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Sports Betting: Three-Way Bet Guide

by February 15, 2020

Some of the most popular sports to bet on are the NFL, NBA, and MLB. One thing all of these sports have in common is their games cannot end in a tie. As a result, the most common wagers offered at sportsbooks for these leagues are that of the money line, game spreads, and over/unders.

However, there are other popular sports that can end in a tie. The most known one is soccer. Since soccer games can end as a draw, sportsbooks get creative with their lines. On all soccer games, one can place a three-way bet. 

This article will take a look at how three-way bets differ from traditional two-way wagers. Also, tips are provided for when you should consider a three-way bet as opposed to a two-way wager.

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What Is a Three-Way Bet?

A three-way bet is a wager on something that has three different outcomes. The reason why three-way bets are so common in soccer is because soccer matches can and often do end in ties. Here is an example of how a three-way bet works:

Chelsea -125
Draw +270
Manchester United +350

In this example, one could bet on the favorite (Chelsea) or the underdog (Manchester United). However, sportsbooks must account for the third scenario in which the match would end as a draw. Each of these bets is listed as a “full time result,” meaning they would take into account extra time before it became official. 

Three-Way Bets Are Not Just for Soccer

Hockey and golf are other popular sports that offer three-way bets. NHL rules have changed recently, having shootouts determine winners of each game if the two teams are still tied after overtime. However, sportsbooks still over three-way lines for each NHL game. These bets are labeled as “60 minute lines,” meaning the bet would become official at the end of the third period. Thus, even though an NHL game could not end in a tie, one could still bet it to do so at the end of 60 minutes.

Golf is a unique sport that offers three-way lines. The creativity by oddsmakers in these cases stems from the fact that golf is an individual as opposed to a team sport. Most tournaments place players in threesomes for the opening round. Thus, one can wager on the lowest score of the three players. Here is an example:

Brooks Koepka -110
Justin Rose +120
Jordan Spieth +450

The tracking of a wager like this is simple — whoever has the lowest score at the end of the round wins the bet. Before placing a wager like this, one should get familiar with unique rules each sportsbook may have, like “dead heat rules.”

When Should You Place a Three-Way Bet

Three-way bets always offer better odds than a traditional two-way bet. Therefore, if one had a strong conviction that one side would win or that it would be so competitive that the game would end in a tie, a three-way bet is the way to go.

For those who find it risky to place a three-way wager, there are ways to mitigate the odds. In soccer, one could place a “draw no bet” wager. This is a two-way wager similar to a traditional money line.

The caveat is if a match did end in a draw, the bet would be refunded. Therefore, one would only lose if the team they picked lost outright. In hockey, one could eschew the three-way bet by simply wagering on the money line. However, these odds are always worse and would not return maximum profits.

Before placing a bet of any sort, one should always do their research. Does the home team play well on their own turf? How good of a road record does the away team have? Are there any key injuries to either side? What kind of form is each side in? The more knowledgeable you are, the more successful you will be in the long run.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

Bet Types, Betting 101, Betting Tips