Betting on low odds

So, you think it’s easy to bet on low odds, don’t you?

You’ve read everywhere those clichés about “betting low, winning big” and you dream of making a fortune staking on 1.10s and 1.20s?

Well, it’s really not as easy as it looks, and might be extremely dangerous for you losing your entire bankroll in a short time. Unless… you continue reading my advices!

You need vast knowledge and continuous self-discipline to bet on short odds and win in the long term.

Trust me, you might read a lot of strategies and staking plans, but your ultimate weapons are these two: Persistence and patience.

Lack of these two is the main reason why most slim odds strategies, even the most promising ones, end in misery.

In the following lines you’ll find out everything you need to know about low odds:

  • Which are the most winning strategies
  • How often do favourites win in football
  • When to stake high or low
  • How to identify the best sports to bet on
  • Matches for high winning percentage in low odds betting.
  • The best online bookmakers to bet on when it comes to low odds

Low Odds Definition

Before we begin, I have to clear it out: which odds are considered as “low”?

Well, there’s no typical answer in this.

Everyone, according to his betting profile, has a different thought about what “low odds” is.

For a risky punter, who’s chasing underdogs all the time, odds like 1.80 are low.

But for a conservative player, which is rather the majority, this 1.80 seems rather high.

Instead of giving some low odds examples, let’s confide this to numbers: In general, for the vast majority of punters, short odds are considered those having over 70% winning chance (lower than 1.33). Odds over 2.50 (having less than 40% theoretical chance) are considered high and all in-between are medium odds.

Finding a winning low odds strategy is, in fact, answering a simple question: “Can I make a small yet steady profit by betting short on the lowest odds?”

Whoever bets on low odds looks for safety. But you have to keep this in mind: All 1.10s and 1.20s are not the same and surely don’t depict every time the TRUE winning chances of a bet.

Low odds in football

Let the raw numbers speak again.!

In simple 1X2 football betting there are three possible outcomes (home win, draw, away win) having in theory equal chances of 33,33%. If you bet on Real Madrid to beat Valladolid in 1.25 odds you simply clarify that Real has some 80% chance of winning this. That’s a huge difference climbing from theoretical 33% to 80%.

So, you have to double-check (If not multi-check) all available data before staking on a “safe” football bet on low odds.

In-depth analysis must contain recent squad form, past results, news on injuries and suspensions and motivation.

Additionally, here are six things to remember:

  • Avoid derbies, either local or traditional ones. There are always non-detectable aspects on these games. Underdogs are in general high motivated when crossing swords with a local rival.
  • When building a parlay, combine matches from different leagues and not just one of them. Not long ago it was common for “big” teams in a league to win week in week out. This is rarely the case nowadays. A glance at every league’s result could convince you that all favorites seldom win in the same fixture.
  • Don’t pick low odds based only on motivation, especially in last fixtures of a league. A bad team trying to avoid relegation in the last matchday doesn’t worth low odds, no matter how high is the motivation. Of course, a motivated Barcelona trying to beat Rayo Vallecano is a banker even at 1.10, but a point-hungry Atalanta is not worthing low odds in a home tie versus, let’s say, Chievo.
  • Take a good look at the favorite’s past matches against low-grade opposition. Do they win comfortably or not? Do they try to secure a win from the beginning or do they play cautiously and attack at the closing stages?
  • Friendly relations between teams is a key factor. Low odds in games between them are confirmed more than occasionally, especially at times where one of them needs the points desperately.
  • Find other reasons for motivation besides points. The big team’s players are not that motivated when playing on routine matches and lower opposition, especially on certain occasions. This exist mostly on minor leagues. For example, when Benfica faces Rio Ave at home before a crucial UEFA Champions League tie, their coach could send to the field a minor squad to avoid fatigue or even a totally undesired injury of a key player. On the contrary, “big” teams are fully motivated  if they’ve lost points last week.

So, try to pick top teams playing at home and fully motivated to win. The odds could be a little lower, but the confirmation percentage is much higher.

The best staking plan for low odds

This low odds betting strategy is described as the most promising staking system on low odds: follow top class teams at their league games, in which the odds for winning lie below 1.35.

Supposing that teams like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in Spain, Paris Saint Germain in France, Juventus in Italy, Celtic in Scotland, SL Benfica and FC Porto in Portugal and even Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia and Austria Salzburg in Austria win the vast majority of their league games, picking a bucket of these teams and following them all season long seems safe.

Even if one or two of them could face some mishits, the majority of these teams will be on the winning side.

In this strategy teams are treated like shares on the stock market. You put your money on specific teams at the start of the season and pray they’ll keep on winning. This strategy might be winning at times, but it’s too risky. Remember, once you pick a team, you’ve got to follow them till the end. If you make mid-season changes, you’ll lose your money for sure.

