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Using a favourite as insurance

Sports Betting Strategy of James

Betting on Underdogs in Cup Competitions - Sports Betting Strategy of Alex - © Doc RaBe - Fotolia.com

This is by no means a “system“, but it’s a strategy that I use.

I choose two bets. One which is odds on, and you are very confident on, and the second is more of an outside bet, but which you feel has good value. The easiest way to explain, is with an example:

  • Deportivo la Coruna vs Barcelona – Barcelona to win (1/3)
  • Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao – Bilbao to win (4/1).

I put a certain amount of money on Barcelona – let’s say £5. This would return £6.67, which is £1.67 in winnings. I put this amount on the outside bet. So I put £1.67 on Bilbao to win, which returns £8.35 (£6.68 in winnings). If Barcelona win, as you’d expect, I have already made my money back. And then if Bilbao win, I make my profit, but if they don’t, I am not down.

  • Deportivo la Coruna vs Barcelona – £5 on Barcelona to win (returns £6.67)
  • Valencia vs Athletic Bilbao – £1.67 on Bilbao to win (returns £8.35).


  • Both lose – I lose £6.67
  • Barcelona win, Bilbao lose – £0
  • Barcelona lose, Bilbao win – I win £1.68
  • Both win – I win £8.35

The key to this, obviously, is that your banker triumphs. You can still win overall if they don’t, providing your outside bet lands, but it’s much less likely.