Basketball betting explained: understanding when underdog betting has value

Underdog betting is getting a lot of attention lately, as there is growing information and greater knowledge accumulated from records and stats available on the internet. Learning about key issues regarding the performance and win rates of underdogs becomes a very important asset for bettors, which can transform into an edge over all sportsbooks, even the best bookmakers at In basketball betting, underdogs have become the object of analysis of several betting experts given that the interest of fans over underdog bets is continuously increasing. 

In the following discussion, you can find everything you need to know to understand when underdog betting has value for you. 

Home underdogs

Underdogs have a better prognosis when they are playing at home compared to when they are the visitor teams. Statistics reveal that when underdogs in a given basketball game are the home teams then they have much better chances of turning around the game and getting a victory in the end, compared to when the underdogs are on the road. 

Records from NBA games in regular seasons show that underdogs’ win rate is nearly 31%, which means that approximately once in every three games, underdogs get to dominate over their opponents. But the interesting thing is that the underdogs’ win rate rises to more than 36% when they are playing at home, which means that there are statistically significant factors that explain the contribution of the home court advantage. 

There is a simple explanation for that, which many of us often neglect or fail to consider in betting. 

Teams get really motivated when there is a cheerful, enthused and supportive fan base watching them play. And such a fan base is made possible when the teams play at home, with the crowd getting crazy for their favorite basketball players. With a stronger motivation comes stronger engagement and determination to win and as we all know these two are crucial components of a successful play and a winning formula – at least in many many cases. 

We’ve seen too many times underdogs shining in their own court, despite unfavorable predictions and against the odds. I mean, favorites are favorites for as long as underdogs remain underdogs – for as long as they are unmotivated. When filled with energy and with an inner drive to accomplish a victory, underdogs can excel. 

The home-underdog proposition has evolved into a theory now and many professional bettors are relying on its basic assumptions to decide on their approaches and develop their betting strategies.

On the road underdogs after a big blowout

Another very critical thing to consider in basketball betting is the underdogs that are on the road after a big loss. History has taught us that there are many cases where big underdogs have led to big upsets as the away team after having experienced a big loss in their previous matchup. This is due to what can be regarded as a ‘reverse’ psychology.

After a big blowout, an underdog team becomes really demotivated and disappointed. Both these manifestations of frustration are further intensified by the fact that they are on the road, which means that they have greater fatigue and lower engagement. But these are also exactly what can make an underdog give everything they’ve got simply because they have nothing to lose. And by giving everything they’ve got they can make a difference and eventually win their forthcoming game.

Public underdogs 

Here is when betting on underdogs may not be such a good idea. Basketball fans and bettors generally love Cinderella stories, where the underdog gets to stand out and win when in fact no one expects them to do so. 

And it is true that this is often the case with some underdogs that appear out of the blue and come off really strong and aggressive and they eventually have their desired victory. But when underdogs are massively supported by bettors because they are considered an ‘easy’ dog, then they are probably not the best option for you. 

If the public goes for an underdog so much that the underdog parades strongly in the bets placed and the favorite is significantly less backed, then it is more wise to opt for the favorite! Yes, that is correct, when an underdog becomes a public dog, then you should consider turning to the favorite of the game. 

Some final words…

Overall,  betting on underdogs can be of great value to punters and this is particularly true in basketball betting. We have explained the most valuable bets when considering betting on the underdogs and the most important things to take into account before you make your final pick.