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What is an If Bet in Sports Betting?

by December 28, 2021
Stephen Curry

There are many kinds of bets available to take advantage of across all sportsbooks in sports betting. Knowing these is an important way to stay profitable for the long term. In this article, we will dive into what an “if bet” is and how it can be used to maximize gains while limiting your losses.

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When to use the “If Bet”

Simply put, an “if bet” ties any bets that you make together to limit the risk required, but how? You are allowed to risk the money you would earn if your bet resulted in anything other than a loss. However, if the initial bet is a loss, all if bets placed with that money would be immediately canceled, even if they come to a conclusion before the initial one.

Let’s say you see that the Golden State Warriors are playing an early game, and they are listed at -120 on the money line, so you place a bet for $60 to win $50. However, you see that the Dallas Mavericks have a game that starts an hour later, and the line has already moved from +105 to -105 within 20 minutes. There are options. You can risk more cash directly and place another straight bet, but let’s say you are being extremely strategic with your units, how can you make sure to catch this line without compromising your plan? This is where the “if bet” comes in, and it comes in two different types. “If win only” and “If Win or Push.”

If Win Only Bet

The first kind of “if bet” is an If Win Only Bet, and this bet allows you to bet the amount you wagered and the amount that a win would net you before the play settles! In the Golden State Warriors scenario above, you would get the $60 wager back and the $50 dollars you win, for a total of $110 to risk on the Mavericks, while the Warriors game is still going on! This allows you to risk it, but if the bet pushes, then the bet is canceled because more money was wagered than is credited back to the account.

If Win or Push Bet

The other kind of “if bet” is an If Win or Push Bet. This bet allows you to risk the exact amount risked on the previous bet, but not the potential winnings. This is because the push is in play. A push is when the bet does not win or lose, for example, if the Jazz are -9 and they win by exactly nine points, you get your money back, like the bet was never placed. So for the Warriors scenario, only $60 is available to be wagered on the “if bet.” This is a preferred option if you have a spread bet, but in money line wagers, it is irrelevant other than if you want to leave your winnings as winnings and not risk it before the game is over.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

Josh Weil is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @Josh_Weil.

Betting 101