Underdogs and favorites are two very common terms in sports, and also in betting. There is always a favorite to win a match or a tournament – which in turn means there is also always going to be an underdog.
When it comes to sports betting, underdogs and favorites carry even more importance. Knowing the difference between each and how to make the best of it can lead to some nice profit. It’s always a good idea to compare underdog/favorite NFL betting odds, then figure out a strategy to make the most out of them.
In this guide to underdog sports betting and favorites sports betting, we will go through a detailed description while offering some helpful tips.
What Is an Underdog in Sports Betting?
An underdog in sports betting has the exact same meaning it does in sports. In other words, the underdog is the team facing longer odds, whether in a single match or in a tournament. And as much as we do in sports, we all love a good underdog in sports betting. After all, it can net you some massive wins.
Just as we said above, the underdog has long odds to win. This means two things: the first, and the most obvious one is that the underdog isn’t likely going to win. But the second one is arguably the most useful for bettors: if the underdog does come out on top, you will also win – big time.
Since the underdog usually carries much longer odds compared to the favorite, it also offers a significant payout. Again, the odds of an underdog winning are usually very low, so don’t go placing wagers on every underdog you see hoping for a big paycheck.
What Is a Favorite in Sports Betting?
A favorite also carries the same meaning in sports betting as it does in sports. In other words, the favorite is, well, the favorite to win the match or the competition – quite straightforward.
Naturally, this also carries some implications when it comes to betting. Since the favorite is likely going to win, it has the shortest odds available. That’s the logic in sports betting: the lower the risk, the lower your reward is going to be. In short, you are making a relatively safe wager, knowing that you will likely see a return, even if it’s a small one.
As much as we all love a good underdog story in sports, plenty of bettors would rather see the favorite come out on top. Since it’s a fairly safe bet, some prefer to wager heavily on the favorite to come out winning in order to see a slightly better return.
Underdog/Favorite Betting Tips
We have some helpful tips for underdog/favorite sports betting. Check them out to learn which are the best cases for betting on the underdogs or favorites. As a general tip, you should always compare underdog/favorite betting odds between multiple bookmakers. This way, it’s possible to find more competitive odds and increase your payout.
Additionally, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to bet on the tournament winner or on the moneyline. There are plenty of other betting markets available, including point spreads and prop bets. In a heavily one-sided matchup, these alternative betting markets will often offer more competitive underdog/favorite betting odds.
Tips for the Underdog
There are quite a few cases in which an upset becomes more likely. Look for these scenarios if you want to bet on the underdog:
⦁ When the favorite is in a bit of a slump, or when injuries begin to pile up;
⦁ Rivalry matches also offer bigger stakes for the underdog and can work as additional inspiration.
⦁ If the underdog is in a do-or-die situation, as in winning or getting relegated.
⦁ Low-stakes match in which neither team is playing for much.
Tips for the Favorite
Here is how to make the most of your bets on the favorite:
⦁ Look for competitive odds and compare different bookmakers. You can always find a good potential payout by doing this.
⦁ Take nothing for granted. While upsets are rare, they do happen. Keep yourself informed and pay close attention to potential trap games.
⦁ Parlay bets, in which you combine multiple wagers into one, can be an option. You can consider placing a parlay on two or more heavily favored teams for a relatively safe bet with an increased payout.
⦁ Make the most out of live betting. The odds shift constantly, and you can always place a bet during the match if the bookmaker offers that option.
Underdog/Favorite Betting Examples
Here are some examples of famous bets on underdogs and favorites:
- Leicester City winning the 2015/16 Premier League title is widely considered the greatest upset in sports betting history. The Foxes had narrowly avoided relegation the year before, and were listed at +500,000 odds to win the title.
- Floyd Mayweather knows what being the favorite means. The legendary boxer placed a massive $5.9 million wager on the heavily favored Miami Heat to win the 2013 NBA East Conference Finals. Mayweather won $600,000.
Pros vs Cons: How to Bet Favorites vs Underdogs?
Pros of Betting on Favorites:
⦁ Safer bets, risking fewer losses. You will be winning more often than losing, and that’s never a bad thing.
⦁ By winning bets regularly, you can turn in a profit fairly consistently at relatively low risk.
Cons of Betting on Favorites:
⦁ Smaller returns mean that you will also take longer to recover from potential losses. Always do your best to avoid potential traps, keeping your losses to a minimum.
⦁ Getting tempted into going for risky bets: an apparently one-sided matchup can go awfully wrong in the blink of an eye and lead to a big loss.
Pros of Betting on Underdogs:
⦁ Risk big to win big. A single underdog win can easily pay out more than multiple favorite wins combined.
⦁ While you are probably going to lose more often than win, a single successful bet can easily offset your losses and leave you with a nice profit.
Cons of Betting on Underdogs:
⦁ Losing more often than winning isn’t exactly great. Closely monitor your account balance and make sure to keep track of your losses.
⦁ Underdogs are underdogs for a reason – or more than one in most cases. Remember that while upsets do happen, they are rare. Again, there are ways to improve your chances by picking the right underdog under the right circumstances.
As you can see, underdog/favorite betting is all about balancing risk and reward. Therefore, you can follow the same usual strategy and stick to your betting preferences. Of course, there are ways to improve your chances of winning.
Building up your sports knowledge is absolutely vital. Keep up with the news leading up to a match, or before the season begins. This way, you are going to find the perfect chances to bet on the underdog or the favorite.
How to Bet Favorites vs Underdogs FAQs
1. How Does Betting on the Favorite Work?
2. Can You Make Money Betting on the Favorite?
3. How Does Betting on the Underdog Work?
4. Do Most People Bet on the Underdog or the Favorite?
5. Is It Better to Bet on the Underdog?