Underdog Betting Term Meaning

The world of sports and betting is full of underdogs. Some break the mould and achieve stardom whilst the majority remain forever largely unknown. This article will tell you everything there is to know about the betting term underdog and why they will always have a special place in our hearts.

An underdog, also known as the dog, is essentially any team which is not favourite to win a match or contest although there are varying degrees associated with this. If the sport or event has more than two teams or participants playing against one other; such as a golf tournament, the players below the favourite could each be considered as underdogs. 

Some will be slight underdogs while those players way down in the betting can be termed as heavy underdogs.

The word underdog was first coined when dog fighting was popular during the 18th century. During these events, the names of the dogs and the corresponding odds would be written on a chalkboard so the crowd could place their bets. 

The bookmaker would write the name of the favourite to win at the top, with the other dog written underneath; hence ‘top dog’ and ‘underdog’ entered into the betting language. 

Should I Bet On The Underdog?

Whether or not you should bet on the underdog really depends on the odds, and of course, the actual likelihood of the selection winning.

Let’s take a few examples from the English Championship. The odds of Norwich beating Middlesbrough are 2.75, and Norwich is the underdog. But in the English Premier League, the odds of Leicester beating Burnley is 2.50 and Leicester is the favourite. 
Those odds are close enough to make almost no difference in terms of the perceived risk, so would you rather bet on the favourite or the underdog? Most would say the favourite, but again it all depends on the odds of the opponent and the information you have at hand. 
Doing your homework can reveal insights that the majority of bettors are not aware of, and this can give you the edge when betting on the underdog. Use statistics pages, podcasts, blogs, forums, and all the other available resources to glean as much information as you can.

If you’re set on betting on the underdog, it’s good practice to shop around and hunt down the best odds for the bet(s) you want to place. Sports that are popular with punters the world over, such as Premier League football, may have very little variation between bookmakers, but if you’re placing big bets that little variation can make a lot of difference. 

If you’re into newer or more niche events such as esports, you may be able to find a few sportsbooks offering much better odds than the others, which will yield a much healthier profit betting on the dog.

Underdog FAQ

What is an underdog?

An underdog, also known as the dog, is any team or player that is not favoured to win a match or competition/tournament.