Betting on the Underdogs with these Tips and Tricks for Winning

When it comes to sports betting, most people prefer placing their money on their favorite team. However, with underdogs, there's always a chance to win big. 
Betting on the Underdogs

The risk is higher, and the rewards are higher.

Betting on the underdogs can be profitable if you know the right strategies and tricks. So we’ve asked our expert sports bettors to give us some tips to help you win big when betting on the underdogs. 

Tip How it Works
Thorough Research and Analysis Conduct comprehensive research and analyze all relevant factors that could impact the game before betting on underdog teams.
Identify Undervalued Teams Look for underdog teams that are undervalued by bookmakers but have a good chance of winning based on their performance and potential.
Selectivity in Underdog Betting Exercise selectivity and only bet on underdog teams that you have confidence in or those that present favorable odds and conditions.
Follow Pick Experts on Social Media Keep track of pick experts on social media platforms to gain valuable insights and filter down your research for underdog betting.
Monitor Line Movements and Money Placement Pay attention to line movements and the amount of money being placed on underdogs, as this can indicate changing perceptions and value.
Proper Bankroll Management Effectively manage your bankroll by betting no more than 5% (or 2-3% for high-risk bets) of your total bankroll on underdog wagers.

Do your Research

Before placing a bet on any underdog team, you must research and analyze all the factors that could impact the outcome of the game. You should do this for every game/team, but it’s even more important when you’re dealing with underdogs.

Just because a team is slated as an underdog doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the inferior team – at the moment.

Look at the team’s past performances, the injury or absence of key players, the head-to-head records, and any other relevant data. 

Make sure you are well-informed about the team and the game. Even take a look at the opposing team and see if any star players are sidelined.  

For example, maybe the underdog is weak against stopping the run game, but the opposing team has their starting running back out due to injury. This could give the underdog a better chance at winning, but it might not reflect in the odds. This is your chance to strike and get a W under your belt.

Pro Tip: Never place a parlay bet on underdogs. Parlay odds are already stacked against you, and adding in an underdog is a recipe for disaster. Unless you're an absolute pro and know what you're doing, we never recommend parlays on underdogs.

Look for Value Where Others Don’t

When betting on the underdog, you’re looking for value. 

This means that you must be able to identify the teams that have a good chance of winning but are currently undervalued by the bookmakers. 

Keep in mind that these are difficult to spot, but they do exist.

Think of it like this. Let’s say the San Antonio Spurs are playing the Chicago Bulls. The bookmakers have the Spurs as heavy favorites, but you believe that the Bulls actually have a good chance of winning. Or, at the very least, maybe the Spurs don’t have the ability to win against the current 11.5-point spread that’s placed on them.

In this situation, placing a bet on the underdog Bulls could potentially give you a big payout if they do end up winning or not covering the spread.

Analyze the odds and compare them with the team’s actual chances of winning. If you spot a team that is undervalued, place your bet on them.

These undervalued teams might not always pan out, but it’s worth taking the risk for a potentially big payout

Bet Selectively

Smart betting means being selective. Don’t bet on every underdog team you come across. 

Choose your bets selectively, and only bet on the teams that you feel confident about. Be patient and wait for the right opportunities to come.

On any given Sunday, there are typically around 12 to 15 NFL games. But out of those, maybe only two or three underdog teams have a real shot at winning. To filter out the clutter, follow some of the pick experts on X (aka Twitter) and see where they’re looking.

Don’t just take their word for it. This is simply a good place to start your research. It’s a way to filter down your research from 15 games to 1 or 2. That’s much easier to manage.

Don’t feel pressured into placing bets just for the sake of it. Only place your money on games that you have thoroughly researched and analyzed.

Follow the Money

When it comes to sports betting, the money almost always talks. 

Pay attention to the line movements and the amount of money being placed on each team. 

If you see that the money is starting to swing towards the underdog, it might be a good time to place your bet. Apparently, the masses know something about the game that you don’t, and if they’re starting to put their money on the underdog, then it could be a sign of an upset in the making. 

Just like before, do your research into the teams and see what’s going on. However, don’t take too long. If the bets swing the odds too much, you might lose the potential value of your bet.

Of course, this isn’t always true, and sometimes the favorites end up winning. However, paying attention to the money can give you some insight into where the smart money is going.

Manage your Bankroll

Managing your bankroll is one of the most important aspects of betting. That’s why we always recommend betting no more than 5% of your total bankroll on any one bet. 

This is especially important when betting on underdogs, as the chances of winning are lower compared to favorites. In this case, you might want to keep it to 2-3% of your bankroll. 

Think about it: it’s a high-risk bet. With risk comes reward, but only your risk tolerance level will determine how high you want to go. 

When betting on underdogs, there’s always a risk involved, and you must be prepared to handle it. Set a betting limit and stick to it. Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and don’t chase your losses.

Again, please don’t chase your losses. It’s a terrible way to go down in flames.

Think You Can Bet on the Underdog?

Betting on underdogs can be exciting and profitable if done correctly, and you have a strategy.

What works best for you? Only you can answer that once you try a few of these.

Do your research, look for value, bet selectively, follow the money, and manage your bankroll. By using these strategies, you can increase your chances of winning when betting on the underdogs. 

Keep in mind that no strategy is foolproof, and there’s always a risk involved in sports betting. But with the right approach, you can minimize the risk and make a profit.

Try a few of these strategies out or mix and match to find what works best for you. 

Matt Brown

Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.