Betting on the Underdog

Sports bettors use the terms favorite and underdog to determine which team will win. While the favorite is the obvious choice, betting on the underdog may also provide value. While underdogs often don’t win, they do offer the chance of higher returns. The underdog is the opposite of the favorite. The oddsmakers determine how many points each team is expected to score. This number is known as the total and can be found on most sports betting lines.

A sports wager can be either an in-play bet, a side bet, or a money line bet. While the odds are set by sportsbooks based on probability, a high probability event will not pay out as much as one with a low probability. A higher risk event, on the other hand, may yield more reward, but come with greater risk. Most sports betting options offer two sides, but some even allow multiple options.

Sportsbooks usually set a total for each game, including basketball and football games. Over/under bets, as well as moneylines, are popular types of bets. In baseball and football, the total can be as high as six-six points, while a combination score of 33-32 can yield a low-scoring game. To make betting on the underdog less risky, the spread is usually much lower. In soccer, the total can be as low as two goals, or as high as seven goals.