Do you ever feel like you should be up more money betting but somehow you aren’t? You’re winning more than you’re losing but it hasn’t made a difference? I can almost guarantee it’s one of two reasons why that’s happening.
And no. It’s not because you haven’t purchased my 5-star locks VIP Package to become a millionaire betting sport in a month – those are scams, and you should stay away from them.
The real reasons are a lot more practical than that — and the best part is they’re entirely free to fix. Actually, they are guaranteed to put more money in your pocket — and yes, that’s a fact.
This isn’t a get-rich-quick article on how to win every bet — those do not exist, spoiler alert, and even if they did, sportsbooks would limit your bet size down to nothing sooner than you could say “Wow, this process really does work.”
I will say, though, if you’re just betting to have fun and aren’t truly worried about winning or losing, that’s 100% cool and I respect that. But this article probably isn’t for you.
But I do want you to ask yourself a question…
How often do you bet overs — 50% of the time? 70% of the time? 100% of the time? Every time you log into a sportsbook, are you even considering unders? Because the psychology of your average sports bettor is pretty simple …
You want to have fun sweating a player to do well, or a team to do well, or for a game to score as many points as possible. That could be you, your friends — honestly, it’s the large majority of people. Because It’s FUN.
But so is winning money.
And yeah, you need to be a little sick in the head to love betting unders, but it isn’t about loving overs or loving unders. It’s about always making the best bet … always finding the edge. And how are you ever going to find an edge if you’re only betting overs?
But let me tell you why this really matters.
Sportsbooks Know Bettors Don’t Shop Lines
Generally speaking, sportsbooks put more vig or more juice on the overs – and it makes sense because, well, people want to bet overs. And many of them are completely desensitized to price. What I mean by that is most people will bet Joel Embiid over 33.5 points at -135 even if they could’ve gotten it at -115 on another sportsbook. They’ll bet a +105 even if it’s available at +130 somewhere else.
That may not seem like much of a problem to you, but consider trying to win $100 every time you place that Embiid bet. If you’re betting it at -135, you’d need to bet $135 to win $100. At -115 you’d only need to bet $115 to win $100. Run that scenario 100 times — hell, even 10 times — and tell me it doesn’t make a massive difference to your bankroll. Think about the amount of money you’re just giving to the sportsbooks every time you do that.
That’s why our entire site at OddsShopper is built around finding those better odds. It’s called line shopping, and it’s the easiest way to keep your hard-earned money. We’re literally scanning the market in real time down to the second to find +EV Bets (or positive expected value bets) that aren’t in line with the sharp sportsbooks — or as we can call it, “the sources of truth.” And then we calculate the true odds of the bet, which is how you gain the edge we talked about.
If you’re always placing bets where you’re always getting odds that are better than the true odds of the bet (say you’re getting in at +120 but the true odds are +105), then you’re always making good bets.
Think of it this way, the implied probability of a bet winning at +120 is 45%… at +105 it’s 49%. So you’re getting the price at 45% even though the true odds say it should be 49%. Bang.
And if you look at it this way, it should never actually matter whether you’re betting the over or the under … just that you’re always making the best bet based on the odds given.
Now back to the unders for a moment.
NBA and NFL Under Bets in 2023: How Sportsbooks Adjust
We ran a detailed study at OddsShopper, and without giving too much away, we found that sportsbooks do in fact place more vig on the overs than they do on the unders. And if you look at the data from the bets our tool has recommended for the current 2023 NBA and NFL seasons, the results are staggering.
The ROI overs and unders performed similarly for NBA, but there were WAY more under bets, which shows that on any given day, the number of good under bets far exceeds the number of good over bets you’re going to find on any given sportsbook. And with the NFL, unders have crushed overs and have also been recommended at a far higher rate. Given everything we’ve talked about here, that makes a lot of sense, right?
Another thing … how often do you see people on social media screaming at the sportsbooks to refund their bets because they bet a player who got hurt or ejected or even fouled out — calling the sportsbooks thieves and the game rigged? You know who benefits from the ejection, injury or foul trouble? The under bettors.
For every bet that someone loses because of those random occurrences, someone else is winning because of them too.
Sure, you could win an over bet on DeVonta Smith because A.J. Brown got hurt, or on LeBron James because Anthony Davis got in foul trouble (Davis getting hurt would be a far more likely scenario, though), but no one ever remembers when they benefit from this stuff betting overs — only when they get “screwed.”
Funny thing is, it wasn’t until just last week that the unders stopped hitting at an alarming rate … books adjust, trends reverse and really a lot of it is just variance anyway.
Another good example was Week 1 of the NFL preseason in 2022. Preseason games have been historically low-scoring to the point where totals usually sit around the low- to mid-30s everywhere, but in Week 1 there was an offensive eruption and almost every game soared over the total.
But what happened the next week? Well, these sportsbooks weren’t just going to keep setting the totals as low as they did the week before, and we saw a huge adjustment across the board.
Where overs may have been the play a week ago, or even for months straight, adjustments from oddsmakers and variance could make unders more favorable (or at the very least, in play) as a result.
Again, there are still going to be a lot of great over bets that pop up in our tools every day, but there are almost always going to be more unders … and for good reason.