Sports Betting Strategy: Betting On the Underdog
In online sports betting, a considerable amount of punters look to favourites when placing their bets. Betting on underdogs can be considered something only novices indulge in - a short, sharp thrill that rarely yields results, because "underdogs don't win". Or do they?
Here are four reasons why betting on an outsider might not be such a bad punt, if properly thought out of course.
Underdogs Fly Below the Radar
For this reason, it's easy for bookmakers – and the betting public – to ignore the underdog. If a well respected pundit tells the public that a certain team or horse is going to win, and the public follow this advice - the odds will be quite short, even if their form is comparable to their competitor. Spotting when this happens can help you identify a good underdog bet.
This can be very prevalent in horse racing, especially when a horse hails from a powerful yard such as the all-conquering Willie Mullins stable. Another horse might have very good form to his/her name, but because that individual is trained by a "smaller" stable, the odds can be more generous.
Gavin Cromwell's Espoir D'allen is an example of this - as despite winning nine of his ten races, he went off 16/1 when winning the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle in 2019.
In hindsight he was a crazy price, especially when you consider Laurina, trained by the aforementioned Willie Mullins, was a 5/2 shot, despite this only being her 7th race in the UK or Ireland and her first time taking on male horses.
In this instance, taking on the more known trainer paid dividends. It pays to look a bit deeper sometimes, albeit it's not recommended to take on Willie Mullins too often!
Related: For bonus and offers check out New betting sites.
Arrogance Aids the Underdog
A successful football team, a seeded tennis player, a Formula 1 race driver on a winning streak: they will all often get over-confident, which makes the underdog perfectly placed to deliver an upset. In Football, the FA Cup is famous for this, because the games are (for the most part) one-off fixtures that will never be repeated.
A club from the lower divisions being drawn against Premier League opposition is never expected to win. Because of this, there is no pressure on the underdog, no expectation and therefore they have nothing to lose.
Bookmakers will always decide odds on stats, facts and form. Magic, chance, serendipity and, most importantly, the psychological arrogance of the favourite have nothing to do with deciding odds, but everything to do with a result.
In 2013, Manchester City were red hot odds-on favourites to win the FA Cup when they met with Wigan, a team who would be relegated that same season from the Premier League. The Latics pulled off the shock of shocks however, with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a stoppage-time strike from substitute Ben Watson who’d come on in the 81st minute.
The same can of course be said for Leicester City in the 2015/16 Premier League season when they shocked the world to take the league title. Odds of up to 5000/1 were offered on them to do the impossible, and their fearlessness lead to them holding on, as the favourites floundered up the run in.
At times, fortune definitely favours the brave!
Psychology Can Work For You
Researching the psychological, as well as statistical parameters of a sporting event, will help identify a good underdog bet. Knowing the head-to-head history of two competitors can give you an edge in identifying a possible upset scenario.
For instance, in football betting, if Manchester City were travelling to Molineux to take on Wolves in the Premier League, the odds would naturally favour Man City.
However, Wolves in the 2018/19 season won two and drew three of their seven league matches against the top six sides in the league, including a draw against the aforementioned Man City in October. They would naturally be outsiders, but this hasn't held them back psychologically at all, making them an underdog to take note of in these matches.
In-Play Betting Helps You Hedge
Live in-play betting makes your bet more exciting. It can also help you salvage a bad underdog bet, or exploit a slip-up by a favourite. For example, in tennis betting, Novak Djokovic might start a US Open match with Marin Čilić as 1/2 favourite, with Čilić at 4/1.
The bettor places £10 on a Čilić win, knowing Čilić has beaten Djokovic before. Čilić breaks Djokovic early, and Djokovic's odds go out to 6/4.
The bettor then places a £10 back bet on Djokovic, to back up his initial underdog bet. So, if Čilić goes on to win, the punter's profit is £30, but if Djokovic turns things around and wins, the punter still profits by £5, thus covering both bets.
The key to 'safe' underdog in-play betting is timing, knowing when to back against your original bet to cover your original outlay is vital, especially should your underdog forget to bite.
Recommended Betting Sites
Place €10 bet using Bet Builder, Get €40 in Free Bets
Promo Code: GET40
Bet €10, receive up to €50 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 8+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a €10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x €10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days. Plus a €10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of €250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Open Account Offer - Up to €100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365
100% Deposit Bonus up to $100+ 20 Free Spins on Starburst
100% Sport Bonus Up To €10018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. Campaign is only valid for all new players who registered after 25/08/2021 13:00 CEST. Only one account and bonus is allowed per person, account holder, IP address, household, address, phone number, bank account (including credit card, e-wallet etc.). You are only eligible to claim 1 (one) welcome offer. Only players from Ireland are eligible for this campaign. The welcome offer can be claimed by selecting the bonus from the deposit menu before completing the first deposit.The minimum deposit to claim the bonus is €20 or the equivalent in other currencies.www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply
Bet €15, Get €10
Bet €10, Get €30 in Free Bets
Promo Code: H30
100% Profit Boost up to €100 on your First Two Bets
Bet €10, Get €20 + €3,000 Prize Pool18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply Welcome Bonus Bet - Bet €10 Get €20 terms. This offer is for new sports customers only and is available once per household. Max. Bonus Bet amount €20. Minimum wagering on the sport to activate the Bonus Bet is €10 (which can be achieved from a Min deposit of €10). Offer valid only to customers wagering on sport €10 or more and make a qualifying bet in accordance with the Bonus Bet Specific Terms and Conditions below. 1st Place Prize: €1000. Prizes granted up to 48h after the tournament ends. Bonus Bet does not contribute towards the leaderboard. Click to see full T&Cs
Bet €10, Get 2x in €10 Bets
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.