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How to bet on Player Shots

Player Shots Betting Guide Featured Image

A guide to betting on player shots

Player shots bets and shots on target bets have become more and more popular. Although I’m unsure which bookmaker first allowed betting on this market, I see SkyBet as the driving force behind it. They began to include it in a number of ‘Request A Bet’ markets on their site and since then more and more bookmakers like Paddy Power have added it to their markets, with varying degrees of availability.

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What is betting on player shots?

It is as simple as it sounds, you can back an individual player to have a certain number of shots on goal/shots on target in a game. It’s become popular because of what is often perceived to be great value, you’re not even asking these players to score, they don’t even need to make particularly good contact and you’ve got yourself a winner.

It’s important you know exactly what constitutes a shot or a shot on target, therefore you’re not left confused or frustrated if your bet is settled as a loss and to inform your decision about who you are going to back.

What counts as a shot on target?

There has often been uproar on social media when certain bets have been settled as a loss, when many punters think that it should’ve been a win.

This is more common with player shots betting than most other markets as there is an element of subjectivity to what a shot/shot on target is. Opta have defined a shot on target as:

  • Goes into the net regardless of intent.
  • Is a clear attempt to score that would have gone into the net but for it being saved by the goalkeeper or is stopped by a player who is the last-man with the goalkeeper having no chance of preventing the goal (last line block).
  • Shots directly hitting the frame of the goal are not counted as shots on target, unless the ball goes in and is awarded as a goal.
  • Shots blocked by another player, who is not the last man, are not counted as shots on target.

The grey area in shots on target betting is with ‘intent’ as this is the part that can be subjective. What one person views as a shot someone else may dispute to be a cross and from an outside perspective, it can be almost impossible to know, as only the player involved truly knows what their ‘intent’ was.

What shots are not counted as shots on target?

There are certain types of shots that do not count towards betting on shots on target, despite being similar to those that do. Some examples of such shots are as follows:

  • A cross that is on target and would have gone into the goal, but is caught or saved by the goalkeeper: While a cross may appear to be a shot on target, it only counts as such if it is redirected into the goal by another player. If the ball is headed or otherwise flicked on towards the goal and caught or saved by the goalkeeper.
  • A blocked shot that lacks the necessary power and is collected by the goalkeeper, without them having to make a save.
  • A blocked or deflected shot that hits the frame of the goal.
  • A shot that the goalkeeper saves, but was not initially on target.
  • A corner that would have gone into the goal, but is stopped by the goalkeeper.
  • A clearance by a defending player that hits the opposition and goes towards the goal before the goalkeeper saves it.
  • An effort that hits the frame of the goal, then hits the goalkeeper and bounces out of play.
  • A shot that hits the frame of the goal, rolls onto the goal line, and is cleared by a defender.

What players should I be backing for shots bets?

There’s a few schools of thought when it comes to betting on player shots, it’s not just about strikers and goal scorers, there’s other avenues to explore that can lead you to finding some excellent value.

A good place to look for stats and value are our Bet Builder Stats Packs which you can find here.

We’ll start with the most obvious picks though, you’re naturally going to be drawn towards a team’s striker or main goal scoring threat – think of Ivan Toney for Brentford, or perhaps of Erling Haaland for Manchester City. These two would likely be the shortest odds of any player in their team to have a shot on target. A selection like that may bolster a same game multi/bet builder style bet but it could be that the best way to go is hunt slightly outside the obvious and find where the value lies.

Player shots – multiple players

Certain bookmakers may provide bettors with the opportunity to place bets on multiple players recording shots on target. For instance, you may come across a betting option where you can bet on Antony, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford all recording at least one shot on target. Depending on the players you are selecting, this could potentially offer better odds than betting on a single player.

This type of betting market can also be applied to several other games. A bookmaker might offer you the chance to bet on Kai Havertz, Son Heung-min and Mohamed Salah all recording at least two shots on target in their respective games. Finally, there is also a shot on target market that allows you to bet on the total number of shots a team will take in a game. Bettors often place wagers on a team having more than a certain number of shots on target.

Shots on Target Betting Tips

When it comes to wagering your money on shots on target, it is important to remember that no betting market is a surefire guarantee, even when armed with the best advice and tips.

First, pay attention to the shots a player or team takes during a game. Look at both the quality and quantity of shots taken, the higher number of shots taken indicates a greater level of confidence and accuracy. Better shots will also have an increased chance of resulting in shots on goal.

Additionally, consider where the shots are being taken from, shots closer to the goal are slightly more likely to result in shots on target. Also take into account other elements that can affect shots on target such as defensive strength of a team, weather conditions, fatigue levels, and home team advantage.

Your analysis should include monitoring players’ form as well as their individual ability levels when making decisions about betting markets. Finally, keep up-to-date with any changes such as new tactics employed by teams so you can maximise your chances when predicting shots on target for a specific game.

Look at the opposition

When it comes to shots, people often have a tendency to focus on the attacking side of things. If a team has players like Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah all in the side and in great form, it can be tempting to place a bet that they will get multiple shots on target during the game.

However, if they are up against a Newcastle side team that is also doing well and who have the best defensive record in the Premier League, then this equation becomes more complicated.

