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Why Would You Bet on Negative Odds?

If you’re new to sports betting, you may ask yourself whether it is better to wager on the favorite or the underdog. Many bettors answer this question by checking out the odds and looking at their potential wins with either option. With this line of thinking, the underdog always wins as the option’s odds will always pay you out more than the favorite. After all, who wants to have to wager more than $100 to win $100?

You may think that the idea of betting on negative odds is for cowards but there’s a lot of value to be found on betting on the favorite. There’s also money to be saved by avoiding potentially bad bets. If you would like to find out why you should be considering betting on the favorite, we go through the advantages and disadvantages of betting on negative odds below. We also provide a list of sporting leagues to have a look at if you would like to try playing the favorite in your next betting session.

betting on negative odds

Advantages of Betting on Negative Odds

  • Better Chances of Winning – a sportsbook doesn’t draw a name out of a hat and call that player or team the favorite when setting a betting line. They look at all sorts of stats and attempt to predict what is the most likely outcome. It is estimated that a sportsbook set favorite wins 56.8% of the time. This percentage increases to 66.7% in playoff situations.
  • You Can Make Your Money Back with Hedge Bets – if you are looking to make money through sports betting, you’ll be hedging every bet you make. This means betting for and against a team in an attempt to ensure that one bet wins. As most modern sportsbook will not allow you to employ such strategies, you may have to sign up to two sites. At the very least, you get the chance to search for the most value with both the favorite and underdog options.
  • More Opportunities for Parlays – if you want to make a lot of cash on a single bet, what you should be doing is creating a bet slip filled with parlays. Parlays rope in a load of betting options on a single slip. Sometimes, it proves easier to win parlays filled with favorites as opposed to a load of high odd selections.

Disadvantages of Betting on Negative Odds

  • Big Bets Required for Big Money – unfortunately, when you bet on the favorite, you need to make bigger bets to get big returns. Think of it this way; if you bet on a line set at -1100, you will make $10 on a $100 bet. For most bettors, it’s not worth making a bet that will win you $10. So, you increase your stake and sometimes to a ridiculous amount. You may find yourself betting $1000 on the same line to win $100. Is it worth it? We don’t think so.
  • Not Always Sustainable – this issue generally works in tandem with the issue set up above. You may find yourself making bets on favorites with low odds regularly. If one of your selections loses, you could land up losing more money than you could win with a set of small wins. And this is never fun.
pros and cons negative odds

Tips for Betting on Negative Odds

If you are interested in routinely betting on the favorite, make sure to consider these tips before placing your first wagers:

  • Search for Value Bets – so, in our listed disadvantages, we gave an example of betting on a -1100 line. You should never bet on such a line because it isn’t worth it. Instead, you should be looking for lines where the favorite still appears to be a bit obvious. However, not obvious enough to make it unprofitable. We generally look for negative odds lines between -100 and -200 as they still have some value.
  • Don’t Solely Bet on Favorites – although you should include betting on negative odds as part of your overall strategy, you shouldn’t only bet on favorites. Although favorites are statistically favored to win, they don’t always do so. You need to research every bet you place to ensure you identify opportunities where the sportsbook may have slipped up and capitalize on them.

Best Sports to Bet Negative Odds

If you are looking to add betting on negative odds to your betting repertoire, start by looking at the lines on these predictable sports:

  • European Soccer – European soccer leagues do not have an equal distribution of talent. The team’s with most money routinely win games, whereas the poorer teams are more likely to lose. We’ll concede that it is difficult to predict a UEFA Champion’s League winner. However, it is much easier to predict the winner in league games in domestic leagues, such as the Serie A, Premier League, La Liga, etc.
  • NCAA Football and Basketball – similar to European soccer leagues, some college sports tend to be more predictable because some schools can throw more money behind their teams. Some schools have always been good, and probably always will be, so you need to pay attention to them and spend more on them.
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