How Often Do Clubs Overcome A Halftime Deficit In The Premier League?

How often do teams come from behind at halftime in the Premier League? How often do they hold their lead at fulltime? Today on the blog Andrew offers you plenty of numbers to help you find a winner when betting on the Premier League in-running.

ChelseaTottenham

About 18 months ago I wrote this article, an analysis of fulltime results based upon halftime margins. I've received plenty of feedback on the article, mostly kind (some nonsensical) with many asking lately if I could "please do an update". So here today, is my promised 2013 update.

In this piece I will be looking at the occurrence rates of Premier League fulltime results for both home and away teams based upon halftime margins and scorelines. I will also be breaking down halftime/fulltime results based upon pre-match odds. The data reflects results from the start of the 2003/2004 season up to the new year break of the current 2012/2013 season, a total of 3,628 matches.

So a warning for all: If you don't like slabs of tables or the proverbial feast of numbers and perhaps suffer from severe data intolerance, stop reading now, you're not going to enjoy this. At all.

If this however doesn't describe you, let's press on.

Basic Halftime/Fulltime Results Breakdown

We will begin with a simple breakdown of fulltime results based upon the halftime margin in matches since 2003/2004. Here we are looking at how often the home club won, how often the away club won and how often the match finished in a draw, depending upon the halftime margin for the home club.

HTFTResults

The chart above displays these results. Firstly, let's consider halftime draws. Since 2003/2004, when a match was drawn at halftime, the home club went on to win almost 37% of matches with a drawn resulting just above 39%. In such matches, the away club has won almost 24% of the time.

Let's next consider matches with a margin of 1 goal at halftime. We can see a clear difference between the chances of a home club holding on to win the match when leading by a goal at the half than when an away club holds such a lead. Since 2003/2004 when home clubs have led by a goal at halftime, they went on to win 75% of matches, while away clubs holding a 1 goal halftime lead, won just over 61%, a difference of 14%.

Similarly when home clubs led by a goal, the away club came back to win just over 6% of the time, while when away clubs led by a goal at the half the home club came back to win almost 13% of matches, a difference of 7%.

We can also see the potential for a drawn match is significantly greater when the away club leads by a goal, just over 26% of the time as opposed to when the home club leads by a goal, where a fulltime draw occurred in over 18% of matches.

We see similar when we consider halftime margins of 2 goals. When home clubs have led by 2 goals at halftime, they went on to win the match almost 94% of the time, while when away clubs led by 2 goals, they won almost 91% of matches. And again, when home clubs led by 3 goals or greater, they won almost 99% of the time, while when away clubs held such a lead, they won just over 94% of matches.

Since 2003/2004, only three clubs holding a halftime lead of 3 goals or greater have failed to go on to win the match, those being: West Brom in February of 2011, leading 3-0 at home to West Ham, going on to draw the match 3-3, Arsenal leading 4-0 at Newcastle in February of 2011, only to see Newcastle draw the match 4-4 at fulltime and lastly Leicester leading 3-0 at halftime at Wolverhampton in October of 2003, going on to lose 3-4.

Breaking Down Results By Halftime Scorelines

Let's now take a look at fulltime results based upon the halftime scoreline.

Halftime Draws

We will begin looking at halftime draws.

Halftime ScorelineHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
0-0 411 444 265 36.7% 39.6% 23.7%
1-1 142 138 96 37.8% 36.7% 25.5%
2-2 11 15 4 36.7% 50.0% 13.3%

The table above shows fulltime results based upon the halftime scoreline since 2003/2004. We can see the chances of a match remaining drawn at fulltime is slightly lower when the match is drawn at the half 1-1 rather than 0-0, almost 37% as opposed to 40%. The occurrence of the away club winning at fulltime in a 1-1 match was slightly greater, almost 26% compared to almost 24% in 0-0 halftime draws.

On the other hand, when the match was drawn 2-2 at the half, the match was drawn at fulltime 50% of the time with the away club winning just 13% of such matches, although a small sample of just 30 matches since 2003/2004.

1 Goal Halftime Margins

Let's turn now to look at scorelines when either the home or away club has led by 1 goal at halftime.

Home LeadingHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
1-0 570 148 49 74.3% 19.3% 6.4%
2-1 102 14 7 82.9% 11.4% 5.7%
3-2 6 1 1 75.0% 12.5% 12.5%

The table above shows fulltime results when home clubs led by a goal at the half, while the table below displays such results when the away club led by a goal. Once again we see that home clubs have a greater chance of maintaining a goal advantage at the half than do away clubs. This time we see that when home clubs led 1-0 they went on to win just over 74% of the time, while when away clubs led 1-0 they won almost 62% of the time.

