One of the most important things that advanced bettors need to understand is the importance of extending their arsenal and using a wide range of wagers in order to build up their bankroll. Whether it’s straight bets, parlays, prop bets, futures, live betting or any other form, the more options that you have available the better off you will be. However, there are also one or two other types of wagers that you might want to do your best to avoid. The “If Bet” is one of them. Based on the information that we compiled over time, there really isn’t much reason that anybody should strongly consider betting If Bet wagers at this point in time. Here is a closer look at everything you need to know about If Bets and why you should avoid them.
What Is An If Bet?
The majority of sportsbooks still offer If Bets to the betting public. This type of wager allows you to connect two straight bets on the same ticket, similar to how a parlay works. However, the difference is that if the first bet loses, then the second bet never becomes action. The second bet is always dependent on the first bet winning. Here is a look at what an If Bet might look like for a pair of NFL games.
SELECTION 1: New England Patriots -150
SELECTION 2: Pittsburgh Steelers -300
Let’s supposed that you are wagering $150 betting on the Patriot and Steelers in an If Bet. New England is the first selection and Pittsburgh is the second selection. If you bet $150 on the Patriots and they win, then that $150 stake then rolls over and becomes the second bet on the Steelers. If Pittsburgh wins, then you collect your winnings for both wagers. Since you won $100 betting on New England and $50 betting on Pittsburgh, you will take home $150 in profits. However, if the Patriots lose then you lose $150. If New England wins but the Steelers lose, then you end up losing $50. Here is a quick outline of the three possible outcomes you could end up with if you play the If Bet example that we used above.
Patriots Win + Steelers Win: +$150
Patriots Win + Steelers Lose: -$50
Patriots Lose (Steelers Cancelled): -$150
As you can see in the outline above, the only chance you have to win money is if both teams win. Even then, you are only going to make $150. However, if either team loses then you ended up in the negative. Why are these outcomes so alarming? It’s because if you just approached the two wagers individually or as part of a parlay you stand a much better chance of building your bankroll.
Let’s take a look at the two alternate situations. If you bet on the Patriots and Steelers to win straight up on individual wagers then this is what the potential outcomes look like in terms of the money.
Patriots Win + Steelers Win: +$150
Patriots Win + Steelers Lose: -$50
Patriots Lose + Steelers Win: -$100
Patriots Lose + Steelers Lose: -$300
A quick glance at this situation reveals that there is no real downside to betting on these teams individually unless they both lose. The first two potential outcomes are the same as if you bet both teams with the If Bet. However, betting the two teams individually with straight wagers at least gives you a chance to limit how much you lose if the Patriots lose but the Steelers win. The only downside in this scenario is if both teams were to lose since one of them would have been cancelled if you played the If Bet. However, it still makes more sense to bet them individually or on a parlay then to play the If Bet and risk any of the first three scenarios listed above.
Can If Bets Benefit Bettors?
Taking a closer look at the numbers, the only situation when it helps to have played the If Bet rather than the straight up wagers is if both teams lost. Here is a look at how the two angles would look side-by-side if you were going to risk $110 on both the Patriots and Steelers at -110 odds.
If Bet Outcomes
Straight Up Wager Outcomes
As you can see with these two charts, the smarter decision is still to play the two games as straight bets. If both teams win, you end up with the same outcome. If your first selection wins but the second selection loses, then you end up with the same outcome. However, the second two possible outcomes are different. In short, with an If Bet you have a 75% chance of losing money and a 50% chance of losing at least $110. With your straight bets, you still have a 75% chance of losing money but in 75% of the outcomes you’ll only be down $10 or you will win $220. While you could end up losing more betting these teams straight up, it would take the worst case scenario of four different scenarios in order for that to happen.
Sequences Could Work Against If Bets
Perhaps the most annoying challenge of the If Bet is the idea that the wrong sequence could end up burning you. This is particularly true when you have two solid picks and you aren’t sure which one to make your priority pick. If you were to wager those two solid picks as individual wagers then it won’t hurt nearly as bad if one of them loses. However, if you bet on two teams in an If Bet and the team you had in first priority lost but the second team won and it didn’t count then that would be pretty bad.
The One Time If Bet Makes Sense
There aren’t many scenarios where the If Bet actually makes sense but one scenario where you might consider trying it out is if you are really short on money. Remember, in our previous scenario listed above you would need $220 to bet on both the Patriots and Steelers individually. That can’t happen if you don’t have the money in the first place. However, if you bet them with an If Bet then you could wager $110 on both teams since the only way that the bet on the Steelers would go through is if the bet on the Patriots wins in the first place. If you are short on money, then the If Bet might actually be worth considering. However, it’s important not to get carried away with this type of wager and end up using it any more than you should. As long as you have the money in the first place, you probably should lean towards betting straight up wagers over If Bets as often as possible.
What Sports Can You Wager The If Bet On?
If Bets are available for the majority of the major team sports including basketball, hockey, baseball and football. Most sportsbooks also make the If Bet available for the college sports, including football and basketball.
If Bets Are Not Very Popular
One thing that shouldn’t be a surprise at this point is the fact that the If Bet clearly isn’t very popular in the sports betting community. After all, even in the scenario listed above where we mentioned the potential to bet the If Bet if you are short on cash it might not exactly be the best idea. After all, if you are so short on cash that you can’t afford to bet the two teams straight up, maybe it’s better to just bet on one team or not bet at all. The majority of the online sports betting community have already identified the flaws with the If Bet and stay away. With so many other different options available you are better off just going in a different direction altogether. Versatility and the ability to make a diverse selection of different types of bets are extremely important when building up your bankroll. However, when if comes to the If Bet you are still very much better off staying away altogether and relying on different types of wagers in order to make significant profits.