Betting on high odds

Staking low, winning big. That’s what betting is all about. Or what most punters would like to be: Risking low amounts of money to high odds and win a lot of money in the long term. All punters should have dreamt (more than once) about winning an extreme high-odds bet and spend their money on a sandy Caribbean island vacation. But few have made their dream come true.

High odds betting is, without any doubt, one of the most popular subjects in a betting conversation. It’s not only the excitement, but also:

  • The self-discipline a punter MUST have in order to get profit in the long term.
  • The difficulty to recognize and choose valuable high odds
  • The patience to overcome numerous series of bad results, which are likely to come.
  • How prudent you should be in your money management.

Read the following lines and you’ll become wiser about this risky and exciting style of betting.

What does high odds mean?

Where on earth is there a limit to distinguish between “high odds” and “low odds”? You could have various answers, as much as the persons you ask. There’s no defined limit, as any punter has a different betting style. For a “safe” punter odds like 2,10 seem too high, for a “risky” punter this is just crumb, as he’s used to bet on much higher odds.

What are high odds?

What’s my limit?

Well, this is defined by numbers. Given that high odds have theoretically lower winning chances, anything over 2,60+ could be described as “high odds”. With an average 2,60+ odds in my winning bets, I need to win only 40% of my choices to get profit.

I certainly prefer to place bets on high odds, because it’s easier to find value.

Best high odds betting tip: Fight the fear!

High odds are tempting, but still the vast majority of punters prefers to bet on middle or low odds. Why is that? The answer is obvious: High odds cause fear that you’re betting your money on something very difficult to happen. The higher the odds, the lower the chances you have to get paid, right? So, many punters feel that they waste their money.

In fact, if you understand well the way of linking probability and odds in betting, you’ll realize that all odds, high or low, are completely the same and should be treated the same way.

The secret is always to find bets with more chances to win than the offered odds define, regardless if you look for a 1,20 with 85% chance or a 5,00 with a 30% chance. In both cases you’re betting the “right” way.

You just have to fight the fear of the high odds; The fear of losing more times than winning; The fear of consecutive losses, which you have to deal with. But if you fight your fear, you’ll find out that it’s far easier to discover valuable bets in high odds than in low ones.

Fun bet: The obvious error

What’s the most popular attitude amongst punters when it comes to high odds? To minimize their stakes and mock themselves that they’re betting on high odds!

This is called a “fun bet”.

A choice made just for fun, with extremely little money on it (even 10% of a regular stake!) and no stress coming. After all, if your regular stake is, lets’ say, €50, will you be angry about losing just €5 on a “fun bet”?

This kind of betting is leading to financial misery, for two obvious reasons:

  • Risking a lower-than-usual amount, you won’t be concentrated enough to analyze the actual winning possibilities of a bet and
  • In case you win, the profit won’t make the difference on your account, as a winning on high odds bet should. Best case, you’ll just get one or two of your regular stakes.

Staking plan for high odds betting

So, what’s the solution? Load high odds with large amount of money? No, that’s wrong too. The best staking plan when you have to deal with high odds is stake a 2%-3% of your starting amount. For example, if you have €1.000 available for the whole betting season, a regular stake should be between €20 and €30.

This is an amount you can afford to lose, but still big enough to cause the pang of losing. This pang should be always present, although annoying: It’ll help you think twice before placing your money on a high odds bet and focus on the winning chances.

Still, you’ve got to deal with losing, even consecutive losing. With a 2%-3% staking plan you have to lose 40 consecutive times to eliminate your account money. That’s too many times even for a beginner. If you have a steady analyzing plan and be patient, you’ll find out that betting on high odds is not so difficult, as you might think.

High odds in football

Let’s start with some numbers, which will support what I mentioned before. Do you realize that at one out of four TOP LEAGUE matches in Europe the most winning odds are over 3,50?

Take a look at the table with the most popular betting leagues worldwide. It has been updated with the most recent stats, showing how many matches in total (in parenthesis after the league name) the winning odds are between 3,50 and 5,00 and over 5,00.

LEAGUE 2018-19 3,50-5,00 5,01+
GER Bundesliga (306) 59 (19,3%) 24 (7,8%)
NED Eredivisie (306) 60 (19,6%) 23 (7,5%)
ESP La Liga (380) 64 (16,8%) 25 (6,6%
ITA Serie A (380) 53 (13,9%) 28 (7,4%)
ENG Premier League (380) 51 (13,4%) 29 (7,6%)
FRA Ligue 1(380) 50 (13,2%) 15 (3,9%)
TUR Superlig (306) 56 (18,3%) 10 (3,3%)
BEL Jupiler League (330) 67 (20,3%) 20 (6,1%)

What do we take out of this? It’s better to follow Bundesliga or Eredivisie, but the general high odds percentage is over 23%.

