What Is an Outright Bet?

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Outright bets on sports events differ from match, game or race bets in that you are wagering on a team or player to win their overall tournament. These are simple, long-term bets. The best examples are bets on who will win the Premier League, the World Cup or perhaps a tennis tournament, such as Wimbledon or the US Open. It’s important first of all to remember the difference between an outright bet and an ante-post bet.

In football terms, you could call betting on a football team an ante-post bet as it is in advance. The term ante-post, however, concerns horse racing more. If you back a team to win an overall competition, this is considered to be an ‘outright’ bet, i.e., to win the league or cup title outright. When you place an outright bet on a team, such as in the Premier League, or a player such as in a golf tournament, you will only be paid out when the tournament has concluded, or when your chosen bet has won. Cashing out is possible, however, with some bookmakers on outrights.

Example of an Outright Bet

Outright betHere’s how ‘outright tournament winner’ odds can look in football. These bets can call for extreme patience. You can back a golfer to win the Open and wait only four days for the conclusion. If you back a team to win or be relegated from the Premier League on the other hand you will be sitting on that bet for nine months.

One way to get around this is not to place the outright bet before the tournament has begun. You could, if you prefer, wait until a number of games, matches or rounds have been played before then making your final choice on an outright winner. Taking an outright bet doesn’t just mean betting on a team or player to win either. Many other markets exist now for tournaments.

Outright Betting Markets in Football

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The number of outright markets will depend on the sport in question, the tournament and, of course, the bookmaker. Some offer only the basics, while others offer all sorts of weird and wonderful long-term outright bets. You can with some firms even request a long-term bet that doesn’t show among the markets published on their website. We’ve listed some of the most common outright bets below.

To Win Outright

This is the simplest one to explain. In this market, you are simply backing your chosen team to win the league or cup overall. As with the World Cup example above, you could back England for at a best-priced 8/1. To win your money, they would have to lift the World Cup and nothing else will do.

For league competitions, such as the Premier League, you can also bet each-way. In a 20-team league, you may only be given 1/3 odds for two places, however, so backing Liverpool at 5/2 each-way wouldn’t do. If you fancied Tottenham to have a massive season though at 12/1, then you’d effectively get 4/1 for the place portion of your bet which isn’t bad at all.

Many bookmakers also offer ‘to win outright without’ markets, similar to horse racing’s ‘without the favourite’ option. You may fancy Man United to have a massive season, but don’t see value in their outright odds as you don’t think they can beat Man City or Liverpool. In a market without the big two, you may get 5/1. As long as they finish above every other team in the league bar those two, you win your bet.

Top Goalscorer

Top Goalscorer is another simple one. This bet involves picking the one single player who will be top goalscorer within a specific league, cup or tournament. A similar bet offered by some bookies is the ‘golden glove’ market. With this, you would pick the goalkeeper responsible for conceding the fewest goals during the league season, cup or tournament.

To Be Relegated

A popular outright market within all football league is the ‘to be relegated’ market. There may be more than one team odds-on to be relegated too, with prices skewed, of course, by the fact that three teams go down in the Premier League and many other competitions. There is often good value in this market. At the beginning of most Premier League seasons, the three top candidates for relegation will be the three promoted teams from the Championship.

However, at least one promoted team often goes on to do well, leaving at least one relegation place up for grabs for a hitherto established top-level side. Some firms also include ‘not to be relegated’ in this section. If you think a lowly-rated team will actually go on to do well, their odds not to be relegated will be greater than their odds to go down and so are worth taking.

Finishing Position

You don’t need to be too exact when it comes to outright football bets. Not only do you not need to pick out one single team to win, you won’t need to back them to finish in a specific position either.

Rather, there are markets in major leagues, such as the Premier League like the ‘to finish top 4’, ‘to finish top 6’, ‘to finish top half’, etc. These markets can provide great value for punters who’ve spotted an up-and-coming team whose potential finishing position is undervalued and overpriced by the bookmakers. For teams outside of the top level, such as the Championship, League One or League Two, markets such as ‘to be promoted’ or ‘to reach the play-offs’ are good betting options.

Forecast & Tricast

For the major leagues, some bookmakers offer pre-set odds for both forecasts and tricasts. For example, a Premier League forecast of Man City 1st and Liverpool 2nd could pay around 7/4, which is short. A reasonably fair shout of a tricast on Man City 1st, Liverpool 2nd and Man United 3rd would pay more like 10/1. Forecasts, and especially tricasts, are rather exact and are difficult bets to get right having waited so long for the result to be made official.

To Reach the Final

Tournament betting is arguably even more popular in football outrights than league betting. This is partly because a World Cup or European Championships takes around four weeks rather than nine months!

As well as outright tournament winner odds, many bookmakers offer odds on teams simply to reach the final, which amounts to an each-way bet. As well as this, you could also indulge in ‘to reach the semi-final’ or ‘to reach the quarter-final’ markets, as well as ‘group qualification’, which simply means a team getting out of their group and making the knock-out phase.


A whole bunch of extra markets are made available within football outrights. Bets such as ‘regional winner’ can be taken in the Premier League, i.e., the top London side, ‘top newcomer’ which involves backing the best promoted team, as well as ‘team finishing position’ and various ‘player specials’.

Placing Your Outright Bet

With most online bookmakers; simply head first to the sport your chosen tournament takes place within, i.e., football or rugby. Look for an ‘outrights’ section, then for the tournament, league or cup in question. When clicking on that, the various markets will show up. Within each market, odds are given for every player or team. Click on those odds to add your selection to a bet slip and away you go.

Outright Betting Strategy

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Picking out an outright bet for tennis or golf can be difficult. In most cases, you’d need to be a very avid watcher of those sports to know who is in form and who will handle a certain court, course or tournament. For outright football bets, however, there are a couple of things you can do without being a pro to help you along somewhat:

Learn to Wait

If your team is 5/1 to win the World Cup, they’re fancied. Winning their first game then will not destroy their odds as it’s expected, so you can wait a game or two to see how things are. If they draw, their odds may even increase without you thinking any less of their chances, so stay patient.

Back More Than One Team

Teams at 6/1, 7/1, 10/1 etc can all have a chance of winning a World Cup. Those at 4/1 and 5/1 to finish top 8 in the Premier League can also be good value. If you like more than one team at value odds, then don’t throw all your betting eggs into one outright basket.

Use Stats & ‘Values’

You can check on how well an individual player has done and is doing via various stats sites which give their performance out of 10. More importantly, you can check on the current transfer market values of individuals and whole squads to give you an idea of which team is more valuable than its main rivals.