SPORTSTop tips for betting on the underdog in football

Top tips for betting on the underdog in football

In any sport, football included, there is always a reason one side is the underdog and the other is favored. Even in keenly-matched games, like a matchup between the two top sides in a national league, there will usually be one side that is at narrowly shorter odds. This is something that regulars at resources such as are fully aware of. Yet people still back the underdog on occasion, and they are right to do so more often than people realize. 

Take a weekend’s fixtures in a football league. It doesn’t matter which; it could be the English Premier League, or the Latvian Virsliga. The principle remains the same: if you were to place a parlay bet on all of the favorites to win in a given weekend, the odds would be long, and you would probably lose. One team overturning the odds is not as uncommon as people think, and when an underdog wins, a winning bet on them can be a pretty beneficial call. The key question to ask is: when should you bet on the underdog in football?

Domestic cup games

Domestic cups are keenly anticipated by a majority of football fans. The thrill of knockout football isn’t greater than that of a knife-edge league game, but it is different. In 90 minutes, your chances of winning that tournament can be wiped out entirely, or greatly enhanced. But football teams play a lot of games in the course of a season, and coaches prefer to manage their resources, so they will often leave their best players on the bench for a cup game, or leave them out entirely. This one move can be enough to give a lesser side a genuine chance of beating the elite clubs – but sportsbooks will still make the bigger team favorite. They may still win, but if you change a few parts in a machine it won’t run as smoothly.

Midweek home games

It’s less uncommon these days to have games moved around the calendar – for TV, or to accommodate other matches. However, teams are always at their most comfortable when a game is played in the middle of the day. This can have a leveling effect when two otherwise unmatched teams are playing in a night game, specifically if the underdog is at home. There’s even a classic English football saying about expensive foreign players: “He’s good, but could he do it on a wet Wednesday night in Stoke?”. The answer is yes, he usually can, but it is tougher – and you only need one or two players to underperform for an upset to become more likely.

Injury crises

Today’s football players are finely-tuned machines, and modern training, nutrition and equipment are judged to the decimal points to put them as close to the edge of perfection as an athlete can get. Sometimes they go over that edge, and it’s not unheard of for a team to have several players out through injury at once. If this happens, they can be forced to field inexperienced players in key positions. For the top teams, those players can still be very good – but nerves can play a part, and well-rehearsed tactics can malfunction when one piece is different.

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