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Antepost, futures and each way betting

The definition of an Ante Post, also called ‘futures’ betting, is a bet that is to be settled over a longer period of time than  the instant pay-outs one may receive on match results, money-lines and other exotics.

Often these kinds of bets focus on more than just an individual game: they often focus on entire seasons, an entire playoff series, or an entire tournament.

Season-result betting is a popular form of “Ante Post” or “Futures” betting. Season-result bets often incorporate the use of the word “outrights.”

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For example, if you were to place a bet on NBA outrights, NHL outrights, NFL outrights, or MLB outrights then you are betting on who will win the NBA championship, the Stanley Cup, the Super Bowl, or the World Series respectively. These bets certainly have something to do with the individual games that are played on a nightly basis, however, with Ante Post you are betting on the big picture. The bet does not hinge on one game.

You can place Ante Post bets at basically any time of the year with limited exceptions.

Minutes after one championship ends, you can bet on the next year’s champion — take for example the 2019 NBA championship odds. This option was made available almost immediately after the resolution of the 2018 NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors are the favorites at time of writing, priced at +130 with betway. Someone who bets on Golden State will need to wait one year for the market to settle (ie. a winning bet won’t be paid for a year).

Can I place a futures bet during the season?

You can bet on outright markets mid-season.

If, for example, Major League Baseball is into the fourth month of a season, you can bet on outrights on a daily basis and here one finds an angle to take advantage of.

Sometimes the outright odds don’t shorten too quickly: that is, a team that is unexpectedly good can often be bet at their pre-season and lengthy odds for a significant time before the sportsbooks make adjustments.

What is each-way betting?

Futures BettingOne term that is common in Ante Post betting is the phrase “Each Way.”

Each way betting effectively provides punters with insurance if their bet finishes second or third.

To help illustrate what each-way terms are, we can look at Wimbledon 2018’s Ante Post. Nick Kyrgios was +1600 to win the tournament. That sportsbook offers “each-way” terms of +800.

A punter that selects Kyrgios and manually selects the each-way terms will still win something if Kyrgios loses in the final.

Importantly, each-way terms have two bets involved. If you bet 5 units on Kyrgios each way to win Wimbledon then you would be betting 5 units on his outright odds and 5 units on his “place” odds. That means the following bets would be placed:

  • 5 units @ odds of +1500: if Kyrgios wins Wimbledon outright the bet pays out 85 units
  • 5 units @ odds of +800: if Kyrgios wins or finishes runner-up the bet pays 45 units

You have bet 10 units and both bets pay out if Kyrgios is the Wimbledon champion for a total of 130 units. If Kyrgios finishes 2nd then the second bet still pays out for a return of 45 units. Each-way terms are nice if you are betting small on huge longshots. In that case, you only need the player to make the final.

For example, Caroline Wozniacki lost in the 2014 US Open final to Serena Williams. But Wozniacki was a pre-tournament longshot at about 50 to 1. Those that bet her and selected “each-way” terms of 1-2, 1/2 would have received 25 to 1 on the place component. Those odds are more than long enough to pay for the losing outright bet with plenty leftover for bankroll gains.

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Each-way terms are often only expressed as “1-2, 1/2” in a lot of sports. However, you see different expressions in golf and horse racing. For example “1-5, 1/3” would mean that the player or horse you bet on in Ante Post could finish 1st through 5th for one third of the odds. If you used these terms, then you would still only have two bets: one on the outright market and one on the place component.

In conclusion, the big benefit of futures betting (ie. Ante Post betting) is that you can get involved with your team or player without betting every game individually. A bet on the New York Yankees in early April to win the World Series involves you in every game along the way. That’s because the Yankees will still have to do well in the regular season just to make the World Series. It can be seen as a cheap way of getting behind a team. Perhaps the downside is that you will need to have some patience with Ante Post, because the settlement dates can be a long ways off.

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