What Does Underdog Mean In Sports Betting?
by Doc's Sports - 10/9/2014
The underdog in sports betting is the team or individual that the odds suggest is less likely to win the game. Puppy and dog are two other slang words that refer to the underdog. You can have an underdog in any betting situation with at least two teams involved where you are somehow concerned with which teams wins, or how much teams win by - pointspread, moneyline, some exotics and so on.
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In a pointspread the team with a + beside the spread is the underdog - say, for example, the 49ers +7. That means that if you bet on the 49ers and they win the game, or lose by less than seven points then you are a winner. If they lose by exactly seven then the game is a push and you get your money back. More than seven points and you lose your bet. When you bet on an underdog against the spread you are said to be taking the points.
In the moneyline the underdog will also be represented by a +. The Chargers, for example, could be +130. That means that if you bet on San Diego and were successful you would wind up with a profit of $130. The larger the number is, the more of an underdog the team is, and the less likely the team is to win the game. Betting on the underdog, then, has more risk but more reward than betting on the favorite.
The most important distinction bettors need to make with underdogs is that being an underdog means that the public perceives the team as less likely to win the game, not that they are not going to be able to win the game. Too often, square bettors will avoid betting on underdogs because the favorite is the more likely victor. It doesn’t matter who is going to win more often, though. What matters is whether the underdog will win often enough over the long term to produce a profit if you bet on them. Look at it this way - you would happily bet something that only had a 1 in 100 chance of happening if I offered to pay you 200/1 if it did happen. No-brainer.
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