Trading the 1-1 Score Line

The English Premier Leagues is known as the most exciting league in the world, but not every match has plenty of goals. The most common scoreline is 1-1, making up 10,59 % of the total scores in the last 4 seasons, closely followed by 1-0 (10,26%).

Looking at the figures, you would almost think that these are boring results, that the EPL or even football is a meaningless sport. We all know that it is the opposite; the entertainment value is very high. Moreover, to lighten up the fire a bit, let us have a look at trading the 1-1 score in the Correct Score market. Once you know these insights, you’d wish every match would be low scoring exercise rather than a goal feast.

Trading the Correct Score market done on an Exchange (e.g. BetFair, MatchBook or BetDaq). The whole idea of football trading is to back odds high and to lay odds low. It is the same principle as trading on a stock market. The difference in price will be your profit, regardless of the outcome of the game.

(In this Issue, we assume that the reader is familiar with the basics of football trading.)


Before we start diving into a 1-1 trading strategy, we first look at the numbers. In previous Issues, we learnt about the OVER 2.5 and BTTS markets, both important to bear in our minds before diving into the deep.

Over the last 4 seasons, the 1-1 distribution looks like:

The next step is to dive a step deeper:

The table above gives an interesting insight: 67 percent of the 1-1 scorelines involves a Middle ranked team.

Now we’ll have a closer look at the goal distribution. In other words, of all the matches resulted in a 1-1 draw, in what 10-minute intervals the goals are actually scored.

How to read the graph?

Series 1 (the blue bars) show the 10-minute interval of the first goal (1-0 or 0-1), Series 2 (the orange bars) show the 10-minute interval of the second goal (1-1).

A couple of examples:

In case a goal is scored within the first 10 minutes of a match, there is 13% chance that the match ends in a 1-1. In case a second goal is scored within the same first 10 minutes, there is a zero chance that the end result will be a 1-1 draw.

In case a goal is scored within the first 20 minutes of a match and the equalizer is scored in the 11-20 minute interval, there will be a 3% chance that the final result will 1-1.

In case the first goal is scored at the end of the First Half or at the start of the Second Half, there is 19% chance that the match ends in a 1-1. On top of that, in case the equalizer is scored in the same interval, there is a chance of 15% that the end result will be a 1-1 draw.

In case the first goal is scored in the 60-71 minute interval, as well as the equalizer, there is a 21% chance the game ends in a 1-1 draw.

First conclusion

We have researched the EPL 1-1 results over the last 4 seasons from a clustered team perspective and from a goal distribution perspective. There are two insights gained:

  1. Middle ranked teams are involved in 67 percent of all 1-1 scorelines.
  2. In case the first goal and the equalizer is scored in the 41-50 minute interval, there is a 34 percent chance the match ends in a 1-1 draw.


But there is more…

Football trading is not about having the end result correct. Trading is all about buying high, selling low. This is also true for the 1-1 Correct Score market, because in the end we don’t mind the final result if we are trading the odds.

In general, the 1-1 odds at kick-off are around the 7-8 mark. For about evenly priced teams in the 1X2 market, the 1-1 odds will decrease slightly in the first 30 minutes of the match (the market is expecting a goal), climbing back to the starting point and increase further as no goals are scored.

Obviously, goals will change the graph. The impact on the odds is dependent on the timing of the goals, e.g. an early goal will increase the odds since the market expects more goals (as described in Issue 3), and on the activity on the pitch, e.g. when teams are pressuring to score a goal, the odds are adapted accordingly.

Typical example (evenly matched teams) of a 1-1 scoreline match:


  1. Odds are slightly decreasing until the 30’ mark
  2. After the 30th minute the odds starts to rise.
  3. A goal is scored in the 42’ minute, since the teams are about evenly matched the odds decrease to 5.
  4. Given the activity on the pitch, the market expects an equalizer. Odds are further decreasing to around 4.5.
  5. As the 70’ minute mark passed by, the odds are increasing again.
  6. The equalizer comes in the 75th minute. Odds decrease to the 2.00 mark.
  7. The market expects no further goals, so the odds fade out to 1.


Our trade in financial numbers:


In the example above, we backed EUR 10 on the 1-1 score kick-off odds (7.4). As the first goal is scored in the 42nd minute, the odds drop to 4.40. If we lay EUR 10, our liability will be zero, and in case the final result is 1-1, we win EUR 30. In case we Cash Out (in fact laying EUR 16.82 on odds of 4.40), we will win EUR 6.82 whatever the final result will be.

We could also wait for the equalizer, which happened in the 75th minute. Odds dropped to 2.00, if we Lay EUR 10, we would win EUR 54 in case of a 1-1 final result. In case we would cashed out our profit would be hedged to a EUR 27 win whatever the final result.


Second Conclusion

To cut a long story short, and for the sake of simplicity, bear the 70th minute mark in mind. What happens is that the market from the 70th minute starts to decrease the odds for the running score on the board. This is interesting from a trading perspective, because regardless of the final result, if there is a 1-1 score on the board in the 70th minute, we can trade ourselves a position with zero liability and/or a nice profit margin.


Let’s have a look at the EPL running 1-1 scorelines at the 70th minute mark. Querying our database delivered 377 matches with a 1-1 running score in 70’.


Again we see a 69.5% hit with a Middle ranked team involved.


Final Conclusion

Trading the 1-1 scoreline can be a profitable strategy, however you have to bear a few things in mind.

  1. Middle ranked teams are most advisable for this strategy. They have the highest hit rate on the final 1-1 score as well as the highest probability to have a running 1-1 score in the 70th minute.
  2. We do not advise to back the 1-1 score at Kick-Off, since an early goal will disrupt the trade, and the odds for 1-1 will be stable anyhow as long as no goal is scored.
  3. The best timing is to back the 1-1 scoreline after the 40th minute mark. (You could even think of a strategy to exit the market with a small loss as no goal is scored before the 50th minute.)


You can download the Trading the 1-1 Scoreline Betting Sheet in PDF format.


We are ready to explore and WIN!