Here are some tips to follow when it comes to high odds in football betting:

  • Look for local derbies with a strong favorite and watch out carefully the underdog’s chances. Everyone knows the extra motivation revealed at local matches from the “weaker” team.
  • Go against “point motivation” in last fixtures of the league. A bad team, which desperately needs to win to get points and avoid relegation, is strongly influencing the odds, but this doesn’t mean that deserves to be offered as favorite. Unless there is a friendship relationship between the clubs, the underdog deserves a bet.
  • Get a glance of the underdog’s goals. Do they score frequently, regardless of the result? Do they manage to get a goal or two against strong opponents? If the answer is yes, their chances are increasing to get a surprising result.
  • Past results between the teams can show the way. There are a lot of middle-class teams, or even minnows, which have a strong tradition of fair results against the powerhouses for a number of reasons.

High odds in basketball

Generally speaking, it’s more difficult to find valuable high odds in basketball than football. You might have noticed that in basketball favorites do win in the vast majority of cases. This doesn’t mean, though, that there is absolutely no chance to find a winning underdog.

You just have to search a little bit more and take into account a series of factors, such as:

  • Home advantage: A team offered as an underdog has many more chances to win the match if they play at home. Look for past results and if you find steady slim point margins, give it a shot.
  • Schedule: Consecutive matches cause extreme performance differences. Watch out for teams at minor leagues or in major ones, but not competing in European Cups (aka not used to play two or more competitive matches a week). There’s plenty of room there for upset results.
  • You can chase high odds by betting against “powerhouse” teams on certain circumstances. For example, if Real Madrid is coming from a long trip to Moscow and a high competitive match vs. CSKA Moscow and their next domestic match is away (especially when playing at somewhat remote areas, such as Gran Canaria) it’s worth it to back the home team, despite the quality difference.
  • Absences: An unexpected last-minute injury could turn the match factors upside down. Normally, quality teams have deep roster and could confront any player loss, but still the underdog’s chances are increased dramatically.

High odds in tennis

Tennis is a rather fertile field for upset results to grow. Even hot favorites are often eliminated by minnows for a number of reasons. Of course, you’ll have to do your homework to choose the right timing, when to go against the favorite, but don’t limit yourself to just ATP Top 20.

  • The most common tactics bookmakers follow when placing odds in first-round matches or minor tournaments is shoving the more recognizable name. After ATP or WTA No50 the ranking is not indicative of the quality. For example, quality difference between No55 and No90 is nothing but huge. Look for underrated underdogs with fair results in their last tournaments.
  • Fatigue is a key factor. Experienced players usually feel exhausted after a series of five-set ties and could be vulnerable in the next match.
  • Performance on specific surface is another matter. Even apprentice tennis punters know that Rafael Nadal is almost unbeatable on clay surface, but has some surprising eliminations on grass. The most profitable strategy is to go against him.
  • Past results could reveal difficulties of a favorite confronting an opponent playing with a certain style of play.

High odds accumulators

There’s only one way to bet on high odds accumulators: Choose trixies, yankees or heinz, but always bets that you could win and get a profit with the minimum of selections. With a trixie (four bets, 3 doubles and 1 treble) you earn sustainable profit even with two winning selections and you only risk to hit the jackpot with all selections winning.

What about straightforward bets? I strongly advise you to avoid them. Winning a 5,00 odds bet is something difficult of its own. Winning a double of these bets could happen only once in a whole betting season. How would you feel if, for example, you’d placed a fourfold bet and win three matches?

Better high odds or low odds?

So, which odds are best for betting?

This is not an easy question to answer. As mentioned before, that’s a matter of betting style: If you feel comfortable with risk, it will be easier to get through. But if you have a conservative approach, high odds might seem inconvenient.

As for myself, I prefer high odds because it’s easier to find value. As the vast majority of punters is focusing on low odds, bookies are used to increase the underdog’s odds (or even draw odds in football bets), as they expect less money staked on these choices. In fact, when you bet on high odds, you could be 90% sure that you place a value bet.

High odds betting sites


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