Ante Post Football Betting

Ante Post football betting is requires betting on the outcome of the season before it starts and it is an extremely popular type of football betting for most punters. The odds are usually pretty competitive depending on what market you are betting on and since the bets are placed just before the season starts punters are usually very keen to have a bet after months without football.

Popular Ante Post Markets

Outright Win, Promotion and Relegation

League or cup outright betting is probably the most popular ante post football bet. This involves picking the winners, placed/promoted teams for each way bets or relegated teams of a given competition. You can normally find bets on a large number of domestic leagues (including non league), the major European leagues, domestic cups and European cups and many punters choose to combine their best three, four or five ante post outright bets in a patent, lucky 15, lucky 31 or other multiple bets.

When picking ante post outright bets it normally pays to consider the previous season’s league positions alongside what improvement or deterioration you expect a team to make. The improvement or deterioration usually revolves around a change in management, incoming and outgoing players and to a lesser extent luck with injuries the previous season.

Remember that a huge turnover of players is rarely a good thing, new players, however good they are, usually take some time to settle into a new club so the teams most likely to improve are often those who have made two or three quality new signings whilst retaining their best players from the previous season.

Top Scorer

Betting School ImageTop goalscorer bets are usually available on all or most of the leagues on which you can place ante post wagers and again bets can be placed for win and each way purposes. These markets are often more competitive than the competition outright markets but the odds reflect the difficulty in picking winning bets.

There are many factors and considerations that decide what the best bets in top scorer markets will be. First of all a player is going to have to play the majority of his side’s matches in order to score enough goals so teams that have plenty of competition for places and tend to rotate their strikers can be less likely to produce top scorers. A player who takes penalties and also free kicks can be a huge bonus, penalties can add five or more goals to a player’s end of season tally. It is also no coincidence that the top scorers tend to play for the better sides, they score more goals giving their strikers more opportunities.

Remember that luck can play it’s part in these markets more than others. If your player picks up a bad injury that can effectively rule him out of the running as injured players can’t score goals whilst bets that seem to be going well in the lower leagues can be sabotaged if a team from a higher division decides to buy that player in the January transfer window.


The handicap is a very interesting ante post football bet but also a very difficult one to figure out too. With handicap betting you are presented with a league table where all the sides are the same odds to win (usually around 16/1) but each side is given a points allowance as a handicap. The favourites to win the title will be +0 and the less a team is fancied to do well that season the more points they will be given. Then at the end of the season the handicap league table is the real league table plus all the handicap points added on, the teams that did better than their pre season expectations will be nearer the top and the teams that have most underperformed will be near the bottom.

What makes it so difficult is there is only one winning team, so your selected team might completely outperform expectations but they might be pipped by a team who outperformed bookie expectations even more. Each bookie will offer a slightly different handicap so one of the best strategies with this bet is to shop around and not only find the bookie that offers the biggest handicap for your selected team but one that also offers smaller handicaps than others on the two or three teams that you fear most.

Ante Post Trades

Most punters place their ante post bets before the season starts but the ante post markets remain open throughout the season which allows punters the opportunity to either top up their bets or trade out of them for a guaranteed profit or perhaps in the case of more disastrous bets just to minimise losses.

Pre Season

Sometimes when looking at the ante post markets before the season starts you might find a team or player that you think is going to outperform expectations but you don’t necessarily think they will do well enough to go all the way in their competition. In these circumstances you can still make a profit by backing them and then laying your bet off once the team or player has made the good start to the season that you predicted. If you don’t fancy a team to perform as the bookies expect than you could lay them before the season and then back them at bigger odds after they’ve made their relatively poor start.


If you fancy a team that finished around mid table in the Premiership the previous season to come around 5th or 6th the following season you could back them to finish in the top 4 at odds of around 150/1. Even if after 6-8 games they are doing well but not on course to finish in the top 4 their odds would be much shorter (how much shorter would depend on exactly how well they are doing) and you could perhaps lay off at 50/1 or maybe a bit shorter to guarantee yourself a profit whatever happens.

During The Season

Most ante post markets will remain open throughout the season and although the longer the season goes on the less value there is in these markets that doesn’t necessarily have to hamper traders. The odds on each market will fluctuate after each round of games depending on results and correctly predicted a run of results can be more profitable through trading than backing a certain result each week as a single.

If you spot a team with a easy or difficult run of games approaching it can pay to back them before those games (or lay them if it is difficult fixtures coming up) and then when they have moved up several places in the table (or dropped places) you can then trade out for a profit. Picking the correct market to trade can be key here, a midtable team’s league outright odds are unlikely to change too much if they are still massive outsiders for the title so top four or promotion markets can be useful on those occasions. If a team has a tough run coming up could lay them in those markets before the games or if they are really struggling already you could back them in the relegation market and then lay off after the tough run has come to an end.

Ante Post Spread Betting

Ante post betting is also available for spread betting fans and many of the same markets are available but as usual with spread betting, the more you are right the more you win and the more you are wrong the more you lose.

The spreads are usually available throughout the season so whether you have placed a spread bet with a trade in mind using the tactics above or if you simply find yourself in a good position early on you can always trade out of your bet to secure a profit whatever happens for the rest of the season.

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