Despite football (soccer) being the most popular sport in the world, there are numerous people who do not know a lot of things about it, apart from the fact that two teams have to score goals to win. There are many smaller things and stats that are worth knowing about, particularly if you are a sports fan who is also an active sports bettor. Gambling on sports is difficult and unpredictable enough without yourself further limiting your chances at a win by not knowing more about the sport at hand.
When it comes to betting, you really need to know what you are doing before you put any money on anything and expect a win. Knowing the rules and regulations inside out through enough research is one of the key components to being a successful gambler. Whilst it can seem daunting at first due to there being so much for beginners to learn, there are some important distinctions to be made that can be understood quite easily, but only if you give it a shot.
With that in mind, we decided it would be smart to lend you a helping hand and explain one of the important statistics closer so that you can bet on more things and cover extra things on your betting tickets. Our Football Betting Basics: What Does Shot On Target Mean? should clear up one fragment of the betting world for you that is often overlooked among football fans and bettors alike.
Know the Lingo
Oftentimes, it is the betting jargon to blame for the lack of proper data and information among the gamblers and fans. Not everyone thinks along the lines of, “I really have to know what everything means and what it is called before I can become better.” It can be tough to digest and a little bit confusing to get the hang of, but when it comes to football, more people are more confident in their own understanding of the rules instead of the actual rules that exist and that should be followed and studied.
We are going to take a look at a football specific bet which can often be used in conjunction with other bets to build a successful betslip that has a higher chance of rewarding you with money. People putting footy accumulators on up and down the land have something called shots on target (usually abbreviated as SOG) as one of the most brilliant ways of enforcing their betting slips.
So what actually is a shot on target and what does it imply? Obviously, the target in football terms has to be the goal, but what is the difference between the different shots the player takes? More importantly, why does it even count and is important if it is not a goal? Who in their right mind is betting on them and why do the sports betting companies care about them? Luckily, Opta who are globally renowned for their event definitions have set a definition for what a shot on target means. This definition is the one which is widely accepted by the big bookies in the UK such as Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
Opta split the definition of a shot on target into two sections:
- A shot on target occurs when there has been an attempt at a goal that goes into the net regardless of the intent of the shot taker.
- A shot on target is a clear attempt to score that would have gone into the net had there not been an intervention like a save by the goalkeeper or a stop by a player who is the last man with the goalkeeper having no chance of preventing the goal (last line block).
This definition makes it clear that the shot needs to be aimed at the goal and have at the bare minimum, a strong chance of becoming a goal if there are no obstacles along the way, where the obstacles are the players. But there are some nuances to this which need to be explored to eliminate any further confusion.
Fortunately, Opta have us covered on that front as well, defining what does not count as a shot on target and why that is exactly:
- Any shot that hits the bar or one of the posts of the goal does not count as a shot on target unless the ball goes into the net and is awarded as a goal. This counts both as a goal because the deflection changed the shot’s trajectory and aimed it to the target. Hence, it is classified as a shot on target.
- Shots which may well have clearly and obviously been flying towards the goal but which are blocked by another player who is not the last line of defence or last man do not count as shots on target.
- One of the things people are confused about the most involves the shots that hit the post and do not go in. These are not classified as shots on target because the posts and the bar are not parts of the target. The target (goal), starts after the bars and the post. So, if the ball hits them and does not go in the goal, it was not a shot on target despite it being a very good shot and an obvious goal chance.
- Blocked/deflected shots that hit the bar or the posts are also not considered shots on target.
- Shots that fail to reach the goal line but were originally going towards the goal line, which the goalkeeper collects, are not shots on target.
- Direct corner attempt the keeper saves does not constitute a shot on target because the intent is hard to judge and/or prove. A direct goal from the corner kick is a goal though, and therefore also a shot on target.
Going on this metric allows both the stats and the betting companies globally to use the same system of measurement and allows punters to know exactly what it is they are looking out for when they cheer on their bet. It is important to know this as you follow the game you wagered on because you hardly want to get disappointed later thinking you won when it turns out you lost. Even worse, imagine throwing away a winning slip because you thought a shot was not on target or that it was!