Low-Odds Betting and Hidden Loss

Betting shop windows and the front pages of online bookmakers are often plastered with lower odds for big events, tempting you into a flutter because it feels like less of a risk.

The fact of the matter is that low-odds betting offers lower payouts to the punter, and in many instances the rewards aren’t worth it. Unless you are willing to stake a large amount of cash, your profits will be negligible. Ideally, you want to earn far more in profit than what you put down in the first place, which in most situations makes low-odds betting a bad move.

While it might be tempted to go with a specific bookmaker for a fixture, especially if they slash odds on a certain outcome, you’ll want to shop around first to ensure that you can’t get a better deal elsewhere. For example, perhaps you would like to bet £50 on Manchester City to beat Liverpool this weekend. Betfred offers odds of 4/6, while William Hill sets a Man City victory at 8/11. Going with William Hill would net you £86.50, but if you placed that same stake of £50 at Betfred on Manchester City to win over Liverpool, you would receive £83.33 in total.

The £3.12 difference might not seem like much at the time, but if you continue this trend throughout the year - going for the absolute lowest odds as opposed to the best-value bets, your bankroll would take a bigger hit in the long run. This phenomenon is referred to as hidden loss, and it is a quite common occurrence in low-odds sports betting.

You can minimise the impact of hidden losses by placing bets with different bookmakers depending on the odds offered.

If William Hill offers better odds for the punter on a horse race while Bet365 has the lowest odds overall, you should avoid falling into the trap of “playing it safe” and opting for Bet365. Instead, what can be perceived as a slight increase in risk can translate into a better payout if you go with William HIll.

This doesn’t mean that you always have to opt for complete long-shots in an attempt to secure a significant profit. Instead, consider low odds bets carefully, take into account hidden losses over time and keep a keen eye on various bookmakers to find the best deal that, if you win, puts you in profit for the lowest possible amount of risk.

Above all, never stake any amount of money that you can’t afford to lose.