Can you Bet on Both Teams to Win?
Yes, you can bet both teams to win at the same time (known as betting “totals” or “over/under”) on one game.
The odds against this happening are astronomical, though, and it is very unlikely for a reason: Bettors who prefer winners over losers will rarely (if ever) choose to bet both teams to win, and this will force sportsbooks to offer terrible lines (odds) on these bets.
For example: If you have a money line/spread on the game of (-160/-150), the odds are that if you want one team as an underdog and the other team as a favourite, they should not be more than (+200/-250). If you want a game with both teams as underdogs, then the losers line should be closer to (even money) rather than (-150/-160). So basically, sportsbooks will ask for a premium because of this bet.
Keep in mind that if both teams win, you get 1x your bet back instead of the 2x payout for betting on just one team. This is because of a “common sense” rule that states that both teams can’t win (unless it is a draw), so it shouldn’t be allowed in your parlay.
Why bet for both teams to win?
There are only two reasons why you might bet on both sides, and it is usually for larger stakes (usually on a parlay or teaser);
1. You believe that BOTH teams have an equal chance of winning, and you want to hedge your bet in case one team loses early. This is also known as the “race-to/towards zero” play, where both teams are so close together in skill that they are almost equal.
2. You want to bet on a game but feel like both sides offer some value (the value line is too high or low). For example, you can use this strategy with two teams with a big discrepancy in their public perception; the side/money-line odds against these teams will be much higher than if they were evenly matched.
Ready to place a bet?
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Should you decide to bet for both teams to win, keep in mind that bookmakers are aware of this strategy and will adjust/raise their lines accordingly to counter the public perception of these teams. It might be well worth your time to study up on point spreads, so you have some ammo against places that are overvaluing or undervaluing a team.