How To Bet On Underdogs

How To Bet On Underdogs Betting Strategy

Betting on underdogs is one of the first things you must do if you want to be a successful sports bettor. The best sports bettors all have one thing in common: they bet on a lot of underdogs. What do we mean when we say underdog? Well, an underdog is the opposite or opposing side of the favorite. It is the team that is plus odds (+) or getting points on the spread. There is always a favorite and an underdog when betting on sports, regardless of the game or competition.

Everyone loves an underdog story. The QB that was out of the league but came back to lead his team to a Super Bowl. The No. 16 seed up that takes down a No. 1 seed in the  March Madness. It turns out, most people don’t love betting on underdogs. When it comes to betting on sports, people gravitate towards a different way of thinking. They still love an underdog story but don’t want to wager on them. They want more of a “sure thing.”

For reasons we will go over in this article, that’s one of the worst ways to think about wagering sports. It doesn’t mean you bet on underdogs at every opportunity but learning how to bet on underdogs and developing a strategy for underdogs betting is a must as a sports bettor.

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Why Bet On Underdogs In Sports

why bet on underdogs in sports

The main reason to bet on underdogs in sports is that most people don’t. And, most people lose at sports betting. In most cases, the public is overwhelming wagering on favorites, which moves the odds or shades the line. Sharp bettors are the ones who move odds in betting markets (at least in most cases), but the public still has some influence, especially in sports where they bet significant amounts, such as NFL football or European Soccer.

Public Opinion Has An Effect On The Betting Odds

The oddsmakers don’t take the public’s opinion seriously when it comes to setting odds and reacting to their betting action. But, one thing that is vital to a sportsbook or gambling site is being sure they’re not overexposed. That means if they have too much money on the side of the market, and if the result went the wrong way, it could lead to massive losses. There are many cases where you will find betting sites with what is called “off-market” odds because they are catering to public wagering action.

Underdog Betting Is Not As Risky As You Think

For some reason, many people associate betting on underdogs comes with plenty of risk. Yes, you’re wagering on a team that isn’t going to win most of the time, but that’s not what sports betting is about. At least, in many cases. Remember, when you bet on an NFL point spread or an NBA basketball side, the team you’re betting on does not need to win, but only cover the spread. Likewise, if you bet an underdog on a +200-money line, you just need to win the bet one out of three times to breakeven. If you do the math, underdog bets aren’t so scary after all.

Sports Teams Are Regularly Undervalued

The sports teams that already have great records or impressive rosters in the previous season are already installed as favorites in betting markets. Teams that have improved or that are taking a step forward are not always valued correctly by the oddsmakers and betting public, at least not right away. Matchups may also indicate an advantage that may not be obvious or clear to others. Basically, if you’re wagering underdogs, you have a far better chance of being ahead of the game when it comes to market adjustments.

Betting NFL Underdogs

Betting NFL Underdogs

NFL underdogs betting is one of the best bet opportunities since football is the most popular sports. If you’re reading this, you’re most likely an NFL bettor. Well, this advice is going to help. There are a few significant underdog football wagering tips when it comes to betting NFL football that will no doubt increase your bottom-line profits as a sports enthusiast.

Public NFL Betting Odds Influence

It’s rare that the public influences betting odds movement, but this is precisely what happens in NFL football. It’s the public’s most wagered sport and their bets do need to be accounted for because of how much they bet, especially on high profile games. The public is influencing wagering odds when it comes to betting on the NFL. They are wagering on favorites and not underdogs, making the NFL one of the best sports to bet underdogs.

Line Shopping Forces You To Bet Dogs

Building on our underdog betting tip, if you line shop correctly, this is where you will find value in the odds. Many recreational sportsbooks will shade their lines against public wagering action, and these almost always force you to bet underdogs. So, if you’re betting line shopping and trying to find inefficiencies in the market, then you will naturally be placing more bets on underdogs because of the odds you will see at online betting sites.

Home NFL Underdogs Are Profitable

We don’t advocate wagering home dogs are the universal NFL betting strategy, but they have been one of the most profitable bets when it comes to wagering on the NFL. Home dogs can also be beneficial against more public teams, such as the Patriots. Betting on home underdogs in the NFL is one of the best bets for underdogs in all of sports betting. You should always consider the odds and key numbers when placing these bets.

Betting NBA Underdogs

Betting NBA Underdogs

NBA underdogs betting strategy is the least profitable but it is still important to consider them when wagering. There are undoubtedly public biases when it comes to the NBA betting, but the amount bet on the games is not nearly as much as the NFL. But, super teams, such as the current the Warriors, garner far more wagering action than other teams. They’re also almost always the favorite in their games, even those on the road.

