“IF” Bets and Reverses
Last week I mentioned that you can play “if/reverses” in your book instead of playing parlays. You may not be able to place an “if/reverse” bet. This article will explain and compare “if” and “if/reverse” bets and parlays, as well as the best situations for each.
A “if” bet sounds exactly like it does. If Team A wins, you bet on it. The same goes for Team B. Parlays with two games happening at different times are a type “if” bet. You bet on Team A and, if it wins, you place double bets on the second team. A true “if” wager is one that you place an equal amount of money on both the first and second teams.
By telling your bookmaker that you would like to place an “if” wager, you can save two calls to the bookmaker. You can also place “if” bets on simultaneous games. The bookmaker will not place a bet until the first game has ended. The bookmaker will place an equal amount on the second match if the first one wins.
An “if” bet can be two straight bets at normal Vig, but you cannot cancel the second one later. The second bet cannot cancel after you have placed an “if” wager, even if the first game hasn’t yet started. If the first win, you’ll have action for the second. An “if” bet is more controllable than two straight bets. If the games that you are betting overlap in time, placing an “if” bet will allow you to only bet on one game if the other wins. Cancellation of the second bet is possible if two games overlap in timing. You will need to note that if the games begin at different times, many books won’t allow you fill in the second one later. When placing a bet, you must identify both teams.
If you want to place an “if” wager, tell the bookmaker that you would like to place an “if”. Then, ask them to give you Team A IF Team C for $100. This instruction will allow you to place $110 on Team A to win $100. Then, if Team A wins, you can wager $110 on Team B to win $100.
The “if” betting bet does not apply to the second team if the first team loses. Your total loss on the “if” bet, regardless of whether the second team wins or loses, would be $110. To win $100 if the first team wins, however you would need to place a $110 bet. If the second team loses, you would only lose $10. For a total win amount of $200, if both teams win, you will win $100 on Team A, and $100 on team B. The maximum loss for an “if” is $110 and the maximum win is $200. This balance is offset by the fact that you lose the entire $110 instead of $10 for each team that splits with the losing team.
It matters a lot which game you place first in an “if”, bet. Splitting means you lose the entire bet if you place the loser in the first game. If you split and the loser is on the second team, you lose the vig.
The best way to avoid uncertainty due to the order of wins or losses was to place two “if” wagers, one on each team and one on the other. Instead of wagering $110 on Team A if team B, you could bet $55 on Team A If Team B. For $55, you can make another “if” wager that reverses the order of the teams. This second bet would place Team B first and Team C second. This double bet reverses the order of the two teams and is sometimes called an “if/reverse” (or just a “reverse”).
A “reverse” refers to two distinct “if” wagers.
For $55 Team A, Team B will win $50.
For $55, Team B can win $50 if you are Team A.
Both bets don’t have to be stated. Simply tell the clerk that you wish to place a “reverse” bet.
The result of a double “if” wager for $100 would have the same outcome if both teams win. For a total win, you win $100 on Team A, $50 on Team B and $50 on Team A. The second “if” bet gives you a win of $50 on Team B and $50 on team A. This totals $100. When both teams win, the total win is $200.
Both teams losing would result in the same outcome as if they had played one “if” bet of $100. In the first “if” combination, Team A’s loss would result in $55 and Team B would lose nothing. The second combination would see Team B lose $55, while Team A would be left with nothing. Each bet would result in a $55 loss, with a maximum loss of $110 if both teams lose.
Splitting the teams can result in a difference. The difference is that you lose $60 on a split regardless of which team wins or loses. Instead of losing $110 if the first team loses and wins, and $10 if the second team wins but loses, This is how it works. You will lose $55 if Team A loses, but nothing on Team B that wins. The second combination will give you $50 on Team B and Team A action for $55. This results in a $55 net loss. You will lose $60 on the reverse if you combine the $55 loss on the first “if”, and $5 on second “if”. For the same $60, Team B will lose the $5 vig for the first combination and $55 for the second combination if it loses.
This smaller loss has been $60, instead of $110. There is no decrease in win when both teams win. The win for both the $110 “if”, and the $55 “if reversed” bets is $200 when both teams cover. However, the bookies would not place themselves in such a position. If Team A loses, the $50 gain is offset by the $50 loss ($60 rather than $10) when Team B loses. The “reverse” is not a cost-saving strategy, but it can make the risk less predictable and eliminate the concern about which team will win the “if” bet.
This is an advanced discussion on betting techniques. Do not bother with charts or explanations if they cause you headaches. Instead, just write the rules. In my next article, I will summarize the rules and provide a copyable list.