Away LeadingHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
1-0 67 143 341 12.2% 25.9% 61.9%
2-1 13 22 45 16.3% 27.5% 56.2%
3-2 0 1 2 0.0% 33.3% 66.7%
3-4 0 0 1 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%

What is most significant is that home field advantage is greater in 2-1 scorelines than 1-0 scorelines. When home clubs have led 2-1, they won almost 83% of matches as opposed to 74% when leading 1-0. Similarly when down 1-2 at the half, they manage to win just over 16% of matches as opposed to 12% when down 0-1.

Conversely when away clubs led 2-1, they went on to win just over 56% of matches, but when leading 1-0, they claimed victory almost 62% of the time.

2 Goal Halftime Margins

So let's now look at matches that saw a margin of 2 goals at the half. Below we can see that when home clubs led 2-0 at halftime, they went on to win almost 94% of the time, with that winning percentage almost 96% when leading 3-1.

Home LeadingHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
2-0 265 9 9 93.6% 3.2% 3.2%
3-1 23 1 0 95.8% 4.2% 0.0%
4-2 1 1 0 50.0% 50.0% 0.0%

On the other hand, when away clubs led 2-0 they went on to win just over 92% of the time, and only near on 77% of the time when leading 3-1, though a sample size of just 13 matches to consider.

Away LeadingHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
2-0 2 8 118 1.6% 6.3% 92.1%
3-1 0 3 10 0.0% 23.1% 76.9%

Considering the Odds

So we've taken a look at various halftime/fulltime result scenarios. Let's then look at fulltime results based upon halftime margins coupled with pre-match odds.

Pre-Match Odds and Halftime Draws

The table below shows the fulltime results for matches that were drawn at halftime. The odds here represent the pre-match odds for the home club.

We can see very clearly that the chances of a team going on to win a match at fulltime reflects the pre-match odds, although those chances obviously somewhat diminished when tied at the half.

HT DrawHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
<=1.30 55 23 6 65.5% 27.4% 7.1%
1.31 - 1.50 66 47 9 54.1% 38.5% 7.4%
1.51 - 1.80 104 74 33 49.3% 35.1% 15.6%
1.81 - 2.00 74 67 21 45.7% 41.4% 12.9%
2.01 - 2.25 70 98 64 30.2% 42.2% 27.6%
2.26 - 2.50 69 78 44 36.2% 40.8% 23.0%
2.51 - 2.80 46 53 37 33.8% 39.0% 27.2%
2.81 - 3.50 35 69 39 24.5% 48.2% 27.3%
3.51 - 6.00 36 64 64 22.0% 39.0% 39.0%
>=6.01 9 24 48 11.1% 29.6% 59.3%

Teams that began the match as hot favourites of odds 1.30 or less went on to win the match just over 65% of the time, with the winning rate diminishing as the pre-match odds rise. When teams were favoured between odds of 2.01 and 2.80 (an implied winning probability of between 50% and 36%) they won the match fulltime in 185 of 559 such matches, a winning percentage of 33%.

Pre-Match Odds and 1 Goal Margins

Lets then take a look at 1 goal margins. The table below considers fulltime results for both home and away clubs when the home club led by 1 goal at the half, with the odds representing the pre-match odds for the home club.

Firstly we can see that clubs starting at odds of 1.50 or less did not lose when leading by a goal at halftime, winning 170 matches of 188 played, drawing the remaining 18. We see similar results for clubs starting at odds between 1.51 and 2.00, losing just 7 times in 238 matches played when leading by a goal at the half.

We can also see that the likelihood of the away club overturning a 1 goal halftime deficit improving as the pre-match odds for the home club rise, seeing away clubs winning 25 of 144 matches played (17%) when the home club started at odds of 2.81 or greater.

Home 1 Goal LeadHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
<=1.30 76 5 0 93.8% 6.2% 0.0%
1.31 - 1.50 94 13 0 87.8% 12.2% 0.0%
1.51 - 1.80 105 18 2 84.0% 14.4% 1.6%
1.81 - 2.00 86 22 5 76.1% 19.5% 4.4%
2.01 - 2.25 105 24 13 73.9% 16.9% 9.2%
2.26 - 2.50 89 21 7 76.1% 17.9% 6.0%
2.51 - 2.80 40 24 5 58.0% 34.8% 7.2%
2.81 - 3.50 34 17 10 55.7% 27.9% 16.3%
3.51 - 6.00 33 14 8 60.0% 25.4% 14.6%
>=6.01 16 5 7 57.1% 17.9% 25.0%

But let's then take a look at results when the away club led by a goal at halftime. The table below displays fulltime results when the away club led by a goal at halftime, coupled with the away club's pre-match odds.

