This is another case of betting markets that seem similar but that have different implications, similar to our 0-0 vs No Goalscorer article. The ‘double chance’ and the ‘to qualify’ bet are both equally popular, but they can lead to very different outcomes, especially in cup games.
What we are going to do in this article is work out if one offers better value than the other. We are also going to look at specific situations where one market is a better option than the other. As ever with these things, the differences can often be quite tight, but they are markets that many people fail to associate with each other, leaving value on the table as a result.
Before we dive into the strategy, let’s just take a minute to familiarise ourselves with what each bet means and how the markets work.
The double chance bet is essentially where you combine two results into one, giving a greater chance of winning the bet. The combinations are as follows:
- Home win or draw
- Away win or draw
- Home win or away win
So, if you were to back the home win or draw bet, then providing either the home team won or the draw occurred, then the bet would win. You will get the same payout for either result, and only if the away team win would your bet lose.
These markets are best used for games that are going to be pretty tight. It might that one team is a stronger favourite than the other, but there is still a decent chance the other team could pick up a result.
The odds for double chance bets are obviously less than the match result market as they are easier bets to win, but the trade off is less risk of losing.
This market is where you bet on a team to qualify for the next round of a cup or competition. You may think that this would simply be the team that wins the game, but this is not always the case. It depends on how the competition is set up – sometimes there are two legs to each stage of the competition, for example.
The main thing to understand is that, unlike match result betting which ends after 90 minutes plus injury time, a to qualify bet runs until the overall winner is decided, including extra time and penalties.
So if you had bet on a team to win but at 90 minutes the score was 1-1, then your bet would lose, even if that team went on to win the penalty shootout and progress in the competition.
If you place a bet on the same team to qualify, however, then your bet will win however they manage it; after 90 minutes, extra time, penalties, or even a replay. As long as the team that you choose to qualify is in the next round of the competition, then you are on to a winner with a to qualify bet.
Which Offers the Best Value?
The answer to this is going to change for each game, and as with all football bets you need to research the two teams that are playing. We will use a couple of recent cup games as examples, but it’s worth noting that these games and prices have been taken after the event, so we need to be subjective and take this into consideration.
The first game that we are going to look at is the 2018/19 FA Cup Semi Final between Watford and Wolves. The game was pretty even before the start, with Watford’s average price at 3.23, Wolves’ average price at 2.47, and the draw at 3.11. The odds state the bookies have Wolves as slight favourites, but any time you see the draw this close to both prices you know the bookie isn’t all that sure on the game.
Could this be an ideal match for one market over the other?
The prices to qualify for each were as follows:
- Wolves – 1.74 (30% decrease)
- Watford – 2.12 (34% decrease)
Given that Wolves have seen a lower decrease here, you would have to say that the value for this lies in backing Wolves, although it’s very close.
The prices for the double chance are as follows:
- Wolves and draw – 1.36
- Watford and draw – 1.57
As you can see, the double chance bet is much lower here than that of the to qualify bet. If we were able to get the same odds for the double chance and the to qualify, then you would have to say that double chance is the best bet to take. You get two chances of the bet paying out, so it’s a bit of a no brainer. All ‘to qualify’ really does is extend the bet if the game goes over 90 minutes, but your team still needs to come through a winner after extra time or on penalties.
This is a super tight spot, but even though the odds are lower, you would still say that the double chance bet offers more value regardless of which team you opted for. The bookies are having a hard time splitting them, they fancy a draw given their original pricing and the gap between the qualify and double chance odds is close enough that the value has to be there.
This game did actually end up going to extra time as it was 2-2 at the end of regular time. Watford eventually won 3-2 after extra time and progressed to the final, only to be trounced 6-0 by Man City.
Ideal Scenario for Double Chance Bets
As we already know, the closer the odds the better for this type of bet, but something else that we did realise is that the double chance market is better used for teams that are longer odds to win the game, usually up against strong favourites, and this is for a number of reasons.
The first is that if the underdog is going to progress, they are likely going to have to win the game in normal time. You have to assume that if they are made to play a further 30 minutes of extra time against a far superior team, then this increases the likelihood that eventually they will concede and lose the game.
The double chance bet allows you to cash out and win regardless of how they get on in extra time or penalties. The cash out odds will still be relatively high so you can potentially have some decent net wins, but if you are thinking an upset could be on the cards and want to make a late bet then this is the time to strike with double chance over to qualify bets.
The other semi-final in the 2019 FA Cup was between Man City and Brighton and would have been a good option for a double chance bet. Man City were rightly huge favourites, priced at just 1.15 to win and 1.05 to qualify. Brighton, on the other hand, were around 19.00 to win the match and 10.65 to qualify.
Brighton’s double chance bet was at 6.00, just 2.0 lower than the draw outright. You would take odds of 6.0 to wrap up a bet after 90 minutes with two possible results over odds of 8.00 on a single (unlikely) result all day long.
To end, the double chance bet comes into use best with long priced underdogs and we feel that this is where its value is the highest.