Dog Betting Term Meaning


The betting term ‘dog’ can have different meanings depending on which side of the Atlantic you are. 

When hearing the term ‘dog’, the majority of UK punters will relate it to greyhound racing. Unlike horse racing, which punters refer to by name; such as Arkle, Desert Orchid and Red Rum, greyhound punters usually only say ‘dog 4’ or ‘dog 6’, with the number corresponding to the trap the dog is starting from.

There have been a few exceptions throughout history like the famous Mick the Miller, Rapid Ranger and Ballyreagan Bob, but generally, the word dog and its number is all bettors use.

The second usage refers to a sporting event in which one team or player is the clear betting favourite and the other is the ‘dog’ which is short for underdog. In sports with many teams or players competing against each other, such as a golf tournament, an underdog would be anyone below the favourite, stretching down to the rank outsiders. These may be known as heavy underdogs.

Underdog originated with dog fighting back in the 19th century. Bookmakers would write the dog’s names and their odds on a blackboard for the punters to see. The favourite would be written at the top, and the other dog would be written underneath. This then led to the terms ‘top dog’ and ‘underdog’.

Should I Bet On The Dog?


You’ll always turn more of a profit if the dog wins, but the trade-off is that they are less likely to win. That means if you’re going to bet on the dog with confidence, it’s good to have some information that the majority of punters don’t. Perhaps your underdog team have signed an unknown player who just so happened to be a goal-scoring machine at his previous club.

Perhaps there’s a rumour about the star player of the other team that might affect his performance. There is a wealth of resources out there, including comprehensive statistics pages, blogs, podcasts, forums, and more, all stacked with information that can help you find some great underdogs to have a punt on. 

Once you have the information you need, it’s always good to check a multitude of bookmakers to find the best odds for the dog. If you’re betting on popular events such as English Premier League football, you might find that the odds only vary slightly between bookmakers. 

It’s still worth checking around though, especially if you’re betting big, as every little bit helps. If you’re betting on more niche sports, however, there’s a chance that you could find a bookmaker whose odds are way off the mark and would enable your bet to return a much bigger profit.  

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