Obtaining Better Value by Creating Draw No Bet and Double Chance Markets Using Head-to-Head Odds

With football betting the three popular match outcome markets are Head-to-Head, Draw No Bet and Double Chance. The three are interconnected, so much so that you can effectively create Draw No Bet and Double Chance wagers using a pair of Head-to-Head wagers. Why bother doing so? There are actually several reasons – especially for high stakes wagering. This article outlines the benefits of using the Head-to-Head market to create equivalent Draw No Bet and Double Chance wagers. A survey of English Premier League odds is used to measure how frequently this action can be to your benefit.

A Draw No Bet and Double Chance Calculator is available in the Betting Tools section for those who want to play around with actual odds.

What are Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets?

Draw No Bet

While football Head-to-Head markets have three selections: Home, Draw and Away, Draw No Bet wagers eliminate the Draw option. In the event of a draw the Draw No Bet market refunds all wagers. You would receive higher odds by backing a team in the head-to-head market, but the Draw No Bet market provides insurance in the event of a draw.

Double Chance

There are three selections in the Double Chance market: Home/Away, Home/Draw and Away/Draw. Each selection can win in two scenarios, hence for any given result two selections will win while the third will lose. For example, if the home team wins, then the Home/Away and Home/Draw selections are winning wagers. Note that a winning wager pays the same dividend regardless of which of the paired selections wins. A Home/Away wager would pay the same dividend regardless of whether the home or away team won, for example.

Double Chance wagers offer lower odds than both the Draw No Bet and Head-to-Head odds because they have a higher chance of winning. Note that Home/Draw is equivalent to a Home +0.5 handicap selection, while Away/Draw is equivalent to Away +0.5.

Why create Draw No Bet and Double Chance odds yourself?

Draw No Bet and/or Double Chance markets aren’t available

For lower league fixtures it is not uncommon for bookmakers to simply offer head-to-head odds along with perhaps an over/under 2.5 goals market. Creating Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets creates a greater range of betting options for these less popular fixtures.

Draw No Bet and/or Double Chance markets have lower betting limits

Despite the fact that Head-to-Head, Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets are interconnected, you may find that your bookmaker offers higher betting limits for the Head-to-Head market. If you find the Draw No Bet and Double Chance caps too limiting you can circumvent the restriction by using the Head-to-Head market.

Head-to-Head markets have lower margins

The margin measures the bookmaker’s profit margin for an event and is a hidden transaction cost for punters. From a punter’s perspective, the lower the margin, the better. Most bookmakers offer lower margins for Head-to-Head markets than Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets. This is because Head-to-Head markets are more popular.

In many circumstances you will be able to effectively reduce the margin on a Draw No Bet or Double Chance market by combining these odds with effective odds generated using the Head-to-Head market.

A study discussed later on in this article analysed how effective this practice can be.

How to calculate Draw No Bet wagers and effective odds

Let W denote the total amount you wish to wager. Let oH, oD and oA denote the home, draw and away odds, respectively, in the Head-to-Head market.

The effective Draw No Bet odds are:

Home = oH * (1 – 1/oD)

Away = oA * (1 – 1/oD)

To make a Draw No Bet wager on the home side you would place the following Head-to-Head bets:

W * (1 – 1/oD) on the Home team
W / oD on the Draw

To make a Draw No Bet wager on the away side you would place the following Head-to-Head bets:

W * (1 – 1/oD) on the the Away team
W / oD on the Draw

To play around with some numbers, check out our Draw No Bet and Double Chance calculator.

How to calculate Double Chance wagers and effective odds

Let W denote the total amount you wish to wager. Let oH, oD and oA denote the home, draw and away odds, respectively, in the Head-to-Head market.

The effective Double Chance odds are:

Home/Away = 1 / (1/oH + 1/oA)

Home/Draw = 1 / (1/oH + 1/oD)

Away/Draw = 1 / (1/oA + 1/oD)

To make a Double Chance wager on Home/Away you would place the following Head-to-Head bets:

W / (1 + oH/oA) on the Home team
W / (1 + oA/oH) on the Away team

To make a Double Chance wager on Home/Draw you would place the following Head-to-Head bets:

W / (1 + oH/oD) on the Home team
W / (1 + oD/oH) on the Draw

To make a Double Chance wager on Away/Draw you would place the following Head-to-Head bets:

W / (1 + oA/oD) on the Away team
W / (1 + oD/oA) on the Draw

If you want to play around with some numbers, check out our Draw No Bet and Double Chance calculator.

