Sep 6, 2019
Sep 6, 2019

Corners betting in soccer: Value in a lesser-known market

What is corners betting?

The basics of betting on corners in soccer

Using stats to inform your corners betting

Corners betting in soccer: Value in a lesser-known market
While you'll be hard pushed to find a bookmaker who doesn’t collate a wealth of data to form their soccer betting odds, moving away from the standard 1X2 and Handicap markets might give you a chance to exploit discrepancies. Read on to find out how you can benefit from betting on corners.

Finding a niche market in betting can often lead to value. This can be anything from specialist knowledge of handball betting to extensive experience in betting on the Oscars. Providing you know more than the bookmaker, there is money to be made.

Why bet on corners?

Corners betting in soccer has become increasingly popular in recent years. In addition to offering bettors a chance to take advantage of a bookmaker’s lack of knowledge or attention to minor details, the fluctuation of odds in live corners betting is another reason sharp bettors will choose this specific market.

It is widely accepted that corners come in clusters - this isn’t to say that one corner will always be followed by another, just that corners can come in bursts of two, three or even more.

Betting on corners in soccer is very different to other markets like the 1X2 or Handicap. The outcome of a match can correlate to the corner count for each side, but this isn’t always the case. Because soccer is such a low scoring sport, draws and underdog victories are easier to come by compared to other sports. However, the corner count will be a lot higher and provide a more accurate reflection of a team's performance.

The underdog may sneak a 1-0 win or hold on for a 0-0 draw, but each team’s corner count tends to be more reliable in terms of following pre-game expectations. After looking at what could influence the number of corners in a game and analysing past statistics, corners betting in soccer will most likely become a more attractive option for bettors compared to more efficient markets.

How to bet on corners

Pinnacle offers three different markets for corners betting - Over/Under, Handicap and Money Line - across the major soccer leagues in Europe and the Champions League. 

In Over/Under corners betting, the bookmaker will set a figure for the expected combined number of corners and bettors can choose whether they think the number of corners in the match will be over or under that amount. 

Handicap corners betting is the same format as Handicap betting in soccer, basketball, the NFL or any other sport - the bookmaker gives one side an advantage (indicated by a + figure) and the other a disadvantage (indicated by a - figure) to counter a perceived bias.

For example, in a game between West Ham United and Manchester City, West Ham might be +3 corners and Manchester City -3. Manchester City would have to win four more corners than West Ham for a bet on them to win - this would give them +1 corners after the handicap. West Ham would have to win more, the same, or anything up to two fewer corners than Manchester City in order for a bet on them to win.

Money Line corners betting market is very straightforward - it is simply a match-up of who will win the most corners within the 90 minutes of a game (or however long is left when betting in-play).

Corner betting analysis

A corner in soccer can come from various scenarios. It is widely accepted that corners come in clusters - this isn’t to say that one corner will always be followed by another, just that corners can come in bursts of two, three or even more in quick succession.

If you know how to bet on corners, the next thing to do is work out which teams are most likely to win corners and which teams are more susceptible to concede them. In terms of winning corners, shots is obviously a big contributor - a lot of shots is an indicator of offensive dominance and they will often be deflected or saved and result in a corner.

Below is a table of the average shots per game for last season's Premier League teams (with data included from 2014/15 onwards for those that have been in the Premier League since then):

Premier League: Average shots per game

-

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Average

Manchester City

17.60

16.20

16.70

17.50

18.00

17.20

Liverpool

15.50

16.60

16.80

16.80

15.10

16.16

Tottenham Hotspur

13.90

17.30

17.60

16.40

14.10

15.86

Chelsea

14.80

13.80

15.30

15.90

16.00

15.16

Arsenal

16.10

15.10

14.90

15.60

12.30

14.80

Manchester United

13.50

11.30

15.60

13.50

13.80

13.54

Southampton

13.40

13.70

14.50

11.80

12.70

13.22

Wolverhampton Wanderers

-

-

-

-

12.60

12.60

West Ham United

12.90

14.70

13.10

9.80

11.60

12.42

Leicester City

12.00

13.70

11.40

11.10

13.60

12.36

Everton

12.70

12.90

13.20

9.40

13.10

12.26

Crystal Palace

11.60

12.30

11.60

12.50

13.00

12.20

Bournemouth

-

12.20

11.90

12.20

11.70

12.00

Fulham

-

-

-

-

11.90

11.90

Newcastle United

12.30

10.40

-

11.90

11.70

11.58

Watford

-

11.70

11.10

11.60

11.50

11.48

Cardiff City

-

-

-

-

11.00

11.00

Burnley

11.30

-

10.30

9.90

9.50

10.25

Huddersfield Town

-

-

-

9.50

10.60

10.05

Brighton & Hove Albion

-

-

-

10.10

9.80

9.95

When comparing this to a table of average corners per game over the same time period, the connection between shots and corners soon becomes apparent:

