Spotting The Underdog – How To Place Odd-Defying Bets

Numerous factors that can affect a wager's outcome at any given moment are at play in the realm of sports betting. Any sporting contest can change completely by an unexpected injury, a missed call, or an exceptionally poor performance. The ultimate outcome is contingent upon a precise balance of conditions.

Spotting The Underdog – How To Place Odd-Defying Bets

At the same time, some teams and players are performing objectively better than others. They are the ones who represent the biggest chances of winning sports bets. Betting on the best-performing athletes is the closest thing you can get to certainty. However, the most money can be won thanks to underdog betting.

Professional (gridiron) football is one of the most fascinating cases in sports betting. There are discernible favorites at all times, but surprises are regular due to a flurry of circumstances. Understanding when a football team performs best is an art rather than an exact science.

This article will navigate the concept of betting underdog and provide several sports betting tips. They may help you understand the underdog betting system and why it can help you identify the wagering opportunities that can grab the highest wins.

What is an Underdog

Put simply, an underdog is a contender who has a lower probability of winning. This benchmark is based on form, health, analytics, and expectations. It applies to any competition type. There will always be a favorite that the odds expect to perform well and ultimately win.

The underdog represents the competitor with a lower chance of winning. According to the odds, it would be a surprise if the underdog becomes the victor. In sports betting, the total number of odds depends on the reputation and recent performance of a competitor. The subsequent bets determine the size of the gap between the favorite and the underdog.

The so-called ‘money line’ is a core concept in sports betting. It showcases who the odds favor to win a game. The favorite will have a minus (-120, for example), while the underdog will have a plus (+120). The payout for a successful bet on an underdog will always be much higher.

Famous Cases of Successful NFL Underdogs

According to Fox Sports, the Houston Texans' September 2023 odds to make the playoffs and +970 odds to win their division were +750. There were questions about their rookie head coach, quarterback, and pass rusher.

They defied the odds, and all had stellar first campaigns, leading the Texans to a fantastic season that also included an emphatic playoff win. Their opponent in that game, the Cleveland Browns, themselves had a tremendous season that defied mid-season expectations.

The NFL has had numerous such underdog stories, some quite famous. The 2011 San Francisco 49ers, coached by an NFL debutant, Jim Harbaugh, won 13 games despite their odds of not winning more than 7.5 games. The team had a famous underdog mentality and played a successful brand of football that defied the preseason betting odds.

Superbowl Underdogs

We can even point to Superbowl-winning underdogs. The most recent one is Superbowl LII, which saw the first-ever title for the Philadelphia Eagles. The odds for the eventual victors were as +200 underdogs. Their victory as the NFC’s representative and playing with their backup quarterback is one of the NFL’s most endearing stories.

Superbowl Underdogs

A legendary underdog winner would be the 2007 New York Giants with their victory over the Patriots. No NFL betting strategies could’ve seen this scenario coming. New England was a heavy favourite after going unbeaten up to that point. The Tom Brady-Randy Moss connection became one of the most historically great offensive duos in NFL history.

However, that didn’t count when Eli Manning and Co. managed to win the game 17-14. The Giants made the people who bet on them a lot of money.

How to Look for Signs of Upsets

Here are some things to consider when you’re betting against the odds-on NFL games:


Now that we have finalized this article, we hope that the concept of underdog is clearer. NFL betting analysis can be quite complicated, but learning about the money line and how to bet on the underdog may be a good start. As ever, don’t place excessive bets, and play responsibly!

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