Own Goals & Football Betting

Own GoalWhen it comes to betting on football, most markets and bets are simple to understand and proceed from placement to settlement with no problems. However, inevitably with such a vast subject – some of the biggest Premier League and Champions League games may have more than 200 markets and new markets are created on a regular basis – there are often grey areas.

Even very experienced football and sports bettors are sure to be flummoxed or at least unsure from time to time but one issue that can often trouble those a little newer to the wonderful world of betting on football is that of own goals. Here we take a look at how own goals affect certain bets and explain how this impacts on settlement in certain betting markets.

All of this information can be found in the terms and conditions and betting rules of the various betting sites but we appreciate that sifting through endless pages of boring technical and legal jargon isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. That’s why we’ve got everything you need to know right here, in plain English, complete with examples. With certain rules and aspects of betting, the precise rules can vary from one bookmaker to another, however our task is somewhat simpler here because when it comes to own goals, all bookies are gladly singing from the same hymn sheet.

What is an Own Goal?

Okay, you might think we’re taking things a little too simple here but any question is only easy when you know the answer. Moreover, the answer to this one might not be quite as simple as you first imagine.

An own goal is a goal scored by a player against their own side. For example, if the goalkeeper comes to catch the ball but misses it and his colleague, a defender, inadvertently deflects the ball into his own net. That is an own goal, with the goal credited to the opposition.

Okay, you’re thinking, great, but I’m not six years old, I know what an own goal is. However, things are not always so straightforward. What about a goal that is initially awarded as a goal for the striker but is then subsequently credited to the defender when it is shown that the striker’s initial shot was not on target until the defender deflected it in?

Bets will be settled according to the Press Association’s report of who scored. This is probably the only area where some bookies may differ from one another, although the vast majority defer to the Press Association’s decision. Others may go with the scorer as decided by the main broadcaster, although in reality this will almost always be the same person in any case.

This means that any action taken by the dubious goals panel isn’t relevant when it comes to deciding whether a goal was an own goal or not, nor who scored. Similarly, even if the commentator initially announces a goal as an own goal, if the Press Association decides otherwise, this will usually be the one relevant to any bets placed, with the same applying vice versa (that is to say, if a goal is proscribed to an attacking player in the first instance but is subsequently reported as an own goal by the Press Association).

Do Own Goals Count in Both Teams To Score (BTTS)

Betting on both teams to score (BTTS) is one of the most exciting and popular football bets around. Thankfully, when it comes to own goals, the situation regarding the BTTS market is very simple: own goals are worth just as much as 50-yard lobs, 25-yard pile drivers or scuffed shinners from on the goalline. In BTTS, as long as neither side has “nil”, the bet has won, so as said, own goals count 100% when it comes to backing both teams to score.

Conversely, of course, any own goal (assuming it is scored in 90 minutes, not extra time) automatically renders a bet on “both teams to score: no” as a loser if the other side already has at least one goal to their names.

Do Own Goals Count in Correct Score Betting?

As with betting on both teams to score, betting on the correct score of a game is essentially unaffected by own goals. As with BTTS, which player scored is beside the point, it is just the goal that matters. As such if the game ends 149-0 and all 149 goals are own goals, any bets on the correct score 149-0 are winners! You might think this is impossible but hey, if Leicester can win the league anything can happen and there’s a Wikipedia page to prove it!

Being more realistic about things, if we imagine a game locked at 1-1 until a 93rd minute own goal ruins your 1-1 correct score bet, sadly the fact that the decider was an OG doesn’t matter. Correct score bets will be settled on 2-1, the fact that the winner was an own goal is only relevant in as much as it gives you a decent hard-luck story to tell your friends.

Having said that own goals are not relevant to correct score betting, there is one instance where this is not the whole truth. If you ever bet on 0-0, read on as we give you an excellent little tip that might just earn you a surprise payout every now and again.

Do Own Goals Count in First, Last and Anytime Goalscorer Bets?

