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Backing Favorites vs. Underdogs in Soccer Betting: When to Choose?

Backing Favorites vs. Underdogs in Soccer Betting: When to Choose?

My Football FactsArticles

By Jonathan Lewis | 22nd Jun 2023

Soccer, also known as football in many parts of the world, has captivated fans and punters for decades. The sport’s matches are renowned for their high intensity and dramatic moments, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats.

The fast-paced action, skilled players, and teamwork create an exhilarating experience for everyone involved. And when it comes to soccer betting, the dynamic between favorites and underdogs adds an intriguing layer of strategy and decision-making.

Should you place your bets on established powerhouses, or is there potential value to be found in supporting the underdogs? In this article, we’ll unravel the enigma of soccer betting and uncover the optimal approach to backing favorites versus underdogs.

Backing Favorites vs. Underdogs in Soccer Betting: When to Choose?

Understanding the Nature of Soccer Betting

Soccer captivates fans and bettors worldwide with its intrinsic unpredictability. It’s a sport where even the most dominant teams can succumb to the underdogs’ tenacity and skill. This inherent uncertainty generates excitement and anticipation as fans and bettors eagerly await the outcome of each match.

The unpredictability of soccer matches stems from a variety of factors. The dynamic nature of the game itself, with its fluid play and fast-paced action, allows for rapid shifts in momentum and unforeseen events.

Additionally, the influence of external factors such as weather conditions, injuries, or suspensions further adds to the unpredictable nature of the sport. These variables inject an element of uncertainty into every match, making soccer an enticing realm for fans and bettors.

When considering whether to bet on soccer favorites or underdogs, it’s essential to grasp the concept behind these terms. Favorites are the teams considered more likely to win the match based on team strength, recent form, and overall performance.

On the other hand, underdogs are the teams perceived to have a lower chance of winning, often facing more vigorous opponents or challenging circumstances.

Backing Favorites: When to Choose

Supporting the favorites in soccer betting can be a strategic choice when certain conditions align. While no outcome is ever guaranteed in the realm of sports, there are instances where backing the favorites can be advantageous. Here are key considerations to determine when to choose favorites:

Analyzing Team Performance and Consistency

One of the key factors to consider when deciding to back favorites in soccer betting is the analysis of their team performance and consistency. Evaluating a favorite team’s recent performance provides valuable insights into their potential for success.

Look beyond the outcomes of their matches and dig deeper into the underlying factors contributing to their victories. Start by assessing their track record of victories. Consider the number of wins and the quality of their opposition.

Another crucial aspect to analyze is the team’s goal-scoring ability. Teams with a strong attacking lineup and efficient goal-scoring record are likely to come out on top of their matches. Also equally important is evaluating the defensive strength of the favorite team. Teams with sturdy defense are likely to limit their opponents’ scoring opportunities and secure positive results.

In addition to performance indicators, consider the overall team quality. Analyze the depth of their squad, the skill level of individual players, and the tactical acumen of the coaching staff.

Examining Head-to-Head Records and Historical Data

Study the history of matchups between the favorite team and their opponents, focusing on their past encounters and outcomes. Look for patterns or trends that suggest a favorable outcome for the favorites based on their previous performances against similar opponents.

Assessing the Impact of Key Players and Team Dynamics

Please consider key players’ availability, form, and importance to the team’s success. Consider the overall team dynamics, including tactical strategies, managerial decisions, and cohesion within the squad.

Considering Home Field Advantage and Current Form

Recognize the significance of playing at home, as teams often perform better in familiar surroundings with the support of their fans. Assess the team’s current form and momentum, as a strong run of results can indicate a higher likelihood of success.

Supporting Underdogs: When to Choose

While backing favorites in soccer betting may seem safer, supporting underdogs can present valuable opportunities for bettors. But betting on underdogs requires careful analysis and consideration of various factors. Here are key points to keep in mind when deciding to back underdogs:

Identifying Value in Underdog Odds

Look for instances where bookmakers have assigned higher odds to the underdog, indicating a perception of a lower probability of winning. Assess whether the odds accurately reflect the potential of the underdog team, as sometimes they may be undervalued due to biases or public perception.

Evaluating the Potential for Upsets and Underdogs Narratives

Research the circumstances surrounding the match that may favor the underdog, such as recent team form, motivation, or unique circumstances. Consider underdog narratives, such as a team fighting against relegation, seeking revenge against a rival, or playing in a vital cup competition.

Analyzing External Factors

Consider the availability and impact of key players on the underdog and favorite teams. Assess whether injuries, suspensions, or fatigue may affect the favorite team’s performance, allowing the underdog to capitalize.

Recognizing Tactical Matchups and Playing Styles

Analyze how the underdog’s playing style and tactics may match up against the favorite team’s strengths and weaknesses. Look for vulnerabilities or mismatches the underdog can exploit to gain an advantage.


The decision of whether to back favorites or underdogs is a crucial one that requires careful consideration. Both options have their merits and can present exciting opportunities for bettors. As you embark on your soccer betting journey, conduct thorough research, analyze critical indicators, and consider each match’s statistical and strategic aspects.

Jonathan Lewis is an MFF sports writer

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