Betting on underdogs in football and tennis: how and when it is profitable to bet on outsiders
Underdog betting in football, tennis, basketball and other sports is profitable when analyzed correctly. Don't assume that any outsider bet makes sense. Betting on the victories of underdogs is only necessary according to strict systemic principles.
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Who are underdogs and how to identify them in the list of bookmakers
The word "underdog" comes from the slang of dog fighting. The losing dog found itself pinned to the floor by its rival. Hence - "under the dog."
In sports betting, the underdog is a clear underdog in the upcoming confrontation.
In most cases, odds for underdog wins start at 3.00. But this indicator can be even higher (5.00, 7.00) depending on the sport.
Large odds are the result of the bookmaker's assessment of the ratio of the forces of the outsider and the favorite. But the growth of quotes is also influenced by the fact that most players prefer to bet on the favorite.
Underdog betting options in different sports
An outsider betting strategy requires the correct selection of markets. It's best not to focus on clean bets on underdog wins, but choose among such options.
- Bet with a handicap. In this case, select such a handicap so that the odds of the bet on the underdog reach the level of 1.90-2.50.
- Bet of the "1X", "X2" type. If it is too risky to bet on a clear win for a weak team, it will be enough to wager that they will not lose. This is only suitable for competitions where a tie is possible in regular time.
- Individual Underdog Total (TB). This kind of outsider market in football, tennis, basketball and other sports can be used effectively. Bookmakers often underestimate the potential performance of underdogs. Thus, the odds of 2.00-3.00 can enter even if the outsider loses.
- Favorite individual total (TM). In this case, the opposite principle is checked. This is a betting strategy against the favorite, which is popular in basketball, handball, football. The bet is concluded that the underdog will not miss the number of balls, according to the total of which the bookmaker gives the favorite odds at the level of 2.00-3.00.
Read more about individual total in bets here: What does individual total mean in sports betting: designation, strategy and how to apply
Examples of betting on underdogs by sport
Football. On 6 February 2020, Athletic Bilbao hosted Barcelona in the Spanish Cup quarter-finals. The odds for the home win exceeded 4.00. The hosts were considered an underdog. It was too risky to bet on them to win. But the odds for the fact that Athletic will not lose were about 1.90-2.00 in different bookmakers. This bet was justified for a cup match. The game ended with a score of 1: 0 in favor of the hosts.
Basketball. On February 10, 2020, Khimki near Moscow played at home with Nizhny Novgorod in the VTB United League. The hosts are the obvious favorites. The odds of 2.10-2.30 were given for the victory of the guests with a handicap of 12 points. At the same time, Khimki had a difficult campaign in European competition. Therefore, the bet "W2 with a handicap (+12)" is fully justified. The match ended with a score of 98:94.
Tennis.On February 28, 2020, the first racket of the world Novak Djokovic played with Gael Monfils and is considered the undisputed favorite. But given the difficult calendar preceding the Australian Open, as well as the strength of the Frenchman on hard, it is possible to give Monfils a small handicap. The odds for the victory of an outsider with a handicap (+4.5) for games was about 2.10-2.30. The bet would have been a winning one, because the match ended with a score of 2: 1 in sets and 15:13 in games in favor of Djokovic.
Examples show that you don't have to bet on underdog wins. It is advisable to look for value bets on handicaps and totals.
Read more about value betting here: Valuable bets scare the bookmakers. What is value, how to find it and calculation examples
Prematch analysis of the odds of an outsider and a favorite
Betting on obvious outsiders in bookmaker offices is possible only on the basis of a detailed pre-match analysis. Look for the right odds by paying attention to these basic principles.
- A series of major victories of the favorite. On the one hand, this increases the odds of the bookmakers on the success of the underdog. On the other hand, a stronger team or athlete is less motivated for a crushing victory.
- The favorite performs after additional loads. In football, strong teams have a lot of players going to the national teams. After such a training camp, the club cannot show its highest level. And in tennis, the top players play a lot more matches, as they go far in the tournament nets. After major tournaments, they often lose in the early stages of lesser events.
- Tournament motivation. An example from basketball or hockey. If in the playoff series one of the teams leads by a wide margin, it will not give all its best in the next match. This principle is especially true if the game takes place in the home arena of the underdog.
- Inconvenient rivals. Each grandee has its own Achilles' heel. For example, in Spain, Real Madrid often cannot beat Athletic Bilbao: in 31% of meetings, they are defeated altogether. And for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid is considered a stumbling block: 32% of losses.
- Contributing factors: home or away arena, tennis coverage, top performer injuries, weather conditions, etc.
Remember, any mathematical underdog betting strategy will likely drain the pot. Professionals bet on the underdog only after a detailed pre-match analysis.
Underdog betting systems
Are there distance betting systems for underdogs? It is difficult to bet on the strategy on outsiders due to the fact that it is not always possible to find a suitable match.
If a player bets on sports and championships in which he is well versed, then this is a limited number of tournaments. Often they simply don't have matches between suitable opponents. In this sense, tennis is best suited, where there are regular games between opponents of different classes.
And yet there are several distance systems, each of which can be called an underdog betting strategy.
- Outsider home match. Pick five to ten clubs that are considered weak but are on a high score at home. In matches with leaders at home stadiums, there are positive handicaps with odds of 1.70-2.10.
- Cup confrontations. Here the strategy of betting against the favorite pays off, as many leaders "drain" cup tournaments, putting second or even third line-ups against obvious outsiders.
- Safety system. According to this strategy, bet in the prematch to win or not to lose the underdog with odds of about 4.00-7.00. After half an hour of the game or during a break, if the favorite did not take the lead, then the odds for his victory will increase significantly, so you need to make a cross bet. This strategy is risky, as the favorite can quickly open the gate of a weak team.
To successfully place bets on underdogs, it is important to understand a specific sport, championship, tournament. A detailed pre-match analysis decides a lot. If you learn how to correctly determine the value of a bet, betting at bookmakers can be profitable.
- Check out some of our Best Betting Spreadsheet - Analysis football. They will provide you with detailed analysis of each match with high visibility of the results in each match.