One of our AccaDooers, who didn’t give his name but described himself as “a big unit”, got in touch via email to ask about antepost betting. He asked: I’ve noticed there are some huge odds on things like the FA Cup winner if I back them early in the football season. Are these good bets?

A: Good question there, Big Unit. What you’ve spotted is what’s known in the industry as antepost value, where prices on an event occurring are much bigger some way before that event is due to take place than they will be on the day itself.

To use the example of the FA Cup you mentioned, the odds on backing a team to win the trophy at the very start of the season will see some huge odds available, maybe 10/1 and above on the fancied teams. When FA Cup final day rolls around in May, if your team is in the final the odds on them winning that day will be under 2/1 for sure, so you will have bagged some decent value by backing them early doors.

However, there is a reason why those prices are so big in antepost betting – there is much more risk involved.

The team you pick to win at the start of the season will have to get through the third, fourth and fifth rounds, plus the quarter- and semi-finals just to get to the final. That’s five chances for your team to get knocked out and, considering you have no idea who your side will be playing, whether your manager might field a team of kids in the cup because he wants to concentrate on the league, or if your side will face an injury crisis, it is a big call assuming that they are going to win those five games.

The question for those weighing up some antepost betting is whether the odds balance out those risks. A 10/1 bet on your team to win the FA Cup does not look so good when you consider they have to win five games to get to the final. If you’re confident they’ll get to Wembley, why not wait and back them in every round leading up to the final instead? The returns will be bigger that way than the 10/1 can offer, and the risk is lessened.

That’s not to say there are no good antepost bets out there – there are – but the risks need to be weighed up properly before you plough in.

Fortunately for you, we have done that for you. We always keep a watchful eye on antepost markets, to sniff out any of that early value. Check out some of our antepost betting selections here.

For more sports betting tips and advice, why not take a look at the AccaDoo guide to profitable punting

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