What Is the Meaning of Underdog?

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In this guide, we will cover all the specifics you need to know about underdog betting (or simply “dog betting”) on BetPawa. Buckle up, and let’s start!

Betting Terms

 BetPawa Betting Terms

Profound knowledge of betting terms is a prerequisite for placing successful bets. In this article, we will review the terms you need to know for placing bets on underdogs.

What is Underdog Betting

What is Underdog Betting BetPawa

There is usually a favorite and an underdog in a match. The team that is expected to win is the favorite; the team that is expected to lose is the dog. 

These wagers may be placed on the spreads, totals, or moneylines. Underdog moneyline wagers are much harder to win, but the payout is high. On the other hand, spread bets stipulate that if the underdogs lose, they must lose by a predetermined amount of points. Despite the underdogs’ slim chances of winning in these games, the operator offers them high odds. This is done deliberately to draw bettors to these wagers. 

What is an Underdog and How to Define It

What is an Underdog and How to Define It BetPawa

An underdog is the exact opposite of a favorite. In terms of odds, they are the team that has a higher chance of losing. It’s not necessary for dogs to win by a wide margin to be profitable; they can also make money if they can “cover” the point spread.

There will always be favorites and underdogs in every game, with the latter typically being the team with the worst record or the one considered inferior. Additional variables like home-field advantage or injuries can alter that.

Underdog Bets for Different Bet Types

Underdog Bets for Different Bet Types BetPawa

You can wager on an underdog in a number of ways. You can wager on the spread, where you’re only betting on the team to keep the game within a specific score margin, or on the moneyline, where you’re betting on them to win, end of story.


If you place a moneyline bet, your wager won’t be paid out unless your chosen team wins. Because they have the potential to pay out large amounts, moneyline wagers of this type can be tempting. On the moneyline, a dog will always have plus money, unlike on the spread, where you’re probably getting -110 odds. Although the reward is larger in moneyline bets, the risk is higher than when wagering on underdogs against the point spread.


On the other hand, the point spread offers its own benefits and drawbacks. It’s not necessary for an underdog to win the game hands-down if you bet on them as the point spread. You will profit as long as they cover the spread. However, just like with a favorite, you will probably lay a -110 line if you are betting an underdog against the point spread. Football and basketball both frequently use point spreads.


Bets on totals focus more on the total number of runs or points scored than they do on the outcome of the game. The market requires bettors to select the over or under for the line, and this total is cumulative for both teams. Although it’s uncommon, some betting sites try their best to set up lines with equal odds for both sides; instead, you’ll typically find one outcome to be a slight underdog against the other.

Underdog Bets in Different Sports

Underdog Bets in Different Sports BetPawa

When placing bets on favorites and underdogs in various sports, you can improve your chances of winning by being aware of the particular dynamics of each sport and concentrating on certain elements. Let’s dig deeper!


Betting on a dog in the NFL is totally underrated. See for yourself! The majority of bettors lack the valor to back some NFL underdogs. They believe it won’t be a contest because they see a good team playing against a bad team. Based on a recent blowout or a personal gambling loss, they have formed an opinion about how awful some teams are. 

Again, a weekly identification of some underappreciated dogs is possible with the correct mix of situational and statistical research. Additionally, there are some circumstances where poor teams have consistently and historically performed better than average. When you combine that with a time-tested scenario where favorites underperform, you have a surefire upset case. 


It takes science and a solid grasp of the NBA to select a winning underdog. You should take into account the following factors:

  • Team stats
  • Team schedules (after extended home stands, players typically perform better than they do after lengthy trips outside of the home field)
  • Health issues and injuries of the key players
  • Recent performance of the team


One thing you need to know first and foremost: NHL underdogs win more games than underdogs in any other major sport. The winning rate here reaches over 40%. The only issue is to find the right team to back. We prepared some tips for successful underdog betting in hockey: 

  • Avoid the NHL home underdog. In hockey, the home-field value is overrated.
  • Choose a rested team instead of one playing a second night in a row.
  • Do your homework and stay calm.


Baseball betting is very different from other sports betting. The point spread is the equalizer in sports like basketball and football, which most bettors are accustomed to betting on. One of the main features of baseball wagering is that you must lay more vigorish if you wish to bet on the favorite. Here are a couple of tips.

  • Aim at tiny teams that have a strong starting pitcher.
  • Choose a team with a powerful bullpen.
  • Left-handed pitchers can be problematic for certain teams. Examine team statistics to determine how well each team has performed historically and how they fare in matches against lefties.
  • Examine a team’s past ten games. It is unlikely that a team that has dropped its last ten games will win this one.
  • Baseball is a very streaky game; in this specific game, streaks are usually very telling. Stick to winning teams’ games instead of speculating that a losing team will soon surpass them.

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Pros and Cons of Underdog Betting

Pros and Cons of Underdog Betting BetPawa

Like any other type of wager, this type of betting has its pros and cons. Let’s review both categories.

  • High potential profit. Since the underdog is favored because they are thought to have a lower chance of winning, betting on them can result in larger payouts. The odds are better if they pull off an upset, which increases the profit.
  • Excitement and adrenaline. The thrill and excitement of watching a game can be increased by placing a wager on the underdog. Encouraging the team or player who is viewed as the underdog can enhance the viewing experience and increase its enjoyment.
  • Less pressure. When compared to the favorite, underdogs frequently face less pressure and expectations. Sometimes, they will take advantage of the pressure-free environment and play with the mentality that they have nothing to lose, which can result in them performing better than expected.
  • Unexpected betting opportunities. Bookies frequently undervalue dogs, which presents chances for profitable wagering. You can profit from favorable odds if you can pinpoint situations in which the less favorite team has a greater implied probability of winning than the odds indicate.
  • Lower chances of winning. For an obvious reason, less favorite teams are thought to have a lower chance of winning. Their inability to overcome stronger opponents or other disadvantages makes winning more difficult for them. You take a lesser chance of winning your wager when you place these bets.
  • Limited markets. While concentrating more on the favorites, bookmakers occasionally provide restricted prop bets or alternative markets for underdogs.
  • Research required. Betting on underdogs and winning often requires in-depth study, analysis, and knowledge of the particular elements affecting the match. Finding opportunities and selecting wisely when betting on the underdog can take more time.


Conclusion BetPawa

Whether or not you should bet on an underdog is not a simple yes-or-no decision. Even though underdogs are unlikely to win more than 50% of the time, they can still make money. Favorites are frequently chosen by recreational bettors, occasionally inflating the lines and adding value to the less favorite teams. Hopefully, our guide will help you place more successful bets and win big.


How often do underdogs win?
The sport, level of competition, and particular matchups all affect how often underdogs win. Since perceived differences in skill or performance determine odds, underdogs typically have a lower winning percentage than favorites. Sports do, however, frequently witness upsets, so it's critical to evaluate each scenario separately to determine the underdog's chances. However, successful betting on less favorite teams requires thorough research.
Should you put your money on the underdog or not?
Don't limit your attention to the amazing return that could occur if the dog pulls off the upset. When betting on sports, anything can happen. Even the most assured decisions can go wrong. Just keep in mind that there's usually a reason why underdogs are there, and betting on them alone entails much higher risk.
What’s the difference between the underdog in sports betting and the favorite?
The underdog is a team or individual with fewer chances to win a match or game in question. Although this team is thought to have a lesser chance of winning in this kind of betting, the payout could be larger if they do.