As in the stock market, right picks is the key. Paris SG has won 16 out of 17 home matches in the 2017-18 season. If you’d stake €100 on them at all home ties in 1.16 average odds, you’d have a total profit of €156.

That’s a 9,2% profit of your total stake (€1.700). But, what if you’ve picked Liverpool in the 2017-18 season? Their average home odds are much higher, as they’re in a more competitive league (1.41), but they had an inconsistent 12-7-0 home record.

If you’d bet €100 in Liverpool’s every home win, you’d have a €208 loss, which is roughly 11% of your total stake (€1900).

Football Bookmakers For Low Odds


Players Rating: (9 Rates) 6.9


Players Rating: (11 Rates) 6.4


Players Rating: (5 Rates) 8.9

Low odds in basketball

In my point of view, basketball is the safest sport to bet on.

There’s an obvious advantage picking low odds high stakes in basketball betting: Your theoretical odds of winning rise to 50%, as in basketball there’s no draw.

So, the gap between the theoretical odds and the actual odds you pick is not so wide. In addition, basketball is by far a more “fair” sport than football, as where there’s a considerable quality difference, the favorite rarely loses.

You’ve got to be careful only on latest news and check all key-players of the “big” team are present and fit.

One thing to consider is that in most basketball leagues the transfer window is "open" during the entire or the biggest part of the season. So this can reflect to week to week roster changes.

Also in some leagues like Turkey, Israel or Russia, the top teams use different squad in national leagues compared to the European competitions. Euroleague powerhouses such as Fenerbahce or CSKA Moscow are obliged to follow the “native player rule”, to have equal number of native players and foreigners (6) to their squad for local league matches, so they give an obligatory rest to some of their stars.

Low odds in tennis

Tennis is actually a peculiar sport to bet big on low odds. Picking mighty Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal against lower opposition seems safe, and could be proven by statistics, especially at the first rounds of major ATP tournaments.

But picking small odds in tennis is like entering a landmine titled “abandoned matches”.

What if a star player, considered a big favorite, faces an injury during a match?

The tie is not considered void, as you might imagine. In fact, online bookmakers seem to have four different aspects about this! Depending on the bookie, an abandonment stands as the match result if:

  1. The first point is completed
  2. The first game is completed
  3. The first set is completed
  4. Only few bookmakers consider the match as void unless the whole tie is completed

So, If you decide to bet on low odds in tennis, you should take a good look on your favorite bookmaker’s terms and conditions.

Furthermore, you’ve got to be careful when placing low odds bets on minor ATP Tournaments, concerning players placed lower than 150 in ATP Ranking, as upset results are more common than you can imagine.

Star players’ injuries are not so rare, as you might think.

It’s a fact that some “big names” are obliged to take part in specific tournaments due to their sponsor obligations, but they prefer to mock an injury and abandon a match to save energy, especially before a Grand Slam tournament.

So, the best idea is to pick on low odds those who’re not willing to risk their fame and rarely abandon matches.

Also, one common mistake players do, is betting in-play on low odds on next game or next set winner to increase fast their profit. This strategy is not suggested as the chances of a break are much higher than on the final result.

Extra Tip: Avoid placing low odds bets in women’s matches, as the “big names” performance is by far more inconsistent than men’s. Women are more vulnerable to psychology and somewhat bizarre results like 1-6, 6-2, 0-6 seem usual.

Low odds accumulators

When the odds are low, why not multiply them and deal with the “bet small win big” scenario? If you pick 1.20 odds daily, remember that an accumulator bet of four 1.20s could give you a chubby 2.074 total odds, thus double your stake. This is right in theory, but unlikely to happen as many times as you think to lead you in long-term profit.

When picking a football fourfold acca bet you have in theory only 1,24% chances of winning it! As we mentioned before, a football match has three aspects (1X2), so betting on a straight fourfold is actually searching 1 chance out of 81 (3x3x3x3) different combinations.

In basketball and all other two-way bets, your theoretical chances of winning a fourfold bet increase to a mighty 6,25%, as the chances of winning are 1 to 16 (2x2x2x2). Of course the actual chances are much more, but you have to keep in mind those tiny numbers, who explain why it is extremely difficult to build a steady profit through this kind of play.

Staking plan for low odds

Above from picking the safest teams to confirm winning low odds, you have to follow a steady staking plan.

The most common is the flat stake: betting the same amount of money in every pick.

By choosing this you have absolute control of your winning ratio, but you deal with the “stake high, win low” rule: You have to stake €100 on a 1.25 bet to get €25 in every win and you’ve got to have over 80% winning percentage to get profit.

This is not so difficult as it seems, but  having 4 out of 5 wins and get nothing could be really uncomfortable in the long term.

The following table clears is up once and for all.

1.05 21
1.10 11
1.15 7
1.20 6
1.25 5
1.30 4
1.35 4

Low odds challenge

That’s why most short odds punters experiment with more complicated staking systems, like the low odds challenge. What’s this? Trying to build a series of winning bets and transferring all the winnings to the next bet.