So far we have looked at two popular markets where own goals effectively count in just the same way as normal goals. However, when it comes to first, last and anytime goalscorer bets, own goals are, for all intents and purposes, wholly ignored.

Let us start with the simplest concept to explain. Imagine you bet on your side’s centre back to score first every week. Sadly this week he slices a clearance into the top corner of his own net, registering a clear own goal. Your bet on him as first goalscorer will not be a winner as, unsurprisingly, own goals don’t count in this respect. Well, it won’t be a winner just yet anyway …

Imagine, however, a scenario that seems to happen more often that it should, whereby your centre back soon makes amends by making it 1-1 with a bullet header from a corner. As own goals are ignored, this equaliser, the second goal of the game, is actually settled as a winning bet on first goalscorer markets.

Now, if we stick with our hypothetical game and imagine that early in the second half there is another own goal. We’ve got some way to go before we beat the world record of 149 OGs in a game but even so, the score is now 2-1 to your side. The opposition goalkeeper has scored an unfortunate own goal when the ball cannoned off the post, away from goal but then into his nose, causing it to bounce back over the line for the double whammy of a broken nose AND an own goal. Oh, and a 2-1 defeat so let’s make that a triple whammy!

If we assume that your bet was actually a last goalscorer wager, your bet is once again a winner. Your favourite centre back actually scored an own goal to start with (discounted for first, last or anytime scorer bets), followed by a legitimate goal, the second of the game, before another OG by a different player finished the scoring.

Even though there were three goals and your player notched the second, this is a winning last goalscorer bet because the final strike was an own goal and, therefore, ignored/discounted when it comes to your wager.

In all these types of examples the number of own goals is irrelevant. So it doesn’t matter if there are four own goals before the first “legitimate” one – it will still be that fifth goal that is the first of the game in relation to first scorer betting.

Nil-Nil Versus No Goalscorer

Earlier we mentioned that own goals could be of use to those who like to have a bet on 0-0 and this is why. Under the first, last and anytime goalscorer markets there is an option to choose “No goalscorer” and this will often be priced at the same odds as 0-0.

Where this is the case, the savvy punter will always opt to back no goalscorer (in the first, last OR anytime goalscorer market as no goalscorer will be the same odds in all of them; that said, this can be worth checking and always selecting the highest odds should there be a difference).

This is because own goals will count in the correct score market but not the goalscorer ones. If you back 0-0, any game not ending 0-0 will be a loser for you, whether it’s a 5-5 screamer, a game that sees 149 own goals or a match that ends 1-0 with just a single OG in the final seconds of the contest.

In contrast, should you be able to get the same odds for no goalscorer as 0-0, from time to time you will get lucky and get an unexpected win. If the only goal, or indeed goals, of the game are own goals, these are discounted for first/last/anytime goalscorer bets and as such “no goalscorer” will be a winning bet.

In other words, no goalscorer was a winner in the infamous 149-0 result mentioned above, whilst anyone backing the correct score of 0-0 would very clearly lose out.

Own Goal Markets

As previously said, more and more football betting markets are being devised on a regular basis by bookies looking to offer their punters something new. Many of these can be affected by own goals but essentially the guiding principle is that where the market relates to a named player, own goals will not count but where it relates to the score in general, they will. Below you can find a summary of some of the most popular, newer bets and whether own goals count or not.

  • Total goals markets - own goals count as normal towards team or match total goals bets
  • To score a hat-trick - own goals do not count for this market, nor do they count for bets on “To score two or more goals”
  • Score/win double - As with a scorecast, bets on a named player to score and a certain team to win do not count own goals with regards to the player element of the bet but do with regards the win or correct score
  • Team to score first - own goals count as normal, so an own goal scored by a player who plays for Team A, counts as a winning bet on Team B to score first
  • Time of goal - own goals count as normal for any “time of goal” bets, be they for a named team or in the match as a whole