Someone once said, “Underdogs always win.”
Well, this does not hold literally but metaphorically, however, they do always win. The reason why it is said that underdogs never lose is that there are no expectations from them. It would be no surprise if they lost and it would, of course, be a massive victory if they ended up beating the favourite. Underdogs are fan favourites but not so much the bettor’s favourite but that mindset needs to change.
Here are some tips on betting on underdogs.
- Do your research as underdogs are sometimes undervalued
Research is particularly important before placing bets on underdogs. Sometimes, the gap in skill levels is too high that betting on the underdog is criminal. There are also times that due to the hype created by external factors leads to players or teams being undervalued. The perfect example of the hype is RB Leipzig being ruled out of UEFA Champions League contention when they were drawn up with Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals. The German team delivered a shocking blow by knocking out the Spanish giants in their first-ever quarterfinals after being the underdogs. This is just one of many examples in recent times. There was this huge hype around Atletico Madrid because they knocked out the champions, Liverpool in the round of 16 so people did not even give Leipzig a chance. The Germans are well-coached and have an incredibly good unit. On their day, they can challenge anyone, so this was a value bet given they were big underdogs.
- “High risk, high returns”? More like no risk, high returns.
To be successful in sports betting, it is extremely important to know how to bet on the underdogs. One important thing to remember is that most people bet on the favourite as they believe in the “low risk, low return” strategy but there is more to underdog betting than “high risk, high returns”. Many a time, underdog bets can end up being almost no risk with high returns. Public perception does not affect the odds of bookmakers however, sentiment plays a factor that affects the minds of most bettors. It is nearly always worth betting on the underdog because there is never a 100% certainty of the favourite winning. In boxing or MMA (mixed martial arts), for example, there is always a possibility that even the favourite gets disqualified. In team sports, the home team advantage is huge! If the home team is the underdog, it is worth doing a little research and betting on them to come out on top, regardless of how strong the opponent is.
- The “next game” syndrome
Another important aspect that drives betting is the consequence of the result. An example of this would be a basketball team that needs to win the next game to make the playoffs whereas their opponent has nothing to play for since they have secured their seeding in the playoffs. Although the team that has secured their spot in the playoffs is much stronger than the other team, they might lack motivation since the game has no bearing on their placing. However, given this is a do or die game for the underdogs, it would be a great opportunity to bet on them as their desperation to win is far greater than that of the other team.
- The favourite’s arrogance and complacency
Arrogance is never a good sign. A lot of times, athletes and teams do get arrogant if they are overwhelming favourites. Complacency is their biggest enemy and we have seen in the past that not respecting the opponent backfires. Greece won the Euro Championships in 2004 as they faced a much stronger Portugal side in Lisbon. Portugal were the overwhelming favourites and had home advantage, but their cockiness cost them dearly against the Greeks. Whoever bet on Greece that day is now a rich man.