Premier League: Corners per game

-

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Average

Manchester City

7.18

6.76

7.37

7.47

7.55

7.27

Liverpool

5.21

6.97

6.55

6.05

6.55

6.27

Tottenham Hotspur

5.89

6.68

7.18

6.47

5.11

6.27

Arsenal

6.68

5.97

5.97

5.87

5.58

6.01

Chelsea

5.95

6.32

5.74

6.05

5.53

5.92

Manchester United

5.61

6.00

5.71

5.79

5.26

5.67

Southampton

5.50

5.89

5.26

5.97

5.08

5.54

Crystal Palace

5.50

5.76

5.32

5.50

5.39

5.49

Bournemouth

-

5.82

5.03

5.71

5.03

5.40

Leicester City

5.55

5.18

5.18

5.34

5.53

5.36

West Ham United

6.34

5.89

4.53

4.24

4.92

5.18

Wolverhampton Wanderers

-

-

-

-

5.13

5.13

Everton

5.11

5.74

5.16

3.95

5.66

5.12

Newcastle United

5.84

4.16

-

4.39

4.76

4.79

Watford

-

4.37

4.32

4.84

4.66

4.55

Cardiff City

-

-

-

-

4.42

4.42

Huddersfield Town

-

-

-

4.34

4.26

4.30

Fulham

-

-

-

-

4.24

4.24

Brighton & Hove Albion

-

-

-

4.29

4.11

4.20

Burnley

4.47

-

3.92

4.39

3.92

4.18

A similar approach can be taken when looking at who is most likely to concede corners in a game. The shots against and number of combined shots and crosses blocked per game stats highlight teams that are under more pressure and most likely to concede corners.

The tables below show how many shots, on average, each Premier League team from 2018/19 conceded (with data included from 2014/15 season onwards for the relevant teams), as well as how many combined blocks (shots and crosses) each team made per game:

