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Analysis | Tuesday, June 11, 2024 1:38 PM (Revised at: Thursday, June 13, 2024 4:49 PM)

History Says.....Bet On Underdogs at the Euros

History Says.....Bet On Underdogs at the Euros
John McGinn for Scotland in a friendly match for Euro 2024, Amsterdam Arena, Netherlands - Powerpics / Alamy Stock Photo

Has it been a profitable strategy to wager on underdogs in the Asian handicap market during the European championships? And what about betting on underdogs in the 1X2 market?

In this article:

But First, bettingexpert’s Free Euro 2024 Betting Guide is out NOW!

The bettingexpert Euro 2024 Betting Guide

WHAT WILL YOU FIND IN THE GUIDE?

Our guide takes a different approach to any other tournament preview. The analysis and insight you’ll find in the document is based on our in-house betting data which goes back decades. This betting data is on the following markets:

  • Match Result (1X2)
  • Handicap Betting
  • Total Goals (Over/Under 2.5)

Using this as a foundation, we’ve split the guide into several different sections:

  • 8 historical tournament  analysis articles
  • 24 team-by-team articles
  • BETSiE projections for every team and group
  • Unique analysis from our experts including exclusive quotes from Mikael Silvestre and John Barnes

For a free copy of the Euro 2024, click the button below:

Download the guide


In this article, we’ll explore the performance of underdogs at the Euros since 2000, examining their outcomes in both the Asian handicap and 1X2 markets.

For this analysis, we’ve defined knockout stage matches based on the result at the end of regulation time. Additionally, we’ve excluded 3rd place playoffs from our analysis. Further, matches featuring a +0 even handicap have been eliminated from the analysis as neither team is deemed to be underdog or favourite.

All betting outcomes are based on even stakes, indicating the return you would receive if you bet 1 unit on each possible outcome in the respective betting market. The odds used are average odds adjusted to account for a 4.5% bookmaker commission.

Summary of Conclusions:

  • Betting on underdogs at the Euros in the Asian handicap market with a minimum +0.75 handicap has earned a profit of +3.4%
  • Betting on underdogs at the World Cup in the Asian handicap market with a minimum +0.75 handicap has earned a profit of +2.2%
  • Betting on underdogs at the Euros in the 1X2 market with a minimum +0.75 handicap has earned a profit of +0.4%

Betting On Underdogs at the Euros: Asian Handicap Market

Let’s begin by taking a looking at the results for all underdogs at the European championships since 2000. Below we can see the results for teams starting the match with a handicap of a minimum +0.25 goals.

Table 1: Performance of underdogs by Asian handicap line at Euros since 2000

AH Line AH Win AH Loss AH Win P/L AH Loss P/L AH Win ROI% AH Loss ROI%
0.25 26.75 21.25 3.105 -6.38 6.5% -13.3%
0.5 23 28 -6.74 3.92 -13.2% 7.7%
0.75 22 16 4.27 -7.03 11.2% -18.5%
1 11 11 -0.77 -0.39 -3.5% -1.8%
1.25 11.25 12.75 -2.475 1.35 -10.3% 5.6%
1.5 5 1 3.29 -4.17 54.8% -69.5%
1.75 1 1 -0.06 -0.01 -3.0% -0.5%
2 0 2 -2 2.01 -100.0% 100.5%
2.5 1 0 0.93 -1 93.0% -100.0%
TOTAL 101 93 -0.45 -11.7 -0.2% -6.0%

We can see that betting on all nations receiving a plus goal advantage in the Asian handicap market has not returned a profit straight up, but a slight loss of -0.45 units across 194 matches for a return on investment of -0.2%.

Let’s then take our analysis one step further and consider genuine underdogs.

In the table below we can see the results for teams receiving a minimum of +0.75 goals in the Asian handicap market.

Table 2: Performance of underdogs by Asian handicap line minimum +0.75 at Euros since 2000

AH Line AH Win AH Loss AH Win P/L AH Loss P/L AH Win ROI% AH Loss ROI%
0.75 22 16 4.27 -7.03 11.2% -18.5%
1 11 11 -0.77 -0.39 -3.5% -1.8%
1.25 11.25 12.75 -2.475 1.35 -10.3% 5.6%
1.5 5 1 3.29 -4.17 54.8% -69.5%
1.75 1 1 -0.06 -0.01 -3.0% -0.5%
2 0 2 -2 2.01 -100.0% 100.5%
2.5 1 0 0.93 -1 93.0% -100.0%
TOTAL 51.25 43.75 3.185 -9.24 3.4% -9.7%

Refining the analysis to consider teams receiving a minimum +0.75 goals in the Asian handicap market sees a return of +3.185 units, a return on investment of +3.4% across 95 matches.

We see similar when we take a look at results for underdogs receiving +0.75 goals in the World Cup. The table below shows results for such underdogs in each World Cup 1998 to 2022.

Backing these nations in the Asian handicap market would have delivered a profit of +4.755 units from 220 matches, a return on investment of +2.2%.

