Why ‘trebles from five’ make more sense than accumulator bets

Types of Bets

Bookmakers love it when customers place accumulator bets. While they are keen to publicise any big win that’s been achieved from a multiple wager, that’s because the vast majority of bet slips are losing ones.

Ultimately, football accumulator bets fail for two reasons. Firstly, football can be a very unpredictable sport, with odds-on favourites regularly getting beaten. There haven’t been many weekends where Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have all won this season, with the Red Devils slipping up unexpectedly against Burnley and Sunderland. Meanwhile, regularly including Rafael Benitez’s team in a weekend multiple bet would have spelt disaster for your accumulator.

The second reason is pure mathematics. For each football match, there are three outcomes; the home win, the away win and the draw (which is rarely included in a multiple bet). Therefore, if you pick three teams to win their matches on a Saturday in a treble, then you are essentially backing one of 27 possible permutations that could happen in those games (3 outcomes x 3 outcomes x 3 outcomes). If you take this further and put together a five-team accumulator, you are going for one of 243 possible outcomes.

While many three-team or five-team accumulators include odds-on favourites, Manchester City and Celtic proved at the weekend that beefing up your multiple bet with a 1.33 selection does not automatically mean it’s a safe inclusion. If you are placing these type of bets, always ensure that you consider each team to be value at the prices quoted, the bookmakers clearly aren’t foolish with their pricing up of any team.

While it’s fun to place accumulator bets for small stakes, a more sensible option for a long-term profit is to select five teams and place 10 trebles on the selections. With this bet, you will get a return providing that at least three selections win, while a handsome profit can be achieved by getting four right and a very nice win by managing to pick all five. The beauty of this bet is that you can afford to get up to two of your picks incorrect and still make a profit.

Obviously, with trebles from five, it makes little sense to back teams at big odds-on. However, say you pick five teams at odds of 2.25, roughly the price that Chelsea were available at against Manchester United on Sunday. Say that three of your teams win (not unrealistic) and that two draw or lose. Therefore, one of your ten lines have won and you have made a unit stake profit of over 1 point (1 x 2.25 x 2.25 x 2.25 = 11.4). Your overall stake is 10 points for this bet and you naturally have the potential to win a lot more by getting four or five selections correct.

This also means that if you think a team is value at 3.00 or 4.00 but want some kind of insurance in case they don’t win, you can offset with one or two strong fancies at odds-on in your trebles from five.

Although the potential winnings from getting all five right aren’t as great as accumulator bets, this is a wager which should ensure much more of a return on a long-term basis.


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