What Is A Longshot Bet?
A longshot bet is a bet on the extreme underdog. It’s a bet that is seen to be highly unlikely to win, and thus the odds are high and the payout if you do win is very high. The odds on a longshot can be something like 20-1 for a team no-one thinks is going to come close to winning. Of course, sometimes longshots do win, and the returns on these are fantastic. Bookmakers are not always right, and nor do they always agree with each other. A team that is a longshot in one part of the country may not be considered so somewhere else. So if you think you’re better than the bookmaker at predicting outcomes, there’s no reason why you can’t bet on a longshot and win.
Although it’s possible to win on a longshot, and you’ll win huge if you do, you need to be aware of the facts. Longshots very rarely win. In fact, it has been observed that the given odds tend to overvalue the longshot and undervalue the favourite. Thus, the odds on a longshot are likely to be higher in reality to what they are given as, and the opposite is true for favourites. This is called the “favourite-longshot bias”. So when you make a bet on a longshot, you need to be aware of the risk you’re taking. That being said, it can happen that the longshot is undervalued – but if you don’t know a lot about the sport you’re betting on, don’t place a lot of money on a longshot bet.
Don’t Always Avoid Longshots
To counter the above advice: If you always bet on the favourite, you aren’t likely to win a lot long term. Yes, you’ll win often, but the amounts you’ll win will be small and when you lose, you’ll lose a lot. Change it up by sometimes betting on the team or individual with higher odds. If you don’t bet a lot of money, you won’t lose a lot, but if you win it will be big. When it comes to longshots or extreme underdogs, you will hardly ever win. But it can’t hurt to put a tiny bet on a longshot once in a while with the change in your pocket. If you win these, you can get gargantuan returns. These are the crazy amazing bets you hear spoken about as if they were legends. It’s likely that winning one of them will never happen to you, but you’re not going to miss that 50c are you? You might just become one of those stories.
It’s On You
In the end, we can’t tell you definitively whether its always a bad or a good idea to bet on a longshot. Betting is all about balancing risk and reward. If winning bets is important to you, maybe don’t do longshot bets. But if you’re the kind of person who gets off on the thrill of high odds, why not go for it once in a while? You might just walk away rich without ever having expected it.