Breaking Down The NBA Matchups

There can be hidden value when handicapping the NBA when looking at on the court matchups. Team X might be better than Team Y, but certain offenses will do better vs. certain defenses and so on. Diving into the matchups and understanding how teams play and how they might match up against each other is a crucial skill for betting the NBA. It’ll allow you to find hidden underdogs when they’re facing better teams in the eyes of the oddsmakers.

When Public Betting Matters

Sometimes, you will have situations in the NBA where public betting does have an effect on the odds. These situations occur in the NBA Playoffs or NBA Finals. Where the public’s sheer wagering amounts may move the odds one direction or keep them from moving, despite sharp betting action. Also, like the information mentioned in the NFL section, you may be able to find off-market odds in these situations. This can occur when wagering spreads, moneylines, and totals.

When NBA Live Betting

Basketball is a game of runs and underdog wagering is just as valuable when it comes to live NBA betting as it is betting pre-match. If a favorite gets down a lot early in the game, they may become an underdog when it comes to betting live odds. Even still, there is plenty of times were wagering on an underdog in a game where they are playing well early, but shots aren’t dropping, makes plenty of sense. Basketball is one of the best sports to bet on underdogs as crazy comebacks and wild runs by both teams are regular occurrences.

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Betting MLB Underdogs

Betting MLB Underdogs

Betting MLB underdogs is one of the best ways to profit at sports wagering, period. Not only is the sport heavily based on analytics but it is full of short term variance, which is excellent for betting on underdogs. The game isn’t influenced heavy but the public, but wagering on underdogs is an absolute must if you want to win at MLB betting. Wagering on underdogs and avoiding heavy favorites will give you a leg up on just about every other MLB bettor.

Baseball Is A Game of Short-Term Luck

There is a reason the season is 162 games. It’s because if we played the season for just two months, we would have a far different outcome. Faking it for 162 games is hard. But, game to game, there is a whole lot of variance. The best pitcher may give up a ton of runs to the worst offense while the best offense may strike out and score nothing against one of the league’s worst pitchers.

MLB Underdogs Have A Much Higher Breakeven Rate

Yes, the risk is of betting a +200 dog is far less than wagering on a -200 favorite. You only need to win the +200 one out of every three times to breakeven. However, when betting on a -200 favorite, you need to win two out of every three times for the bet to be profitable. We’re not saying never bet on favorites, but betting massive favorites, especially those -200 or more can be risky when betting baseball due to the high breakeven percentage.

When MLB Live Betting

Live betting baseball is an excellent time to get a favorite at a much cheaper price if the opposing team gets up early. In fact, the pre-game favorite will often be the underdog if the other team scores a few runs early. But you will be able to get the favorite at an underdog price or a much cheaper price than the pre-game markets. There is a lot of value to be had here if the runs are scored in the first few innings of the game and the live baseball odds move drastically, but you still have a lot of faith in the on-paper matchup.

Betting NHL Underdogs

Betting NHL Underdogs

It is impossible to bet on every NHL underdog night in and night out in during the hockey season. It’s important to find value in underdogs and bet those games only to maximize your winning potential. Below you will find some hockey handicapping tips that you can use to find valuable underdogs when betting on the NHL hockey games.

Home NHL underdogs are rare

Home NHL underdogs are rare and you should avoid betting on them. If a team is a home underdog there is a good reason such as players injuries or is just playing really bad. If the home team is an underdog and we don’t advise wagering on them. Sometimes bad teams play well at home and win as small underdogs however you’ll find more value betting on road underdogs. This is one of the important principles of NHL handicapping.

Underdog when on the road

More often than not, the best teams in each conference play well when on the road. The tricky part is finding the top NHL teams as an underdog when on the road. You may discover that all the best teams had a good road record during the past season and all of the teams that didn’t make the playoffs played horribly on the road but all has reversed during the current season. Therefore, identifying the teams thru thorough research that play well on the road at the beginning of each NHL season is very important.

betting on multiple hockey games

If you like betting on multiple hockey games every night than underdogs are great to bet on because you can have a bad night and still break even or profit. It’s rare to see favorites sweep any given night in the NHL.  If you can find the valuable underdogs you should bet as the chances of making winning bets are pretty high. Even if you go 2 for 5 on a given night of betting underdogs in the NHL you end up with a nice profit or break even. If you go 2 for 5 betting on favorites you’re going to lose a nice chunk of your bankroll.

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