Table 3: Performance of underdogs by Asian handicap line minimum +0.75 at World Cups since 1998

AH Line AH Win AH Loss AH Win P/L AH Loss P/L AH Win ROI% AH Loss ROI%
0.75 31.25 29.75 -0.24 -3.435 -0.4% -5.6%
1 31.5 25.5 3.51 -6.71 6.2% -11.8%
1.25 23.5 23.5 -1.945 -1.23 -4.1% -2.6%
1.5 17 11 5.31 -7.22 19.0% -25.8%
1.75 8.75 8.25 -0.45 -0.95 -2.6% -5.6%
2 4.5 4.5 -0.43 -0.27 -4.8% -3.0%
2.5 0 1 -1 0.84 -100.0% 84.0%
TOTAL 116.5 103.5 4.755 -18.975 2.2% -8.6%

Combining results for both Euros and World Cups since 1998 delivers a profit of +7.94 units, a return on investment of +2.5% from 315 matches with underdogs of at least +0.75 hitting a win rate of 53.3%.

Table 4 Performance of underdogs by Asian handicap line minimum +0.75 at Euros and World Cups since 1998

AH Line AH Win AH Loss AH Win P/L AH Loss P/L AH Win ROI% AH Loss ROI%
0.75 53.25 45.75 4.03 -10.465 4.1% -10.6%
1 42.5 36.5 2.74 -7.1 3.5% -9.0%
1.25 34.75 36.25 -4.42 0.12 -6.2% 0.2%
1.5 22 12 8.6 -11.39 25.3% -33.5%
1.75 9.75 9.25 -0.51 -0.96 -2.7% -5.1%
2 4.5 6.5 -2.43 1.74 -22.1% 15.8%
2.5 1 1 -0.07 -0.16 -3.5% -8.0%
TOTAL 167.75 147.25 7.94 -28.215 2.5% -9.0%

Betting On Underdogs at the Euros: 1X2 Market

So as we have seen it has been profitable to bet on underdogs of at least +0.75 goal at the Euros and World Cup since 1998.

What about betting on these underdogs in the 1X2 market?

Let’s start with the Euros. Betting on underdogs in the 1X2 market receiving at least +0.75 in the Asian handicap market has returned a small profit of 0.36 units, a return on investment of 0.4%. But further, backing the draw in such matches has returned a profit of +6.35 units for a return of 6.7%.

Table 7:  Performance of underdogs minimum +0.75 in the 1X2 market at Euros since 2000

Euro Won Draw Lost Won P/L Draw P/L Lost P/L Won ROI% Draw ROI% Lost ROI%
2000 2 1 8 -0.94 -7.43 2.24 -8.5% -67.5% 20.4%
2004 4 4 7 8.92 0.77 -4.72 59.5% 5.1% -31.5%
2008 1 2 7 -4.35 -2.6 1.41 -43.5% -26.0% 14.1%
2012 2 1 6 1.56 -5.56 -0.29 17.3% -61.8% -3.2%
2016 3 5 12 1.14 -0.45 -2.26 5.7% -2.3% -11.3%
2021 3 10 17 -5.97 21.62 -3.56 -19.9% 72.1% -11.9%
TOTAL 15 23 57 0.36 6.35 -7.18 0.4% 6.7% -7.6%

Unfortunately this has not been the case in the World Cup. Backing such underdogs in the 1X2 market in each World Cup since 1998 would have returned a loss of 24.34 units across 220 matches.

Table 8:  Performance of underdogs minimum +0.75 in the 1X2 market at World Cups since 1998

World Cup Won Draw Lost Won P/L Draw P/L Lost P/L Won ROI% Draw ROI% Lost ROI%
1998 2 12 23 -24.77 10.95 -3.63 -66.9% 29.6% -9.8%
2002 5 7 19 4.75 -4.75 -1.12 15.3% -15.3% -3.6%
2006 2 5 23 -19.4 -11.13 4.31 -64.7% -37.1% 14.4%
2010 3 6 19 -1.13 0.41 1.12 -4.0% 1.5% 4.0%
2014 3 9 17 -7.91 12.16 -4.61 -27.3% 41.9% -15.9%
2018 3 6 21 0.98 -3.74 0.49 3.3% -12.5% 1.6%
2022 8 6 21 23.14 -11.12 -3.9 66.1% -31.8% -11.1%
TOTAL 26 51 143 -24.34 -7.22 -7.34 -11.1% -3.3% -3.3%

Conclusion: Backing Underdogs at the Euros

So, what’s the key takeaway from this analysis? We observe that while underdogs with a handicap of +0.75 goals or higher have met or exceeded expectations.

Underdogs are often undervalued, especially those at long odds with the general public keen to back short priced favourites. This can especially be the case at major international football tournaments with the general public backing high profile nations and avoiding lower ranked teams.

While it has been historically profitable to back heavy underdogs at the Euros in both the 1X2 and Asian handicap markets, we do not recommend betting blindly on all underdogs +0.75 higher. Having said that, it is worth taking into account the fact that prices for such underdogs appear to be inflated and offer potential betting value.


Additional links for your consideration:


SAFER GAMBLING

At bettingexpert, we always take a safe approach to gambling. We’ll never bet more than we can afford or chase losses. For more advice, head to our Safer Gambling hub.

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