What is the Most Common Score in a Football Match?

In this post I am going to look at which full-time scores are the most common in football matches across the major European leagues. I will also be looking at some other associated data such as the most common half-time scores and comparing the most common football scores in higher leagues versus those in lower leagues and looking at what percentage of games end in a draw.

The data I am using for this post is from the last 5 full seasons (2015/2016 to 2019/2020) of the following mainstream European leagues:

  • English Premier League
  • English Championship
  • Spanish La Liga
  • Spanish La Liga 2
  • German Bundesliga
  • German 2. Bundesliga
  • French Ligue 1
  • French Ligue 2
  • Italian Serie A
  • Italian Serie B
  • Austrian Tipco Bundesliga
  • Danish Superliga
  • Netherlands Eredivisie

What is the Most Common Score (Across all Leagues)

To start off in answering this question I will be looking across all of the aforementioned European leagues over the past 5 full seasons, with a total of 23,210 games being sampled this should give us a good idea of the most common scores to expect.

table of most common full-time scores

 

chart of most common full-time scores

As can be seen in the table above, 1-1 is clearly the most common score for a football match making up 12.64% of all sampled games. After this we see 1-0 coming in as the second most common at 10.4% of games and after this is 2-1 making up just over 9% of the sampled football games.

If we look at the top 10 scores above we can also see, with the 3 draws aside, that we have 4 home victories versus only 3 away victories, more evidence of this home team advantage is also present as you look further down the results with winning home team scores proving more common.

What is the Most Common Half Time Score (Across all Leagues)

With the full time scores sorted out above we can now look at the most common half-time scores in the aforementioned football matches.

table of most common half-time scores

 

chart of most common half-time scores

As per the above table we can now see that 0-0 is by far the most common half-time score with 31.52% of the sampled games standing at this result. Looking into this data a little deeper we can also see that 0-0 alongside 1-0 (at 21.13%) and 0-1 (at 15.28%) make up a whopping 67.93% of all scores at the half-time mark! This in-turn means that at the half time mark of the sampled 23,210 games we have 67.93% of games having less than 2 goals currently scored!

This result helps reaffirm that teams, in general, do tend to score more heavily in the second half of football games and this is present across the board, I have also written about this before, click here to read some of my other work on this phenomenon.

What is the Most Common Score (Higher Leagues vs Lower Leagues)

In this section I want to address how higher leagues compare with lower leagues when looking at the most common scores in football matches, for example, the English Premier League versus the English Championship and the Bundesliga vs the 2 Bundesliga. I will be grouping all of the above leagues which have a second league in to higher and lower groups and comparing these two groups directly as I have with all other metrics so far.

NB – Just for clarity, these two groups I am using comprise of the following leagues:

Higher group: English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, Italian Serie A

Lower group: English Championship, Spanish La Liga 2, German 2. Bundesliga, French Ligue 2, Italian Serie B

Full Time Scores

In the two tables below we can see (first) the most common full time scores for the higher group of leagues and then (second) the lower leagues:

Higher Leagues:

table of most common full-time scores for higher leagues

 

chart of most common full-time scores higher leagues

 

Lower Leagues:

table of most common full-time scores for higher leagues

 

chart of most common full-time scores lower leagues

Looking at the most common scores for both leagues above it becomes clear that a score of 1-1 followed by 1-0 are by far the most common for both groups of leagues. To extend on this further we can see the percentage gap widens in the lower leagues which see a higher percentage of games with these scorelines at the top of the table versus the higher leagues. We can also see, at a glance, that a 0-0 result is much more prominent in the lower leagues as the third most common score than in the higher leagues where it sits at position number 6 (9.19% of all sampled games vs 7.08% respectively).

I also think it is worth noting that we don't see any game with a 3 in the score (e.g. 3-1) in either group until at least position number 9 when one finally appears in the higher group. Such score lines often seem much more common that they actually are in reality!

Half Time Scores

Next, I am going to repeat the above query across the two groups, albeit looking at half time scores this time around.

Higher Leagues:

table of most common half-time scores for higher leagues

 

chart of most common half-time scores higher leagues

 

Lower Leagues:

table of most common half-time scores for lower leagues

 

chart of most common half-time scores lower leagues

Now we are looking at half time scores things become (arguably) much more interesting, to start with the top two scores in both the higher and lower leagues both make up over 50% of all available scorelines at half time (a much higher percentage than in the full time results). This tells us that not only do we have a much lower range of scores at half time (29 different scores at half time vs 49 at full time) but that we tend to see much more action in the second half of games on average.

