Put simply, a three-way bet in football is a wager that involves one of three possible outcomes. Usually, a bet of this kind will be placed on how the match will end. It can either end in a home win, an away win, or a draw.
While the option of the draw means the wager differs from a two-way bet, in that instance, you are selecting one choice or the other and these are usually found in sports where they cannot be a tie – examples such as tennis or baseball spring to mind.
Otherwise known as a win draw win bet or 1×2 bet, this is the most common of all the football wagers that are made on a daily basis. It is the market that is given the biggest focus when discussing odds and is the perfect entry point for people who are looking to take on the bookmakers.
3-Way Football Betting Is The Most Popular Market
It makes for the perfect entry point because you are not worrying about the frequency of actions such as goals scored, corners awarded, or cards handed out. Instead, you are only worrying about your pre-match prediction and this is why 3-way betting football is the most popular market of all.
One Of Three
Make the right decision of three and you will have a winning bet, make an incorrect choice and you will also be on the losing side. To give us an example of how the market works, here are some odds for an upcoming Premier League fixture:
If these odds were displayed as a 1×2 bet, Fulham would take the role of ‘1’, the Draw would be signified by ‘x’ and Chelsea would play the role of ‘2’. For all intents and purposes, the 1 is the home team and the 2 is the away.
However, you do need to remember that a 1×2 bet (or win draw win bet) can also be in place for matches held at neutral venues – an example would be a World Cup or Champions League final and for administrative purposes, there will always be a ‘home’ or ‘away’ team.
Now we know the lie of the land of the market, we can break the bet down further. With three options available, it means we have a 1 in 3 chance of predicting the winning outcome and if all things were even, each option would be worth 33.3% in terms of probability.
This can be better explained If we had a dice that designated the numbers 1 and 2 to Fulham, 3 and 4 to a Chelsea win and 5 and 6 to the draw, the probability of either outcome being rolled would also be 1 in 3 – the same probability of selecting the same match result.
As we can see though, the pre-match odds are far different from 33.3% across the board and the reason for this is due to a number of factors. These can include injuries for both Fulham and Chelsea and the previous form of the two sides.
This means although you have a 33% chance of winning in theory, it is not as simple as picking three equal options and hoping you avoid the two outcomes that are now working against you. It is an easy bet to place but not necessarily an easy bet to win.
In All Probability
However, like any football wager that you will place, there is a sense that risk once again equals reward. If you were to back Chelsea winning at Craven Cottage, the odds would indicate an implied probability of 47.6% – 14.3% more than the equal probability.
A higher probability but you are asking a team that is currently out of form to not only win in the Premier League but also do so away from home and against the nearest neighbours who are higher up the table.
If Chelsea does the business and you back Graham Potter’s men to come out on top, you have squeezed some value out of the market. Back the Blues and they fail to win in West London, you will soon feel the blues yourself.
By the same token, you could look at Fulham’s recent form in the Premier League and sense there is some value in the market. If the equal odds for all outcomes is 3.00 (33.3% implied probability), anything north of that offers a bit more meat on the bones.
Therefore, Fulham’s odds of 3.50 (28.6% probability) are only slightly less than all things being equal and perhaps more importantly, Marco Silva’s men have home advantage for this latest edition of the West London derby.
If this Premier League clash may be a little too close to call in terms of a decision, the theatre of international football can make things a lot easier. With the giants being paired against the minnows, it can be an easy way to build your bankroll over time.
For example, England’s men’s national team has an incredible record when it comes to World Cup or European Championship qualifiers – even if they cannot reach the promised land for a second time since 1966.
International Football Offers A Great Way To Make Long-Term Profits
A record so good that the Three Lions rarely drop points in international qualifiers and although the bookmakers give little away in terms of generosity, their odds can still be enticing enough for long-term bettors.
For example, we can look at England’s World Cup qualifier with Albania in November 2021 and the pre-match odds:
England – 1.17
Draw – 7.40
Albania – 20.00
Unsurprisingly the bookmakers have plumped for an England win and thankfully for them, there was no jeopardy whatsoever. Gareth Southgate’s men roared to an emphatic 5-0 win; punters earned a 17% ROI on their stake.
Admittedly that winning bet is not going to be enough to start the retirement fund on its own but repeat this kind of wager during the international windows and it is an easier way to start building your bankroll.
Because European international qualifiers have a habit of being processional at times, it offers the group’s top seeds plenty of opportunities to rack up much-needed points. Not only that, but it offers you the opportunity to rack up some winning wagers.
For this reason, international football bets seem to be far safer than their domestic league or cup counterparts. If the same odds for the England game were applied to Manchester City versus Brentford in November, it would have led to plenty of coupon busters.
As Ivan Toney netted a winning goal for the traveling Bees, those short odds for City have offered nothing in the way of ROI. Instead, Pep Guardiola’s men have put a dent in your account and highlighted that the Premier League is always a difficult league to read.
Thankfully those some pitfalls do not present themselves within the confines of international football and if you see lopsided odds such as with the England game above, your 3-way bet should always follow the favourites.