The Market Work?

First goalscorer betting rules are not particularly complicated, but there are some things that you will need to remember. Here are the main first goalscorer bet rules to be aware of.

  • All bets settled within 90 minutes. So if the first goal is scored in extra time, it won’t count. A first goal in added injury time, however, would count.
  • Own goals do not count. If the first goal is an own goal, then the first goalscorer market will remain open.
  • If a player does not play, or comes on as a substitute after the first goal is scored, then any first scorer bets placed on that player will be made void.

An Example of First Goalscorer Betting

Let’s go through an example, which might help you to understand how these first scorer betting rules work. Imagine that you took a look at some first goalscorer odds tonight and decided to place a bet. You put two £10 wagers on this football betting market.

Liverpool are away at Crystal Palace. You weigh up the prime candidates and bet on Mohamed Salah to score first at 9/2 and also Luis Diaz at a 1st scorer price of 13/2. In total you have placed wagers on both totalling £20.

The game kicks off. Diaz is on the bench. After 12 minutes, Liverpool score, but it’s an own goal from Crystal Palace’s Guehi, so this goalscorer betting market remains open.

Liverpool go into half-time 1-0 up. The game kicks off for the second-half and in the 60th minute they go 2-0 up. It’s Salah that scores and as the opening goal was an own goal, this counts as the first goal.

Diaz has not come on and remains on the bench. The wager on him is therefore made void and your £10 betting stake is returned.

Salah is the first goalscorer, so your £10 bet at 9/2 is a winner. You receive £45 in winnings, plus your £10 stake back.

Can You Bet Each Way on First Goalscorer Odds?

One of the drawbacks with these types of bets is that you’re chosen player could end up scoring a hat-trick, but if they don’t get the first goal, then your wager is a loser.

For that reason, many punters like to place each-way first goalscorer punts, which are available at a wide range of betting sites. This gives you some insurance and rewards you if your player is an anytime goalscorer, even if they don’t score the opener.

each way first goalscorer odds at bet365

An each-way bet is essentially two wagers. One bet goes on the selection to win and another goes on it to place. For the purposes of an each-way first goalscorer bet, the place part pays out if the player is an anytime scorer. Typically, betting sites will pay out at 1/3 of the odds for the place part of an each-way first goalscorer bet.

Backing a first goalscorer each way is a smart way to avoid frustration if your player doesn’t open the scoring, while if they do, you will receive a really big win. A bookie that we would recommend that consistently provides these betting options are bet365, so check them out.

First Goalscorer Odds & Betting Offers

Some bookies have offers relating to first goal betting. Deals and bonuses are most often based around popular markets and first scorer betting falls into that category. Here are the details of one of our favourite betting offers.

Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven from Betfred

logo betfredThis offer from Betfred can be extremely lucrative. Pick a likely first goalscorer from their chosen fixtures. If your player scores the first goal and then finds the net for a second time, your bet will be paid out at double the odds.

Even better is if your selection scores a third goal, which will see your odds tripled. No other bookmaker can offer such a generous bonus on first goalscorer odds, so we’d recommend taking advantage of this deal whenever you can.

Pros & Cons of First Goalscorer Betting

As with any form of betting, there are pros and cons of placing a pre-match single bet on a first goalscorer. Here are the advantages and disadvantages as we see them.

  • Exciting bet where there can be a winning from first few seconds
  • Big odds for picking out a first scorer
  • Own goals don’t count giving your selection a second chance
  • Bet gets made void if player not on pitch when first goal goes in
  • Some bookies refund first goalscorer wagers if there’s a 0-0 draw
  • Anytime goal scorer bets less of a risk
  • Bet can be a loser very quickly

First Goalscorer Tips & Strategy

Now it’s time to give you a few first goalscorer tips that will help your profitability. Follow this betting strategy.

Look Outside of Strikers

A curious aspect of goalscorer markets is that strikers are generally rated as the most likely player to score, regardless of whether they tend to be the team’s main goalscorer. In the modern game, it can often be wide players like Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah or West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen who are their side’s biggest goal threat.

For many years, Frank Lampard was Chelsea’s most reliable scorer, but as a midfielder, he was generally available at a larger price than their strikers. Look out for value choices outside of the centre-forwards when you’re making your choices on the betting slip.

Find Players on Hot Streaks

They say that class is permanent and form is temporary, but the latter can be where the value is. If a player hits a hot goalscoring streak it can often take a which for the markets to catch up with this developments.

As we’ve pointed out, strikers are very often the favourites regardless and these markets are generally priced around positions more so than statistics. As well as players in form, it’s worth looking out for positional changes, with some bookies being slow on the uptake when a player is moved to a new role that makes them more of a goal threat.

Set Pieces Can Add Value

It stands to reason that penalty takers are likelier to score the first goal, with around 75% of spot kicks being converted. Often it will be forwards that take them, but it can also be defenders that are available at big prices.

Keep an eye on team news, as if the regular penalty taker is unavailable, the deputy could represent value. Set piece takers can also give you an edge, such as West Ham’s James Ward-Prowse, who is incredibly dangerous with free kicks around the box.

Best Bookie for First Goalscorer Odds

Every bookie covers football, which means that every bookmaker will be able to offer you first goalscorer betting. Of all of them, Betfred are our recommendation. Their offer, which we detailed earlier on in the article, can give you amazing extra value, doubling or even trebling your odds. In addition, Betfred offer a variety of bets across a range of other sports, which means that you will be catered for, regardless of the betting types you seek.


You should now know enough about first goalscorer odds to place such a bet yourself. We’ve explained the first goalscorer rules in detail and given you some football tips for first goalscorer betting. It’s time to start your first goalscorer journey!


What is the difference between the first goalscorer and anytime goalscorer betting markets?

Do own goals count as first goalscorer?

How profitable are first goalscorer odds?

What happens if a player doesn’t start?

Is scorecast first goalscorer?

What does each way mean on a first goalscorer bet?

Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch

A writer and editor for some of the top names in the gambling industry for nearly 20 years, Dan also works as a freelance sports journalist for publications and websites such as ESPN, FourFourTwo and LiveScore.