Looking at the results themselves we see that 0-0 is by far the most common scoreline at half time in both groups of leagues, interestingly, the second most popular is then 1-0 in both instances also. As with the full time scores we have to look a long way down the table before seeing games with a 3 in the score, given the reduced range of scorelines available and the much lower percentages of such games with this result at half time we can say these results will be much harder to come by at the half time point in any game!

How Common are Draws in a Football Match?

Finally, I will look at how common are draws in these aforementioned leagues and seasons, both at half time and full time and across the higher and lower leagues as before (grouped as per the above section).

Full Time Draws

To start with I will look at how common draws are in the context of all of the full time games looked at so far, this gives the following result.

table of most common draw scorelines

 

chart of most common draw scorelines

As can be seen above the 1-1 draw is the most common draw by a good distance, making up 12.64% of all sampled games. Next most popular draw is the 0-0 draw making up 7.81% of all sampled games, something which is fairly consistent regardless of which league you you look at!

Finally, when excluding the 1-1 and 0-0 draws we see all other draw scores make up a little over 6% of the total of all possible scorelines in the sample, the biggest of these remaining draws being the 2-2 draw with everything after that becoming (relatively) rare to find!

Half Time Draws

I will now run the same query as above, looking at the number of draws in comparison to the overall number of games sampled, this time, however, I will be taking the scores of all games at the half time point!

chart of most common draw scorelines

As can be seen above we have a very limited range of values here, the most obvious thing being in all of the 23,210 games sampled we don't see any draw higher than 3-3 at the halfway part of any game! With this fact out of the way we can see the 0-0 draw is by far the most common draw at half time making up just over 31% of all games with 1-1 coming in second and making up approx 10% of all games sampled.

Lower League Draws vs Higher League Draws

Finally, I am going to compare the number of draws in the higher leagues with those in the lower leagues (again, the same groups of leagues as already used in this article).

chart of higher leagues vs lower leagues for full-time draws

In the above table we can see the number of draws in the higher leagues (top table) and those in the lower leagues (bottom table). Notice how we tend to see a noticeable increase in the number of lower scoring draws in the lower leagues, for example, we see 14.15% of 1-1 draws in the lower group versus 11.49% in the higher and 9.19% of 1-1 draws in the lower group versus 7.08% in the higher.

After the obvious increase in 0-0 and 1-1 draws, both higher and lower leagues then start coming much closer together with draws of 3-3 and higher becoming very uncommon in both groups and making up only very small percentages of all sampled games.

Conclusion

With over 23,210 sampled games across the mainstream European leagues we can finally conclude what are the most common scores in football matches:

  • The most common full time score was 1-1, this score made up 12.65% of all sampled games. 1-1 was also the most common score for games ending in a draw accounting for just over 47% of all games which ended in a draw.

  • The second most common score was 1-0 making up 10.4% of all sampled games. Following this score as the third most popular was 2-1 making up just over 9% of games and then fourth was 0-0 at 7.81%.

  • The most common score at half time was 0-0, this made up 31.52% of all sampled games at this stage. The second most common score was 1-1 (making up 10.31%) followed by a big drop to the third most popular score of 2-2 making up a tiny 0.78% of scores at this stage of a game.

  • 1-0 and 0-1 are the second and third most popular scored at the half-time stage making up 21.13% and 15.28% of all sampled games respectively.

  • Interestingly, we tend to see a higher percentage of games in the lower leagues ending in a draw than in the higher leagues. The two most popular draw scores across both leagues are 0-0 and 1-1 and these two scores combined make up the final score of 23.34% of all games in the lower leagues versus only 18.57% in the higher leagues!

What makes this specific question so interesting is that in answering it we see some noticeable differences in how games fare at different points, this includes games at half time versus full time and also when comparing higher leagues versus lower leagues. For example, at the half time point we see a large proportion of 0-0 draws whereas the most common full time score across all sampled games was 1-1.

It is also interesting, again, to note that lower leagues tend to play out differently (statistically speaking) to higher leagues and this is consistent across many different types of stats. In this article we can see that whilst both groups of leagues still produced 1-1 as their most common result, this was making up 14.15% of games in the lower leagues versus only 11.49 in the higher group.

And Finally…

I hope you have found this article interesting, I like to piece together such data and break away from the hum-drum (and quite frankly boring) football stats you littered across the web. Digging deeper into stats such as those mentioned above can also help in understanding teams and leagues much better in terms of their performance, in turn this knowledge can then used to help develop successful football trading strategies (such as those discussed in my football trading strategies article).

If you are interested in building up you own, professional standard, football stats database and in-turn learning the skills needed to query it and develop such stats for yourself, please check out my detailed eBook course: Supercharge Your Football Betting Stats!

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