What is Outright Betting?
Outright betting is betting on an event as a whole, with ante-post betting the process of betting on it prior to it beginning, sometimes weeks or months ahead.
This is a common method of betting as it can frequently aid bettors in gaining an edge on the market, rather than missing out as the odds diminish alongside a prediction potentially coming truer as the season ensues.
However, one of the cons of outright betting is that so many unexpected events can occur during a season, including change of managers, transfers and injuries. Potential cash out offers are always worth keeping an eye on for this reason.
In football, there are several markets in dozens of divisions across the world available for outright betting, with Outright Winner, Top Goalscorer and Outright Relegation three of the most popular ones.
Most bookmakers provide the function to build accumulators, too, for example predicting the winners of the Championship, League One and League Two as a treble, substantially increasing the odds on offer as a result.
Bookmakers such as Sky Bet also often offer outright Request-A-Bets, which allow you to combine different predictions into a single bet for potentially massive odds, for example Derby to win the league, Oxford to finish inside the top six and Morecambe to be relegated.
Without further ado, then, let’s delve into the Championship ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, analysing which teams and players may be over-rated or under-rated and how we may be able to beat the bookmakers.
League One has been an incredibly strong league in recent seasons, with a host of recent Premier League clubs mixed in with rising forces in the second and third tiers.
This season, it looks very difficult to look beyond Sheffield Wednesday having an incredibly strong campaign. They massively improved under Darren Moore before falling short against Sunderland in the play-offs, but with the additions of Michael Smith and Michael Ihiekwe from promoted Rotherham at either end of the pitch supplemented by the likes of David Stockdale, Will Vaulks and Tyreeq Bakinson, they should be able to live up to their billing as pre-season favourites to claim a top two finish.
In Barry Bannan they still have probably the division’s most technically accomplished footballer and it would be no surprise to see him laying chances on a plate for Smith. 9/2 (bet365) may be a short price, but it’s a fair one for a strong-looking Owls outfit.
Ipswich should finally challenge at this level having hugely improved under Kieran McKenna and made some impressive signings themselves, while the likes of Derby and Peterborough have more than enough quality to be there or thereabouts too.
For those looking for a bigger price, though, I’m surprised to see MK Dons at 16/1 (Unibet) given their success in League One in recent years.
We bagged success with Rotherham at a similar price (14/1) last season and while the losses of Scott Twine and Harry Darling to Championship clubs will be a blow, Liam Manning is onto something good in Milton Keynes.
Will Grigg and Bradley Johnson add proven pedigree and experience to a reasonably young side, too. They may fall just short once again, but there’s no way they should be that price for those looking for potentially bigger returns.
Despite having four places to pick from, relegation from League One is an incredibly difficult market to call.
Last season’s promoted trio of Morecambe, Cheltenham Town and Cambridge United all defied pre-season expectations, so it remains to be seen whether Exeter, Forest Green, Bristol Rovers and Port Vale can do likewise this time around.
It’ll be a sizable step up in class for all four clubs, with Forest Green and Port Vale‘s lack of summer transfer business so far particularly concerning.
With Rob Edwards departing The Green for Watford, there has to be a question mark surrounding them at this level, particularly after suffering a massive drop off throughout the second half of last season anyway.
I’m surprised to see them at odds of 11/4 to go straight back down. Ebou Adams, Kane Wilson and Nicky Cadden have all followed Edwards out of the door, while Matt Stevens is still a few months away from returning from his ACL injury, placing huge goalscoring pressure on Jamille Matt.
In terms of those already competing at this level, Morecambe and Cheltenham are likely to dip having overperformed last season.
However, there’s something about Derek Adams and the Shrimpers and, should they keep hold of star man Cole Stockley, they look poor value as favourites to be relegated to me.
Cheltenham, on the other hand, have lost manager Michael Duff to Barnsley and I’m not convinced they have enough about them to have anything but a long, hard season battling against the drop.
At 2/1 (Betway) I think they’re decent value to fall back down to the fourth tier, even if I expect it to be close either way.