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Betting Home Underdogs in the NFL

home underdogs strategyOne of the most popular NFL betting strategies is the home underdogs theory. This is a strategy where you bet on a home team that sportsbooks have declared the underdog to win an upcoming game.

Supposedly, you take advantage of higher odds because you are betting against the public. Also, teams who play at home usually have a statistical advantage. However, there has been a lot of debate over whether betting on home underdogs is a reliable gambling strategy.

Firstly, blindly betting on the underdogs (or pups as they’re affectionately known as) is never recommended. Generally, unresearched bets usually result in losses. Secondly, oddsmakers get the spread correct on average 98% of the time. So, is there still any value to be found in these bets?

Well, we have created the ultimate guide to betting home underdogs where we have a look at:

  • How this strategy works
  • How you should look for value bets
  • The 2019 overall against the spread performance of each team
  • Scenarios to consider

We also list all the best online gambling sites, so that you can get started on betting as soon as you feel ready should you choose to use this strategy.

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What You’ll Find In Our Home Underdogs Guide

betting home underdogs

What is Home Underdog Betting?

As mentioned above, betting home underdogs is a strategy where you bet on a home team to win a game even though the team was labelled an underdog.

The term “underdog” is used to refer to a team that is predicted to lose the game. The team which is thought to have a better chance of winning a game is called a “favorite”.

Before setting the line, oddsmakers have a look at a wide range of statistics other than team or player form. They then crunch the numbers and decide on the result that is more likely and set lines with the intention of getting gamblers to spread their bets evenly between options.

Home-field advantage has proven to be an important factor impacting the performance of a team. Usually, teams are more likely to win in front of their home crowd. So, a lot of gamblers look to exploit situations in which the home team has been pegged to perform poorly because teams have a legitimate chance of beating the spread in such cases.
home underdogs value

Finding Value in Home Underdogs

Betting home underdogs can be risky. But if a team performs outstandingly against all odds, you could win big!

However, you can’t bet on just any team that has been declared an underdog while playing at home. You need to look for situations where the underdog does have a chance of winning or else you are just going to deplete your bankroll quickly.

For example, in 2019, the Miami Dolphins had a terrible season. Entering Week 9, they had a record of 0-7. But in their next game, they were scheduled to play the New York Jets, another struggling team with a record of 1-6.

The Jets were favored to beat the Dolphins with Sam Darnold having recently returned from illness. The Jets had also recently picked up a win over the Dallas Cowboys who were a strong team.

But in the end, it was the Dolphins who reigned victorious at the end of the game in the Hard Rock Stadium. They beat the Jets 26–18 for their first win of the season despite rumors of the Dolphins tanking on purpose for draft picks.

These are the types of situations you need to be looking for if you want to make the most of the betting home underdogs strategy.
nfl teams against the spread

NFL Teams Against the Spread in 2019-20 Season

Here is how each team performed against the spread during the 2019-20 NFL regular season. As can be seen, the Chiefs were the best team to bet on ATS, whereas the Bears were the worst.

Team ATS Record Cover %
Kansas City Chiefs 13-5-1 72.2%
Los Angeles Rams 10-5-1 66.7%
New Orleans Saints 11-6-0 64.7%
Arizona Cardinals 9-5-2 64.3%
San Francisco 49ers 11-7-1 61.1%
Green Bay Packers 11-7-0 61.1%
Buffalo Bills 9-6-2 60.0%
Baltimore Ravens 10-7-0 58.8%
Denver Broncos 9-7-0 56.2%
Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7-0 56.2%
Dallas Cowboys 9-7-0 56.2%
Miami Dolphins 9-7-0 56.2%
Tennessee Titans 10-8-1 55.6%
Minnesota Vikings 10-8-0 55.6%
Atlanta Falcons 8-8-0 50.0%
Las Vegas Raiders 8-8-0 50.0%
Indianapolis Colts 7-7-2 50.0%
New England Patriots 8-8-1 50.0%
Seattle Seahawks 8-9-1 47.1%
Houston Texans 8-9-1 47.1%
Jacksonville Jaguars 7-9-0 43.8%
New York Giants 7-9-0 43.8%
New York Jets 7-9-0 43.8%
Philadelphia Eagles 7-10-0 41.2%
Carolina Panthers 6-9-1 40.0%
Washington 6-10-0 37.5%
Detroit Lions 6-10-0 37.5%
Cincinnati Bengals 6-10-0 37.5%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-9-2 35.7%
Cleveland Browns 5-10-1 33.3%
Los Angeles Chargers 4-9-3 30.8%
Chicago Bears 4-12-0 25.0%
home underdogs

Betting Home Underdogs: Scenarios to Consider

Here are two scenarios which you should consider when looking for more home underdog opportunities:

Playing a Divisional Rival

Division games breed contempt between the two teams involved. Often, this results in some very tough and physical games. Add to this the electricity of rival crowds, and you have got yourself a tense football game.

Struggling teams seem to want to play better when they play their rivals. Our value bet example perfectly illustrates this. So, look for possible money on rivalry games.

Playing a Second Straight Home Game

Another scenario is when the underdogs play their second straight game on their home turf. Generally, they are more comfortable and focused than in the last game. Couple this with the fact that the team is rested because they didn’t have to travel, and you may have a golden opportunity.

Another element that could make the home pups more dangerous is if they had lost their previous game. No team wants to suffer a second loss in front of their home crowd. So, they’ll be motivated to win, especially in a high-profile league like the NFL.

Betting Home Underdogs – FAQs

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