What Does Underdog Mean In Sports Betting?
In sports betting, there are two sides to every game and it’s very easy to determine who the favorite and underdogs is. Generally speaking, favorites and underdogs are separated by a few things like the rosters, current form or home/road splits. In some cases, underdogs can reach “longshot” status over a number of different things. Underdogs are the most attractive bet to make, but as a bettor, you should be weary about which “dogs” you bet on.
What Does Underdog Mean?
When you hear someone using the term “dog” they are referring to the short form for “underdog.” A “dog” can be a team or individual that is determined by linemakers to have a poor chance of winning the game/event. The term “pup” can also be used when referring to an underdog.
When looking at lines, you can always identify the underdog because they have a + beside their name on the money line. If the money line was +150, this means that you would win $150 for every $100 you bet. An underdog on the point spread would be represented by a positive number such as +2.5 or +7.5. This means that in order for you to win your bet, depending on the line, the underdog would have to cover the spread by winning the game outright, or lose by less than two or seven points, respectively.
“Dogs” are the most attractive and temping bet in the sports betting industry amongst amateur bettors. The reason why is quite simple too – dogs offer extremely high potential payouts without having to risk the same amount as you would while betting favorites. The possibility to double or triple your bet amount with one bet are scenarios bettors dream of. Betting underdogs isn’t a terrible thing if you are able to cash in a few times a week. Although, in order to be successful, you need to be weary of a few things.
Wagering on a “dog” can be dangerous for a few different reasons. First off, teams or individual athletes are listed as the “dog” for a reason – they are unlikely to win. If they were any good, or had the best chance to win the game, they would likely be favorite.
If you are an underdog bettor, you need to be aware that you are going to lose a lot more bets than you win, no matter how good of a handicapper you actually are. In order to play the “underdog” angle on a consistent basis, you must have a deeper bankroll and better money management skills.
However, sometimes a “dog” has bigger odds than they truly deserve because of their opponent. If they are playing against one of the high-profile, publicly-backed teams, then you can be assured of an inflated line, thus offering the underdog better odds than they should be offering. Another reason for this is if they are a team that doesn’t get enough respect. Maybe the linemakers or public don’t believe in a 6-1 Jacksonville Jaguar team because they are the Jaguars and are annually terrible.
If you are interested in playing the underdogs, the books will often adjust the betting line after action pours in on the favorite. I would recommend not playing the opening line and waiting closer to game time to attract maximum value.
And lastly, the most important factor that goes into betting underdogs is simple – figure out how likely you think they team is to cover the spread. If they are 10-point favorites and you don’t see them coming close, then the chances of them winning outright is very unlikely.
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