The theory in practice

Refer to the Arsenal vs. Fulham odds on the right. Using the Head-to-Head odds, you can create Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets with the following effective odds.

Draw No Bet

Odds Arsenal
Odds
Fulham
Odds
Margin
Available 1.040 10.000 6.2%
Generated 1.017 10.833 7.6%
Combined 1.040 10.833 5.4%

 

Combining the generated odds with the bookmaker’s odds reduces the bookmaker margin on the Draw No Bet market from 6.2% down to 5.4%.

Double Chance

  Arsenal/
Fulham
Odds
Arsenal/
Draw
Odds

Fulham/
Draw
Odds
Margin
Available 1.080 1.010 4.200 15.4%
Generated 1.115 1.014 4.105 12.7%
Combined 1.115 1.014 4.200 12.1%

 

Combining the generated odds with the bookmaker’s odds reduces the bookmaker margin on the Double Chance market from 15.4% down to 12.1%.

English Premier League odds survey

Using ten English Premier League fixtures we created Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets using the available Head-to-Head odds. These odds were then compared to the Draw no Bet and Double Chance odds made available by the bookmakers. The study was conducted using odds from bet365, Sportingbet and Sportsbet. We measured how frequently better value could be obtained by artificially creating Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets ourselves. We then compared the Draw no Bet and Double Chance bookmaker margins to our artificial markets created using a combination of selections from the available odds and our engineered odds.

The table below displays the percentage of selections where the engineered Draw No Bet and Double chance odds exceeded the bookmakers’ odds.

Bookmaker Draw No Bet Double Chance
bet365 35% 0%
Sportingbet 25% 93%
Sportsbet 45% 83%
ALL 35% 57%

 

It’s worth noting the large variance in the percentages from one bookmaker to another. Most notably, bet365 had a lower margin for the Double Chance market compared to the other bookmakers. At the same time, their Head-to-Head market had a relatively higher margin. This resulted in our engineered Double Chance odds never providing better value than the available odds. This is in great contrast to Sportingbet and Sportsbet, with 93% and 83%, respectively, of the engineered odds beating the available odds.

The following table provides the bookmaker margins for each market, along with the effective bookmaker margins obtained by combining the best available Draw No Bet and Double Chance odds with our manufactured odds.

Bookmaker Bookmaker Margins Engineered Margins
Head-to-Head Draw No Bet Double Chance Draw No Bet Double Chance
bet365 6.6% 6.7% 6.7% 6.2% 6.7%
Sportingbet 6.2% 6.9% 17.3% 6.5% 12.4%
Sportsbet 5.2% 7.0% 14.4% 6.3% 9.9%
ALL 4.1% 4.9% 6.6% 4.6% 6.3%

 

With the exception of the Double Chance market with bet365, we were able to reduce the effective margin for each market by combining available odds with odds generated using the Head-to-Head market. For example, with Sportingbet we effectively reduced the Draw No Bet margin from 6.9% to 6.5% while reducing the Double Chance margin from 17.3% to 12.4%.

The ALL row combines the best available odds across the three surveyed bookmakers. Using available and our manufactured odds across the three bookmakers we were able to get the Draw No Bet and Double Chance margins down to 4.6% and 6.3%, respectively.

Note that these odds were obtained on the Tuesday leading up to a weekend of English Premier League fixtures. Mid-week odds were used rather than closing odds.

Summary

Head-to-Head, Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets are all interconnected, so much so that you can create Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets of your own using Head-to-Head odds. This is highly useful when these markets aren’t available, when they have lower betting limits and when the Head-to-Head markets have lower margins.

Using English Premier League odds we found that using Head-to-Head odds created better Draw No Bet odds for 35% of the selections across three bookmakers. For Double Chance odds the improvements were even more pronounced, with the Head-to-head odds generating higher odds 57% of the time.

By combining available Draw No Bet and Double chance odds from bookmakers with manufactured equivalent odds, we were able to lower the effective bookmaker margins for both the Draw No Bet and Double Chance markets.

These improvements highlight the value of testing the Head-to-Head odds to see if you can generate better value in the Draw No Bet and Double chance markets than what is provided by the bookmaker. This is especially useful for high-stakes punters who are seeking to exploit any available opportunity to reduce their effective bookmaker margins.

To play around with the generation of Draw No Bet and Double Chance odds using the Head-to-Head market, check out our Draw No Bet and Double Chance calculator.

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