When you place a bet on a sporting event – be it a match between two basketball teams or a race between two cars – your aim is usually to make as much money as possible. But there is another way of looking at betting that might be a little more interesting for recreational gamblers: what is the most favourable outcome?
This is the idea behind ‘moneyline’ bets. To put it simply, on a cash-betting event where you are backing a team you believe to have a better chance of winning, you are effectively betting on the opposite team to make more money. For instance, if you believe that Liverpool have a better chance of beating Manchester United at Old Trafford, you could lay a bet on Liverpool to win the match, as they have odds of 2.0 (2.0 to 1.0) – or you could lay a bet on Manchester United to win the match, as they have odds of 1.0 (1.0 to 0.0) against them.
Of course, if you win your bet you will make lots of money thanks to the vigorish (or bet settlement) that the bookies (or betting agencies) impose on winning gamblers. But the interesting thing about a bet on the opposite team is that, with some exceptions, if they outperform expectations the bettor will make a profit, despite the ‘public’ nature of the wager. This can be good or bad news, depending on how you look at it.
A bet on the opposite team is a bet that you believe will result in a better return. This is in contrast to a ‘neutral’ or ‘minus’ bet, where you believe that the result will be the same as if you weren’t there to bet on it. For example, you might think that Arsenal have a better chance of beating Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, but you don’t want to back either side in the rivalry – so you lay a bet on Spurs to win the match.
In the case of Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, you would effectively be betting on a draw (1.0 odds) or a win for Arsenal (2.0 odds). Similarly, if you think that Chelsea will win against Man United, you could lay a bet on Chelsea (1.0 odds) or Man United (0.0 odds) to win the match.
This is the converse; you put a negative bet on a rival team because you believe that their win or loss will have a negative effect on your chances of winning. For example, if you believe that Man United are a counter-attacking team with a lot of pace and trickery, you could lay a bet on them to slow down Chelsea, as they have odds of 1.7 (1.7 to 1.0) against them – or you could lay a bet on Chelsea to score the most goals, as they have odds of 2.7 (2.7 to 1.0) against Man United.
In this situation, you are effectively betting on the other team to lose. The upside is that if they do underperform expectations, you will lose some money. The downside is that if they outperform expectations, you could still lose a lot of money. This is in contrast to a ‘neutral’ or ‘plus’ bet where, in the case of Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, you would be backing a draw (1.0 odds) or a win for Arsenal (2.0 odds) – in other words, a team you believe to have the same chance of winning as if you weren’t there to bet on it. So if you want to back a team with the worst odds, you will need to lay a bet on them to lose. This is the most risk-averse approach to gambling, but it can also be the most lucrative.
Variables To Consider
There are a number of variables that you should consider before placing a bet on the opposite team. These include:
- How important is the match to you?
- Which team do you believe to have the best chance of winning?
- What is your favourite team’s record in previous matches against the team you are backing?
- Is there any particular player on the opposing team you would like to see missing the match (e.g. a star striker vs a weak defence)?
- What is the weather like in your part of the world?
- Are there any other sporting events that you would like to bet on?
If you are interested in gambling on sporting events, then you should look at making use of the best bookmakers available. Some of the biggest and most reputable names in the industry include:
- SportsBetting (Paddy Power)
- OddsPort (Paddy Power)
- BookiesBet (Paddy Power)
- BettingExpert (bet365)
- Betamobile (bet365)
Once you have registered an account with a reputable bookmaker, you can use their tools to place bets on other sports as well as a range of other events, such as the European elections or the upcoming World Cup. Doing this is much easier than placing individual bets on different matches, especially as you can use online tools to do most of the hard work for you.
Ultimately, betting on the opposite team is a way of exploring the possibilities of different outcomes. This can be fun and educational at the same time. As with most things in life, however, there are serious and irresponsible sides to betting on the opposite team as well. Make sure that you are aware of the risks before you engage in this type of wagering.