When it comes to betting on football, most punters make the majority of their bets on individual games. The biggest matches have over 700 markets available at the best football betting sites these days so you have so much choice. In addition, when it comes to what some people term (or at least some bookies list as) match betting, or match odds, you rarely have to wait too long for your bet to settle.
However, our focus in this feature is outright markets, often simply called outrights. This is a very different type of football bet where you are not focussed solely on one game; or often simply one very specific aspect of a game, such as who will win, how many goals there will be, if there will be a booking, or which side will win the most corners. Instead, with an outright wager, you are normally picking a side to win a league, cup or other competition overall.
In this article, we take a closer look at outright winner betting in football, detailing some of the most popular markets and giving you an idea of what odds you can expect. We will also look at what other less obvious outrights there are, aside from, for example, backing a team to win the Premier League or the FA Cup.
What Is Outright Winner Betting?
As we have said, outright winner betting is when you are making a wager that does not relate just to a specific match. Many fans would usually offer that it is when you back a team to win a league or cup and indeed that is pretty much what we said above. Note, however, that we said “normally” because, whilst this sort of outright bet is by far the most popular, outright markets actually cover a huge number of other options too. We will look at these shortly but for now let us try and come to a more all-encompassing, thorough and complete definition of what we mean by outright winner betting.
In truth, it probably isn’t possible to come up with a perfect definition because different bookies may interpret and use the term differently. What’s more, millions of football-loving punters around the world certainly do that. However, for us, the key is not to look at outrights but instead to look at match odds and betting. These are wagers that relate to a specific game only, or even just part of a match.
With a small number of possible exceptions, we would say that outright winner betting more or less covers every other football bet there is. In other words, outright markets relate to outcomes over multiple matches. We prefer to think of it this way because simply saying outright bets are when you back a club to win a competition is far too limiting, as we shall see.
What Odds Can You Get with an Outright Bet?
The odds can vary enormously, in part because there is such a wide range of markets that fall under the outright umbrella. Sticking with the most mainstream options, you might see Bayern Munich available at 1/3 to win the Bundesliga – after all, they have won it, at the time of writing, for a rather dull 10 years in a row. In contrast, Leicester City were, famously, priced at 5,000/1 to win the league ahead of the 2015/16 campaign when they made a mockery of those pre-season odds.
Even looking at the same market you will see huge variation, reflecting the fact that in most leagues or cups, the gap between the best and worst sides is quite significant. For example, ahead of the third round of the 2022/23 FA Cup, Man City and Liverpool are favourites at 7/2 and 11/2, respectively: in contrast, you can back Gillingham (if you dislike money) at 7,500/1!
That said, as a general rule, most outrights do tend to offer relatively rewarding odds. Whilst many of the most popular selections on a single match, such as the home team to win, over 2.5 goals, BTTS or a star striker to score, will be odds-on, it is far rarer to see such a price in an outright market. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that outrights hinge on multiple matches, not just one. In addition, many of the standard and popular bets within the world of match betting have two, three or perhaps a few more possible outcomes. In contrast, many outrights have 20 (in the case of many leagues) or more.
When Can You Place Outrights?
Outright bets can usually be made at almost anytime, right up to the day of a cup final or the last day of the league season. When it comes to the final of a cup competition, a novice error can be to back a side in the match odds market when you really should be backing them either as an outright or in the specific “To lift the trophy” market. The key difference is that the former is 90 minutes only, whilst the latter two options include wins in extra time or by penalties.
At the other end of the spectrum, you can also place outrights weeks, months and possibly even years in advance. Outright wagers are popularly made ante post, so you might bet on who will win the Premier League during pre-season. However, you can place them on tournaments, such as the Euros or World Cup years before the finals. At the time of writing, for example, Germany have just been eliminated at the group stage of the 2022 World Cup and yet they are the favourites in the outright winner market for Euro 2024 (which takes place in Germany).
How far in advance you place the bet also has a big impact on the odds. Typically, the earlier you make the wager, the longer the prices, unless a side makes a very bad start to their league campaign for example. If a side is doing well, their odds will shorten in the outright market, so whilst Leicester were 5,000/1 pre-season in 2015/16 and even after a few games, that price dropped and dropped as they sustained their fine start to the campaign.
At various points in that season there were five different favourites in the outright betting. Leicester did not take that position until early February, after they took Man City apart at the Etihad. Chelsea began the season at the head of the market, whilst Man City, Spurs and Arsenal also took their turns. Indeed, Leicester were still priced at 100/1 in late November, despite sitting atop the Premier League table, which shows that as with many things in life, timing is everything when it comes to betting.
What Are the Less Obvious Outrights I Can Bet on?
Whilst many mistakenly describe outright football betting as wagering on a side to win a league or cup, there is, as we have said, much more to it than that. Focussing solely on the Premier League, we can see that there are so many options that fall under the umbrella of an outright bet. Below is just a selection …
- Relegation – Which team will go down
- Bottom of the Pile – Who will finish bottom of the table
- To Stay Up – On a side to avoid relegation
- Top Goalscorer – Which player will bag most PL goals
- Top Assists – As above but for assists
- Sack Race – Which PL manager will leave their post next
- Top Four Finish – On a side to finish in the top four of the PL
- Top Six Finish – Various other options may be offered, including top eight, top 10 and more
- Forecasts – Bet on the top two, three or more sides in the correct order, or the bottom two or three
- Team-Based Outrights – Top scorer for a named team, named team to finish above another side and more
In addition to outrights such as these for a league, you have further possibilities when it comes to major tournaments and events with a similar structure, such as the Champions League. For example you may see options regarding who will win each of the groups, who will qualify, who will finish bottom, as well as forecasts for the top two or three places. You can back a side to make the final, bet on whether there will be a first-time winner, who the top scorer for one of the clubs will be, how many red cards, goals or penalties there will be across the whole competition … the list of outright football betting options is almost endless.