Going beyond the Match Outright
In the regular outright market of a football match, there are three potential outcomes (1X2). Whichever is selected is a risky option in terms that you only have a one in three chance of picking the right one. So that leaves two outcomes that could potentially bring down your bet.
However, there are alternative and relatively straight forward options to the match outright in football betting, which trims some risk.
We are going to explore both the Draw No Bet and the Double Chance bets in this guide and take a look at how they both work.
What both bets do is mitigate some of the risk that is involved in the match outright market of a game. They are both types of bet that cut down the number of options that could go against you. As with any bets that offer a little insurance on markets, it comes with a sacrifice of odds by a bookmaker.
The ‘Dreaded’ Draw - the bookmakers’ friend
In a football fixture from any league or competition, you will usually have a fairly decent idea of which team is more likely to win than the other. That’s the easy part, but that third wheel in the betting party, the draw, casts a lot of doubt on options.
It’s often wrongly ignored by punters. Draws happen. They ruin a lot of good-looking bets because figuring out the real probability of it happening is far tougher than it is in gauging the chance of either team winning.
The draw in a match is often called the “bookmaker’s friend”. That’s because it is the least-backed option in football matches, so it’s a big payout for the bookie when a draw happens.
When there are three options in a market, the bookmaker has a better chance of bigger margins. No matter which outcome happens, they know that they are going to be collecting money from all of the stakes that have been placed on the two losing options.
Coverage from a Draw No Bet
Draw No Bet offers a little coverage against the match outright in a fixture. It does that by refunding a stake if the team you have backed with the Draw No Bet option, ends up drawing the fixture. So the basic premise of the Draw No Bet is to cut out the risk of losing a stake because of a draw.
Importantly, because some of the risk in the wager has been cut (the return of stake in a draw), then the odds are not going to be as long as they are on the same team in the match outright. Let’s look at a real example of this:
Match Outright Odds: Manchester United 2.3, Arsenal 2.8, Draw 3.25
Draw No Bet Odds: Manchester United 1.72, Arsenal 2.0
So that is quite the significant shift in odds between backing Manchester United outright and backing them in a Draw No Bet. Basically what is happening is that you are eliminating the probability of the draw outcome.
In the match outright, by converting the odds to probability, there will be a figure of just over 100% (which incorporates the bookmaker margin). But with the Draw No Bet, you are cutting the probability of the draw by backing a team, so the odds are naturally going to be a lot leaner than they are in the match outright.
So in backing a Manchester United Draw No Bet you are placing a stake on Manchester United to win the game but to receive a stake refund if they draw. On the flip side, if Manchester United were defeated, the entire stake would of course, be lost.
Taking a Double Chance - a Draw No Bet Alternative
Another way to trim some of the risk from an option in the outright market of a match is through a Double Chance bet. This can be looked at as an actual alternative to a Draw No bet. This one differs from the Draw No Bet in that it pays out on a draw if that option is backed.
Each Double Chance selection has two outcomes covered. There are three outcomes in a Double Chance market.
- Home Team to Win or Draw (1Х)
- Away Team to Win or Draw (Х2)
- Home Team to Win or Away Team to Win (12)
Going back to the main match outright for a game (1X2) where a bet on one outcome means that two are opposing your bet, the Double Chance flips the table. The punter now has two outcomes backed to win, meaning only one can ruin the wager.
This again is an insurance type of bet and will be at shorter odds than in the match outright.
What about the odds-difference in a Double Chance? In the Match Outright for the example game in this guide, we had Manchester United 2.3, Arsenal 2.8 and the Draw at 3.25.
Man Utd to Win or Arsenal to win 1.3
Man Utd to Win or Draw 1.36
Arsenal to Win or Draw 1.53
So the punter gets to combine two of the three potential outcomes into one bet. So that is where the big change is, where a lot of risk is eliminated. So your chance of the bet winning is now greater than just on a single pick in the match outright.
From the punter’s perspective however in terms of odds, it is weighing up the option of whether the insurance that a Double Chance bet gives, is worth it.
From the bookmaker's perspective, a Double Chance bet is a higher risk for them, so they take odds value away. The fewer the market options, the less of a margin that they can play with.
The Draw No Bet and the Double Chance are both bet types that are based in conservatism. They do have a place in betting of course and are good in situations where for example, a punter fancies the underdog to avoid defeat in a home game against stronger opposition.
Being able to back the Away Win/Draw in the Double Chance market would then be a reasonable option to back up the assumption. The big trade-off and choice comes in balancing the odds-reduction both bring. Both the Draw No Bet and the Double Chance bets come at a cost. But both represent viable alternatives to the match outright in football betting.