The general rule for “if” bets, guvencehd.org just like parlays, is:
If you are able to win 52.5% or more of the games, DON’T. You can save money if you are not able to win consistently.
The “if” bet is a winning strategy that adds a certain amount of luck to the betting equation. Both games should be bet if they are worthwhile. You should not place bets on either one or the other based on how you will win. The “if” bet, on the other hand, will stop a bettor with a negative expectation from placing bets on the second team if the first team loses. The “if” wager saves the bettor with a negative expectation some vig by preventing certain bets.
The “if” bettor saves $10 by not beingt on the second game when both teams lose. The “if” bettor is more expensive than the straight bettor. He pays $100 if Team A loses, and Team B wins. But he saves $110 if both Team A and B lose.
It is important that the loser does not bet more games. “If” bets can reduce the number games the loser wagers.
The winning bettor follows the exact opposite rule. Anything that prevents the winning bettor betting more games is bad. Therefore, the winning handicapper will lose money. The winning bettor will play fewer games and have fewer winners. Keep in mind that if someone tells your that you can win, they are likely to say that it is better to play fewer games. Smart winners never want to lose more games. Because “if/reverses” are exactly the same as “if”, they place the winner at the same disadvantage.
Exceptions to the Rule – When a Winner Should Place Parlays and “IF”s
There are exceptions to every rule. Parlays and “If” wagers should only be placed by winners with positive expectations in two situations:
If he has no other option, he must place a “if/reverse,” parlay or teaser bet.
If you are placing co-dependent wagers
There are only two situations where you can’t make a decision.
The old philosopher once said, “Is this what’s bothering you, bucky?” If you feel this way, raise your head, smile, find the silver lining and place a $50 “if” bet on your teams. You could also bet on a parlay. However, as you’ll see, the “if/reverse”, if you win, is a great substitute.
Straight betting is the best way to win. However, in the case co-dependent betting, there is an advantage to betting combinations. Parlays offer bettors the opportunity to enjoy 13-5 higher parlay odds on parlay bets with higher than normal winning chances. Co-dependent bets must, by definition, be placed within the same game. They must be taken as “if” wagers. Our advantage with a co-dependent wager is that we only place the second bet if one of the propositions wins.
Straight betting $110 on the favorite and underdog, and $110 on the over/under would be a waste. No matter how many times the favorite, over, or underdog and/or under combination won, we would lose the vig. We’ve seen that if we play 2 out of 4 results in 2 parlays of the favorite, over, and the underdog, we can win $160 when one of our combinations wins. Below is a discussion on when to choose the “reverse” or the parlay in co-dependent combinations.
Choose between “IF” Bets or Parlays
A $110 parlay is used for consistency comparisons. Our net parlay win when one our combinations hits is $176. This includes the $286 win on winning parlay and the $110 loss on losing parlay. A $110 “reverse” bet would result in a net win of $180 for every combination that hits. This is the $400 win on winning if/reverse less the $220 loss on losing if/reverse.
If there is a split and the under or favorite comes in with either the under or the over, the parlay will lose $110, while the reverse will lose $120. The “reverse” side has a 44% advantage, while the parlay has an advantage of $10 on the losing side. The parlay would still be more advantageous in a 50-50 scenario.
We are not in a 50-50 position with total and co-dependent bets. The game is likely to go over the relatively low total if the favorite covers the spread. If the favorite does not cover the spread, the odds of the game going under the total are higher. The “if/reverse” bet is superior to the parlay when there is a positive expectation. Although the actual likelihood of winning on our codependent side or total bets will depend on how close they are to each other, the fact that they are dependent gives us a positive expectation.
A 72% win rate is the point when the “if/reverse” bet becomes more profitable than the parlay, when we make our co-dependents. This win-rate isn’t as crazy as it seems. You have two chances of winning if you make two combinations. Only one of the combinations must win. Each combination has a positive expectation. Assuming that either the favorite or underdog wins 100%, then we only need a 72% chance that Boston College-38 1/2 will win by 39 points. This means that there is a 72% chance that the game will win at least 53 1/2 times as a codependent bet. We are just 1/2 point away of a win if Ball State scores one touchdown. Given the circumstances, it is reasonable to assume that a BC coverage will result in a greater than 72% of the times.
Our “if/reverse” parlays will have a 72% win rate. However, the extra $4 won by our two “if/reverses” bets will result in a total increase of $4 x 72 = $288. For a total loss of $280, we will lose $10 more by betting “if/reverses”. The difference between winning 72% and losing 72% is negligible.