Premier League: Shots conceded per game

-

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Average

Manchester City

10.20

8.90

7.90

6.20

6.30

7.90

Liverpool

10.90

10.50

8.20

7.40

8.10

9.02

Chelsea

10.90

12.70

8.50

9.90

9.20

10.24

Tottenham Hotspur

12.90

11.10

9.20

9.40

12.10

10.94

Manchester United

10.10

10.80

9.50

11.50

13.10

11.00

Arsenal

10.70

11.80

11.40

11.10

13.10

11.62

Southampton

10.10

12.20

11.50

12.90

13.70

12.08

Wolverhampton Wanderers

-

-

-

-

12.20

12.20

Huddersfield Town

-

-

-

11.60

13.70

12.65

Watford

-

13.20

14.20

10.90

12.90

12.80

Everton

13.20

14.60

11.80

14.20

10.60

12.88

Newcastle United

11.70

14.50

-

12.60

12.90

12.93

Leicester City

14.70

13.60

14.60

12.90

11.20

13.40

Bournemouth

-

11.60

14.50

14.40

13.70

13.55

Crystal Palace

13.80

14.90

13.60

12.30

13.80

13.68

West Ham United

15.50

13.70

13.30

14.80

13.90

14.24

Brighton & Hove Albion

-

-

-

14.60

15.30

14.95

Cardiff City

-

-

-

-

15.00

15.00

Fulham

-

-

-

-

15.40

15.40

Burnley

15.60

-

17.70

15.00

17.20

16.38

Premier League: Combined blocked shots and crosses per game

-

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Average

Manchester City

5.00

3.90

3.50

2.60

2.60

3.52

Liverpool

5.10

5.30

4.00

3.80

3.40

4.32

Chelsea

5.30

6.20

4.50

5.00

3.60

4.92

Tottenham Hotspur

6.50

6.30

4.40

3.80

4.90

5.18

Manchester United

4.80

4.40

4.80

5.00

5.30

4.86

Arsenal

5.10

6.00

4.80

4.70

4.50

5.02

Southampton

5.60

6.80

6.00

5.90

6.10

6.08

Wolverhampton Wanderers

-

-

-

-

6.00

6.00

Huddersfield Town

-

-

-

5.30

4.70

5.00

Watford

-

6.40

6.70

4.50

5.20

5.70

Everton

8.40

8.10

6.40

6.90

3.90

6.74

Newcastle United

5.40

7.20

-

6.00

6.10

6.18

Leicester City

7.70

8.80

7.00

6.30

5.20

7.00

Bournemouth

-

5.10

6.80

7.10

6.20

6.30

Crystal Palace

6.90

7.30

5.90

5.70

6.20

6.40

West Ham United

7.70

7.20

5.80

6.70

6.00

6.68

Brighton & Hove Albion

-

-

-

7.90

6.80

7.35

Cardiff City

-

-

-

-

5.60

5.60

Fulham

-

-

-

-

6.10

6.10

Burnley

8.30

-

9.10

8.50

8.10

8.50

A table of the teams that have averaged the most corners conceded per game shows how valuable the previous statistics can be when betting on corners:

Premier League: Corners conceded per game

-

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Average

Manchester City

4.08

4.34

3.42

2.71

2.16

3.34

Liverpool

5.24

4.61

3.50

3.32

3.32

4.00

Manchester United

4.53

3.79

3.89

4.61

4.89

4.34

Chelsea

4.29

5.42

4.21

4.18

3.95

4.41

Tottenham Hotspur

5.53

4.76

3.58

4.21

4.92

4.60

Arsenal

4.53

4.76

5.03

4.71

4.84

4.77

Huddersfield Town

-

-

-

5.50

4.47

4.99

Wolverhampton Wanderers

-

-

-

-

5.00

5.00

Southampton

4.26

5.89

5.00

5.29

5.61

5.21

West Ham United

5.55

5.16

4.84

5.47

5.50

5.30

Bournemouth

-

4.45

5.39

5.53

5.92

5.32

Watford

-

6.42

5.32

5.21

5.53

5.62

Everton

5.32

5.97

5.66

5.58

5.66

5.64

Crystal Palace

5.95

5.84

5.87

5.50

5.68

5.77

Newcastle United

4.82

6.37

-

5.87

6.08

5.79

Brighton & Hove Albion

-

-

-

6.00

5.68

5.84

Leicester City

6.16

6.29

5.76

5.68

5.32

5.84

Fulham

-

-

-

-

5.95

5.95

Burnley

6.32

-

6.92

6.32

6.32

6.47

Cardiff City

-

-

-

-

6.84

6.84

Tactics as well as statistics

It’s not just the aforementioned stats that should be taken into consideration when betting on corners. A team’s strengths, weaknesses and tactics used in a game can have a major impact on the number of corners they win or concede.

A lot of shots is an indicator of offensive dominance and they will often be deflected or saved and result in a corner

While more shots leads to more corners, the team’s that use more width in their play or hit more crosses are also more likely to see the ball deflected or cleared away for a corner - this is another reason why teams like Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool feature at the top of the list for average number of corners won per game.

One important thing to note when betting on corners in soccer is that it’s not as simple as the favourite in the betting will win the most corners, nor is the team who wins the most corners the most likely to win the match. Continuing with the Premier League sample above, fewer than 3% of corners have been converted into a goal since the start of the 2012/13.

Despite the lack of correlation between match results and the numbers of corners won or conceded, betting on corners is still an interesting market that gives bettors the opportunity to find an edge over the bookmaker.

In-play corners betting: The importance of game state

It is very important to consider game state if you are betting on corners during a match (known as live or in-play corners betting). You may expect one team to comfortably cover the corners handicap or contribute towards the bulk of the corner count, but if that team take an early lead, they may sit back or commit fewer players forward making them less likely to rack up more corners.

Conversely, if a team is chasing the game, they will be more inclined to commit people forward, take more shots and put more balls into the box - two things that we know can result in more corners. If you are betting on corners during the match, it’s not as simple as applying your pre-game research to the available markets, you need to think about what has or hasn’t happened and how this will impact how both teams set up and play for the remainder of the match.

Betting Resources - Empowering your betting

Pinnacle’s Betting Resources is one of the most comprehensive collections of expert betting advice anywhere online. Catering to all experience levels our aim is simply to empower bettors to become more knowledgeable.