You might know that many sportsbooks will adjust the point spread to favor the home team and to decrease the amount of money wagered on the away team. For example, if a bettor places a $100 wager and the point spread is -3, then the sportsbook will pay out $97.50 in winnings.
That is unless, you back the underdog. Then the sportsbook owes you $97.50 plus winnings on the other side of the bet.
What does that mean for you as a sports bettor?
It means that if you are backing the underdogs in your sportsbooks, you are doing something right. Most sports bettors are suckered in by the theory that you should never back a favorite, as everyone knows that the favorite usually wins. You will find that many professional bettors, however, back the underdogs every time because they realize that even though the favorites usually win, the underdogs can often surprise everyone and come out on top. That is if they have the right line moving in their favor. You might be thinking that since the underdogs have such a hard time winning, you should never place a bet on them. But you would be mistaken. Professional bettors have learned that there is often value in placing a bet on the underdogs, as long as you do so with the right line. For example, if a sportsbook offers even money (which most do) on the New England Patriots (a team they hate with a passion) and the Cleveland Browns (another team they hate), you might want to consider wagering on the Browns. Most people would probably think that the Patriots are the clear favorites in this example, but that is not what the numbers say. You will notice that the spread on the New England Patriots – Cleveland Browns football game is listed as +3, which means that the Browns are a three-point favorite at this point. Do you think that this means the Patriots will easily beat the Browns? You would be wrong. The oddsmakers actually made the Browns a 4.5-point favorite. What exactly is going on here?
You see, the theory that you should never back a favorite is true for college and pro sports. However, you must be careful when making this judgment call in other industries. For example, imagine that you are a political bettor. The polls indicate that the incumbent president will win, and most people think that he is the clear favorite. But you have learned from experience that some electoral surprises happen, and you think that this year might be one of them. You want to take a flier on the surprise candidate, who happens to be a Democrat. But which one?
As a political bettor, you know that in a close race, the difference between winning and losing is often less than the width of the margin of error. That is why you want to place your bet on the underdogs in those situations, as sometimes they can come from behind and give the other party a run for their money. In that case, you would have backed the winning candidate, despite the fact that he was the favorite. That, my friend, is backing a favorite in reverse.
Why Does Vegas Put a Positive Spin On Underdog Games?
You might be wondering why the casinos put a positive spin on underdogs winning. After all, the theory is that you should never back a favorite in a race where the favorite is not an underdog. That is because the favorite will be expecting to win, and the underdog will be thinking that this is their year. That, in a nutshell, is why betting on the underdogs is viewed as a winning proposition by the casinos.
The simple answer is that if a casino is going to take your money, they are going to do everything in their power to ensure that you come back for more. As a general rule of thumb, the more money you bet, the more they want to keep you around. When you bet on the favorites, the casinos take it as a given that they are going to win. But when you bet on the underdogs, the casinos know that you have a better chance of winning, and that is why they adjust the line in their favor. In short, betting on the underdogs can be a profitable venture for the casinos, as long as you know how to do it the right way.
A Quick How-to Guide for Calculating Prop Bets
In case you are curious as to how to calculate prop bets, check out this quick how-to guide. You will need to have your own spreadsheet, and you can use the one I use (which you will find at the end of this article) as a template. But the basic idea is to enter the relevant information into the cells next to the sportsbook name and the prop bet type, such as ‘Team’ and ‘Handicap’. Then you can use the plus and minus keys to change the values in the cells. For example, if you want to bet $10 on the New England Patriots and you put $100 into the cell, the next cell will display $110. That is assuming that you are using an even money prop bet.
The great thing about this system is that it makes it easy to keep track of your bets and winnings. When you are finished, you can download the spreadsheet and keep it on your phone or computer. This makes things easy to access whenever you want. You can use the app ‘Predictionis’ to do the same thing, but I prefer to keep my data where I can find it easily. Additionally, you can use databases like ‘Shark Shield’ to store all of your important information in one place. They call it a single source of truth, and it makes things easier for everyone concerned. For example, if you get into a dispute with a bookie over the terms of a bet, you can point them to the exact same location where you recorded the details of the transaction. That, my friend, is an invaluable tool when it comes to doing business with online sportsbooks. It prevents errors, mistruths, and miscommunications. In the end, everyone wins.
Where Can I Find Good Lines for -1 Prop Bets?
Now that you have the basic idea of where to place your underdogs, you might want to do some research into finding good lines. There are dozens of online sportsbooks, all of which feature odds that will adjust for -1 prop bets. That means that if you push the minus button, the numbers in the cells next to the betting lines will change by one. For example, if you put a $10 wager on the Cleveland Browns and the point spread is -3, the numbers in the cell next to the Browns’ line will change from ‘-3′ to ‘-4.5′. When that happens, you know that the sportsbook is trying to attract -1 bettors, and vice versa. That, in a nutshell, is how you find good lines for -1 prop bets.
The Downside to Backing the Underdog
While you might be reaping the benefits of placing bets on the underdogs, you must also be aware of the risks. One of the biggest dangers lies in the fact that the underdog will often surprise everyone and pull off an unexpected victory. But since you are backing them, you will need to be prepared to lose your money. That, however, is a risk that you have to be willing to take. If the alternative is to keep losing, why bother at all?
Additionally, many sportsbooks have learned that when they offer even money on the favorite and the underdog, the overwhelming majority of people will bet on the side with the better odds. That, in turn, has led to the creation of so-called ‘fraudulent’ lines, which is a line that is not in agreement with the actual odds. Some books will even give you an inferior package when you place a wager on the underdog. In the world of online sportsbooks, this is known as ‘shaming’ the customer, and it is an outrageous practice that needs to be stopped. If you ever place a wager on the Cleveland Browns and receive an inferior package, you can be sure that you have been scammed by a fraudulent sportsbook. Just be sure to report them to your state and local authorities. Never let a scammer get away with ripping you off, especially when you are being offered such high quality sportswriting on a daily basis. As for the rest, if you are willing to take the risk, then backing the underdog can be a profitable venture, but you must be aware of the fact that you are taking a gamble.