Should you bet on the underdog or favorite in sports betting? This is always a big question when it comes to sports betting.
While you want to maximize your chances of winning a bet by wagering on the favorite to win a particular event, you also want to make the most money possible. Therefore, you may be influenced to bet on the underdog.
Even complete novices to online sports betting know the term “favorite” immediately means that they should probably be betting on the team/athlete considered the likeliest to win.
Favorites are considered favorites by bookies and punters as they are believed to be a sure thing to win. As a sports fan and bettor, you know there are plenty of historic upsets that prove betting on the favorite doesn’t always work out.
Favorites are typically the teams at the top of the league standings. They are the teams that have played well all season, scored points consistently, possess strong players in nearly all areas, and win their games often.
This doesn’t mean that the favorite to win a game is always a club near the top of the league standings. On occasions, an underdog team can overachieve throughout a season and be at the top of the league standings. Look at the 2015-16 Leicester City side that won the Premier League or the NFL’s Super Bowl winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 2020-21.
Betting the favorite
Betting on the favorite can occasionally blow up in your face. There are some additional potential disadvantages to wagering on the favorite which you should consider.
One of the main disadvantages to wagering on the favorite is that it is a low-risk bet. Due to the likelihood of the favorite winning being high, the odds that you can expect from a favorites bet will be low. Therefore, the amount of profit you make is low. Meanwhile, the stake is high for that low profit.
Betting on the underdog is always the riskier bet and that is why you often find the odds for the underdog higher than the favorite. Of course, betting on the underdog has its own disadvantages.
Betting the underdog
The favorite is the safer option when making a bet, but an underdog wager is a potential wild card and offers plenty of risk. Of course, the risk can be worth it in the end.
Betting on the underdog is very attractive to sports bettors, because of the higher odds that are available. To attract more bettors to the game, a sportsbook will increase the odds on the underdog bet to draw more action towards that side of the match-up. Underdog bets are risky, sure, but if you win, you will enjoy a great profit from the wager.
Before wagering on the underdog, consider these questions. You should be able to answer each one before wagering on the game.
- How have both teams performed up to this point?
- Are key players available or injured for the game?
- What are the underdog team’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Can the underdog come from behind if the favorite takes an early lead?
- Who has a better offense?
- Who’s got the better defense?
- Research the available stats for both teams or both players before the game begins
How to improve your chances of winning by betting on the favorite/underdog
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