It is the holy grail of high quality betting winnings. When you've had enough of that, you can break an overall loss record and still get a head start by looking at your bankroll number. Of course, I'm talking about winning when I bet on the moneyline underdog.
While they are great when they hit, there is no denying that wagering on the moneyline underdog frequently puts you at higher risk than most other types of betting. That means choosing your seats is important in order to win often enough to warrant the game.
In this article, I'm going to single out six things you can look for in order to find a good money lines underdog.
1 – The chances themselves
The first place I look when trying to make my money line underdog picks is in the numbers. While they don't tell you all about a game, they certainly tell a story.
Some bettors may advocate looking at the big underdog games – which means +250 or higher – and focusing on playing enough of those games to end the day or weekend in the countryside. In my opinion this can be a viable option, but I found it very difficult to win with any kind of consistency.
The range that I believe offers the greatest chance for bettors looking to maximize the money line is between +120 and about +175 (unless you're talking about baseball – more on that later). These odds suggest that there is a real chance that the underdog will win immediately. Additionally, you can take advantage of the public bias that may have resulted in a team that would otherwise be preferred as outsiders.
The bottom line is that most of the time you'll see a money line in the +150 area (give or take a little either way). It is worth taking a risk and using the value game.
2- In baseball, bigger is better
In soccer and basketball, the typical game is usually a bet on the spread. Baseball is somewhat unique in that the standard bet is on the money line. This means that there are some defined strategies that seasoned bettors have been using for years to gain an advantage.
The interesting thing about betting on underdogs in baseball is that they feel like they have more of a chance of winning. I mean, even the worst teams in the league usually win about 60 games a year. A bad rebound or a punctual hit can instantly change the result and nobody really takes notice, even if the worst team in the league beats the best team.
As you look at the game's schedule for the day and the associated odds of winning, focus on the games with the greatest differences in money lines. You may think that choosing the team that is least likely to win (using odds as a measure) is a bad idea, but the reality is that your winnings will more than cover your losses.
It's not a foolproof strategy to say that betting on the biggest underdog every day is the best way to successfully bet on baseball, but the data suggests it will be profitable most of the time.
If you're someone who bet on baseball on a daily or almost daily basis, it should be in the habit of checking out a handful of sportsbooks before playing your games. Because of the sheer volume of the game, there are more differences in the odds than in a sport such as soccer.
Betting on baseball is a numbers game. That means maximizing every advantage you have available – just using a sports bet is the opposite of that attitude.
3 – Think smaller in football
Whether you're looking at a list of Sunday matchups or trying to get your games sorted on a chaotic college football Saturday, there are plenty of ways to make quality moneyline picks.
As I pointed out in the previous section, in baseball it is a good idea to pick the team with the longest chance of winning. The same is not true when it comes to making money off the grate.
When it comes to soccer betting, I've had the greatest success betting on teams that have near-even odds but are still an underdog on paper. Of all the sports, soccer is the one where the preferred team wins the most. That said, if you are betting on big problems to keep your betting strategy up and running, it is unlikely to happen.
The rate that for me personally was most successful in football is between +110 and +175. This is the area where the underdog has a nearly 50% chance of winning the game on paper, but sports betting tries to balance the action.
4 – In basketball, choose more carefully
When I talk about basketball in this article, I am referring only to betting on the NBA. College basketball has tons of variables to consider and I avoid betting on it until tournament time has passed. However, professional play is a betting staple that you can take advantage of once you know what to look for in a matchup.
Unfortunately, when it comes to basketball, there is no hard and fast rule for choosing a quality moneyline underdog. It requires a close look at the actual games themselves, and you need to look at the details from a basketball, and most importantly, a cumbersome point of view.
As most bettors know, things like back-to-back games, games where players rest in the name of “load management”, and cross-country travel have an impact – especially in the regular season.
When you can see that several different factors make an underdog team have a good chance of winning, it is time to start the game.
If in baseball it's better to play the biggest underdog, and if in football it's best to play the underdogs closer to even money, then basketball falls somewhere in the middle. As you go through the list of games and their chances of winning, look at each underdog and try to figure out reasons why they will win against a better team.
One final note on underdog picking in the NBA – like baseball, it's important to review various sports betting. Although the NBA has roughly half of all games compared to baseball, the volume is still significant and this inevitably results in different book-to-book odds.
5 – Individual sports betting
Aside from the traditional team sports I discussed above, sporting events like tennis and golf can be of tremendous value to weather as well. There are usually several different options available for this type of game – i.e. against the field or one-on-one, so you can decide which is best for you.
For example, if you look at golf betting odds, you will find that in every tournament, even the toughest favorite has plus-money odds to win instantly. If you are not comfortable predicting that a player will win the entire field, there are one-on-one bets known as "matchup" bets.
With matchup betting, sports betting offers odds for just two golfers, and whoever ends up with the better score wins. The matchups offered are at the discretion of sports betting. So there are a few you should check out if you want to review all possible choices.
Many golf bettors prefer matchup bets to all other types because they are simply easier to evaluate. All you need to do is take a closer look at two golfers which means you can do a lot more research to make an educated game.
In terms of tennis, I haven't personally found much value in moneyline underdogs. While I'm sure there is, it takes a little deep knowledge of the sport to predict games that most viewers don't know about.
If you are looking for moneyline underdogs in tennis I would stick to the championship rounds, or at least where the players are better known.
With all of the many betting strategies out there today, the one that has stood the test of time is always about betting by value.
Use these tips on your next games and remember: Those who take (smart) risks are often rewarded in sports betting.