It’s important to consider not just the attacking prowess of a team in order to make an accurate prediction about shots on target. In fact, in many cases it can be more beneficial to wager on a team that is facing off against an opposition with weaker defence than those who are attacking an already-strong defensive side. Teams with porous defences may be more likely to give up shots on target due to their inability to adequately protect their goal.

Conversely, strong offensive teams may struggle against equally strong defensive teams.

Ultimately, when betting on shots on target it is essential to take into consideration both the attacking and defensive strength of each side before making any wagers. Understanding how both sides match up will help you make better-informed betting decisions and increase your chances of success when wagering shots on target.

Regular starters are more likely to have shots

When wagering on shots on target betting markets, it is a must to consider the amount of time a player is given on the pitch. The more minutes a player spends out there, the greater the probability that they will take shots that result in targets. This means if a star like Harry Kane plays for the full 90-minute match, his chances of taking shots that end up being on target are higher than those of Richarlison who gets significantly less playing time. Even when an attacking player is brought in during crunch moments with their team needing goals, they can still register shots on target and make a huge difference.

Statistics also come into play when determining shots on target as players with better shooting accuracy and technique will have greater success than others when it comes to shots resulting in targets. Additionally, players who have good ball control and awareness have more chances of creating shots that end up being accurate. Teams known for their solid defending can also limit shots taken by attacking sides which could reduce shots on target and be accounted for when making betting decisions.

Understand what is at stake in the match

When it comes to betting on shots in football matches, there are several factors that can influence the amount of shots and goals a team will score. Different teams may have varying levels of motivation depending on the circumstances of the match. For instance, when two mid-table sides come up against each other at the end of a season where they have nothing to play for, chances and shots on target could be limited due to a lack of intensity or focus. 

However, when an out-of-form side which regularly concedes goals battles against a top side fighting for a Champions League spot, shots and goals are likely to be plentiful due to higher stakes involved. This kind of pressure is often even more pronounced with two-legged ties  if one team has managed to win the first leg comfortably with a two goal lead then they may be tempted to sit back and defend their lead in subsequent games. This can mean that their opponents face increased pressure as they chase goals, thus leading to more shots being attempted by both sides. 

Do your research on the players

Taking shots on goal can be a tricky proposition, and one that may have an impact on your betting decisions. A player’s position, team tactics and individual ability all need to be taken into account when attempting to wager on shots taken.

N’Golo Kante is a perfect example of how this works in practice. Despite being one of the world’s best midfielders, his job often sees him playing defensively, meaning he very rarely takes shots. This means it would be wise to avoid gambling on shots from players like Kante who are more likely to focus on defensive play than attacking chances.

On the flip side, there are players who focus much more heavily on shots at goal, Marcus Rashford for example. Where Kante is content with keeping the ball out of danger, Rashford will always look for opportunities to score goals and usually creates a number of shots during a match as he tries to do so. When looking at shots markets in betting, you should always consider the player style and their role in the team before deciding if they are worth wagering on or not.

Fouls & Free Kicks

When it comes to shots on target betting, there is an effective strategy for those looking to increase their chances of success. For example, if a team tends to give away fouls in its own penalty area or final third of the field, then that can be a clue that shots on target could be coming. Betting on matches where one team has dedicated players who specialize in set pieces or free-kicks could be advantageous.

Take Southampton as an example, they have James Ward-Prowse who is one the best dead ball specialists in the league. As a result, shots on target are likely when he is involved and thus betting becomes more attractive. Furthermore, taking into account other factors including form of both teams can also provide greater insight into this kind of bet.

Examples of making your player shots picks

Let’s use the two players/clubs aforementioned as examples.

Let’s start with Vardy, if you head to a website like whoscored.com you can see how many shots per game players average in each team.

Apply some of your knowledge of football to this, though Vardy is likely to get shots off from in and around the box, he often relies on the creation of chances rather than being a player who creates something out of nothing.

Next up on the list is James Maddison, he’s just behind with 2.2 shots per game. Maddison is a player who likes to take on shots from range and also, crucially, takes set pieces for his club.

The bookies are no mugs, so you won’t get ludicrous odds on taking Maddison over someone like Vardy, however for me it’s a much more logical decision when you apply football knowledge to it.

It’s worth considering the opponents too, in a tougher game there’s a good chance that Maddison may have more shots than Vardy. That could be purely because Vardy doesn’t get any chances against a solid defence or even shots from frustration, likely coming from range could be all you need to land the bet.

Also, if you’re going down the route of set piece takers, you can factor in how many fouls the opposition make and in what areas they often concede free kicks.

By considering stats you can make picks that are somewhat out of the box. Think about how many sides play now, with wandering full backs and high intensity systems. Players like Trent Alexander-Arnold (who also takes free kicks), and Oleksandr Zinchenko all spring to mind. Headers count as well, so what about someone like Virgil Van Dijk? The scope is endless and you can build bets to suit what kind of odds you fancy.

Shots betting has gained popularity and a lot of traction on social media. It can be a very fun way to bet and you can definitely find some consistency and value by checking the stats and applying that to your betting.

Like any bet though, it’s not guaranteed. All the stats in the world ensure that your chosen player will have a certain amount of shots, they’re merely indicators of what could happen. Make sure that you’re keeping stakes sensible.

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