When away clubs started at odds of 1.50 or shorter were holding a goal lead at halftime, they went on to win in 34 of 35 matches played and when odds-on of odds 2.00 or shorter, winning 121 of 150 matches, a win rate of 81%. In comparison, when home clubs were odds-on pre-match and led by a goal at the half, over the same span from 2003/2004, they won 361 of 426 played, a win rate of almost 85%. Once again we see home clubs in similar situations outperforming away clubs.

Away 1 Goal LeadHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
<=1.30 0 0 6 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
1.31 - 1.50 0 1 28 0.0% 3.5% 96.5%
1.51 - 1.80 4 17 57 5.1% 21.8% 73.9%
1.81 - 2.00 4 3 30 10.8% 8.1% 81.1%
2.01 - 2.25 1 4 23 3.6% 14.3% 82.1%
2.26 - 2.50 0 14 29 0.0% 32.6% 67.4%
2.51 - 2.80 8 11 29 16.7% 22.9% 60.4%
2.81 - 3.50 13 39 92 9.0% 27.1% 63.9%
3.51 - 6.00 29 52 75 18.6% 33.3% 48.1%
>=6.01 21 25 20 31.8% 37.9% 30.3%

Similarly when home clubs led by a goal at halftime, and started the match at odds of 2.51 or greater, they went on to win 123 of 213 matches, a win rate of almost 58%. However when away clubs led by a goal and were odds of 2.51 or greater, they went on to win 216 of 414 matches, just over 52%.

Pre-Match and 2 Goal (+) Margins

Let's conclude by looking at matches that saw a margin of 2 goals or greater at the half. Again we will compare results across both home team and away team pre-match odds.

Below we can see the fulltime results when home teams held a lead at halftime of 2 goals or greater. We can see that home teams that started at odds of 1.50 or shorter, went on to win when holding such a lead in 135 of 136 matches played, while teams starting at home as confirmed underdogs of 3.51 or greater went on to win in 14 of 17 matches played, a win rate of over 82%.

Home 2 Goal (+) LeadHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
<=1.30 68 1 0 98.6% 1.4% 0.0%
1.31 - 1.50 67 0 0 100.0% 0.0% 0.0%
1.51 - 1.80 54 4 1 91.5% 6.8% 1.7%
1.81 - 2.00 58 3 1 93.5% 4.8% 1.7%
2.01 - 2.25 46 1 0 97.9% 2.1% 0.0%
2.26 - 2.50 33 1 1 94.2% 2.9% 2.9%
2.51 - 2.80 18 2 0 90.0% 10.0% 0.0%
2.81 - 3.50 13 0 3 81.3% 0.0% 18.7%
3.51 - 6.00 13 0 2 86.7% 0.0% 13.3%
>=6.01 1 0 1 50.0% 0.0% 50.0%

Let's compare these results with away teams holding leads of 2 goals or greater at the half. We see that away clubs in this situation that started the match at odds of 1.50 or shorter, won the match in each of 13 occasions, and 61 of 64 matches played when odds-on at odds of 2.00 or shorter, just of 95%. This contrasts with home clubs holding a similar lead at halftime and odds-on in pre-match betting, winning 247 of 257 matches, a win rate of just over 96%.

Away 2 Goal (+) LeadHome WinsDrawn MatchesAway WinsHome Win %Drawn Match %Away Win %
<=1.30 0 0 0 NA NA NA
1.31 - 1.50 0 0 13 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
1.51 - 1.80 0 3 37 0.0% 7.5% 92.5%
1.81 - 2.00 0 0 11 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
2.01 - 2.25 0 0 8 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
2.26 - 2.50 0 0 12 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
2.51 - 2.80 0 0 9 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
2.81 - 3.50 2 1 40 4.7% 2.3% 93.0%
3.51 - 6.00 0 8 27 0.0% 22.9% 77.1%
>=6.01 1 0 6 16.7% 0.0% 83.3%

Away clubs playing as underdogs of 3.51 or greater, went on to win when holding a lead of 2 goals or greater in 32 of 41 matches played, a win rate of just over 78%, while as we saw earlier home clubs in such a situation held on to win in 82% of matches.

So What Did We Learn?

As in my previous work, the key take away here is the difference in winning rates for home as opposed to away clubs based upon scoreline. As we saw consistently, home clubs holding a lead at the half went on to win at  a higher rate than away clubs. We also observed this even when home and away clubs entered the match at similar odds.

Most of all, I hope the data delivered here will help you with your own analysis and assist you with your in-play betting for the remainder of the Premier League season.

Go forth and profit my friends.