Why Betting On Underdogs Isn’t A Bad Idea – Odds Play A Part

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Why Betting On Underdogs Isn’t A Bad Idea

Underdogs have always held a special place in the hearts of movie watchers, general public and punters in New Zealand.

There is nothing better than watching an underdog, be it a team or an individual fight through despite the odds and crush the competition.

Hundreds of movies have been created around this theme, but is it a good idea to bet on them as a punter?

Understanding Handicaps

Handicaps have been created for just this scenario. A handicap is a points system which encourages punters to place bets on underdogs, and not just the obviously superior team or athlete.

A handicap basically starts the better team off with minus points, so that to win on the bookie’s books they have to win by more than their handicap.

For example, if Team A has a handicap of minus 10 in a rugby match, they have to beat Team B by more than ten for the bookies to pay out anyone who placed a bet on them.

In this regard betting on underdogs can be hugely beneficial as even if they lose the match, they will still win you cash.


Odds are different to handicaps in that they reward punters who place bets on underdogs. If in a horse race in New Zealand, horse A is the favourite to win; his odds will be much higher than horse B.

If he does win, his backers will be paid out but not a huge amount. If horse B wins, his backers will be paid out more than horse A’s backers, as his odds of winning were lower. Horse B would then be the underdog.

Placing a successful bet on an underdog is thus often much more lucrative than placing a successful bet on a favourite. Bear in mind though that favourites have high odds for a reason, and underdogs don’t always beat them.

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Bookies Mistake

Odds are things which not only vary from betting site to betting site but are also created by people. As people are not infallible, it is totally possible that they may have made a huge mistake and undervalued the underdog.

By doing your own research and keeping abreast of the sport on which you are wagering, you could quite possibly catch an undervalued underdog before anyone else does and end up making a huge amount of cash.

Histories Affect Futures

Underdogs are often labelled so because of their past performances. By keeping a close eye on the team or individual, you may pick up that the odds have been skewed by people placing bets on other teams instead of the underdog due to past bad performance.

Bad performance could be due to any number of things and can change from game to game or race to race.

Knowing of any recent changes in team members or physical condition can make the difference between an out of the blue winning bet or not.


In horse racing, the favourite only wins on average 33% of the time. This means that if you always back the favourite you will only win one third of the time.

Backing an underdog has a higher chance of winning, but of course, you have to choose the right underdog. In racing, the field of runners is quite big, with the second favourite often not having much lower odds than the favourite.

As with everything, knowledge is key, and there are many reputable sites like https://onlinebetting.nz/sports-guide/sports-betting-tips/horse-racing-tips/ offering bespoke horse racing tips NZ, if you know where to look. Know your percentages, and you could potentially win big on an underdog.