Supposing you start with €50 and a 1.20 odds bet. In case you win, you get €60, which you stake in the second 1.20 bet. Winning this will bring you €72, you stake them all in the third 1.20 bet and you get €86.4 etc.

The success key in this tactics is when to stop. Some punters set extremely high profit targets, such as “reaching €5,000 with an initial bankroll of €50”! But to get there they need about 25 (!) consecutive wins, which has near zero chances to happen.

My vast experience and huge statistic pool advised says that the best time to stop is after seven consecutive winning bets. When you pick odds around 1.20, you would double your initial stake, save the money and start over building a new series.

Best online bookmakers for low odds

This table is extremely helpful for a slim odds punter trying to identify which bookmaker offers the best low odds.

After a deep search of all short odds matches (favorite below 1.33) offered in Top 5 popular leagues in last 5 seasons (2013-14 to 2018-19) we present you the analytic results:


Premier 1,31 1,32 1,30 1,30 1,27 1,29 1,33
La Liga 1,29 1,31 1,29 1,28 1,27 1,27 1,32
Bundesliga 1,31 1,32 1,30 1,27 1,26 1,28 1,33
Serie A 1,30 1,32 1,31 1,30 1,29 1,27 1,32
Ligue 1 1,28 1,30 1,29 1,30 1,27 1,26 1,30

Hidden loss

When focusing on low odds, even the slightest change of odds could be critical for your bankroll.

The difference of backing Manchester City to win at 1.25 odds instead of 1.20 is minor, but imagine what happens when you back 20 different €100 bets at 1.25 and not 1.20: winning €5 more every time you bet increases your bankroll by whole €100!

This procedure of searching the best low odds from various bookmakers is an obligation, not a privilege for the punter.

In fact, if you don’t shop around for the best odds, you lose money from potential profit. This is called “hidden loss” and you’re strongly advised to avoid it as much as possible.

How is that done? By having accounts in many trustworthy online bookmakers and always look around for the best odds, either by visiting their websites, or by staring at an odds comparison site. By doing this you’ll see your bankroll grow.

Extra tip

You should check out for hidden bookmakers fees before you pick your bookmakers.

  1. For example, if you reside in Germany many bookmakers tax your winnings with 5%, meaning lower odds in fact.
  2. Also, there are bookies that charge your deposits or withdrawals.
  3. There are bookmakers that you need to rollover your deposit one or more time at odds 1.50 or higher in order to withdraw your winnings. So this means, that your low odds strategy cannot be put into practice there.
  4. Avoid bookies that do not support your currency, as this turn into currency conversion fees.

Early low odds

When focusing on small odds, it’s better to take them the earliest possible, as soon as they appear to the bookmaker’s page.

In the vast majority of cases, odds on hot favorites are dropping more as the match start is coming up, as the punter’s mass are placing their bets about an hour before the starting whistle. If you do your homework early and stake early, you’ll note a vast improvement on odds taken and profit.

Of course, there’s always a danger of odds climbing (due to, let’s say, a star player’s injury a day before the match), but that doesn’t happen often.

High odds vs. lower odds

Are higher or lower odds better?

Everyone has a different answer depending on how comfortable is feeling with high or low odds. We strongly prefer high odds, as the value is much easier to be identified and in the long term you’ve got many more chances of gaining profit. As bookies are focusing on low odds (where the vast majority of players is staking), the chances of finding real value bets on 1.25s or 1.30s are somewhat nonexistent.

However, if you really like to push your luck with small odds odds, you’ve got to remember.

  • Avoid hidden loss by searching for best odds in various online bookmakers.
  • Follow a specific strategy and don’t stake low odds just because they’re low.
  • Get a reasonable staking plan and don’t be greedy!
  • Don’t place your next bet, before your last is settled.

Best Bookmakers For Low Odds

Bookmakers Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Rating    
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  • Extremely high odds
  • Countless markets
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  • 3. Countless markets
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  • Asian Handicap
  • 50+ sports
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  • 2. Asian Handicap
  • 3. 50+ sports
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  • Experienced bookmaker
  • Abundance of markets
  • Cash out available
  • 1. Experienced bookmaker
  • 2. Abundance of markets
  • 3. Cash out available
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  • Recognizable brand across the globe
  • Huge variety of markets and sports events
  • Many alternative betting selections
  • 1. Recognizable brand across the globe
  • 2. Huge variety of markets and sports events
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  • 100% up to €100 welcome bonus
  • Extremely high odds
  • Mobile app
  • 1. 100% up to €100 welcome bonus
  • 2. Extremely high odds
  • 3. Mobile app
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  • High odds on football
  • Huge variety of betting markets
  • Intriguing welcome bonus
  • 1. High odds on football
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  • Up to 100+ extra markets/match
  • Asian Handicaps
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  • High odds
  • Great for football punters
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Mr Play Sports
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