Single Action If/Then bets are bets that are dependent upon one initial wager winning for the second wager to become valid. It is easy to look at in a simple mathematical formula. Let’s call Giants -4.5 Bet A. Let’s also call Cowboys + 3 Bet B. An “If Bet” allows you to wager on the outcome of A being positive before B is valid or has any action. Our formula would look like this:
- IF A WINS THEN B HAS ACTION
- IF A LOSES THEN B HAS NO ACTION
It really is that simple. If the initial Bet A wins, then you will have a valid bet on Bet B. Why would people do this? To reduce risk is the most common answer. Let’s imagine we want to wager $100 on the Giants -4.5 which is our Bet A in the above scenario. If we lose $100 on the weekend we can recover and it isn’t that big of a deal. But we really like both games, but losing $200 would put us much further behind than we are comfortable with. A good bet in this instance would be a Single Action If/Then bet. There would be 3 possible outcomes and none of them put us deeper than $100 ($110 with juice) into debt which is a number we can live with:
- Giants cover the 4.5. Now our 2nd game has action and the Cowboys cover the +3. We win both wagers and profit $200.
- Giants cover the 4.5. Our 2nd game still has action however the Cowboys lose by 10 points. In this scenario we won $100 and lost $110 on the cowboys for a net loss of -$10.00
- Giants lose straight up. The 2nd game doesn’t matter to us at all because we don’t have an effective wager on it with the Giants losing.
If/Then Bets are more for people who are risk adverse. In our above scenario the worst thing that can happen is losing $110 while the best thing is winning $200. It really just manages risk a little better. On the flip side it can cost you winners and a chance at a break even weekend minus juice if the Giants lose but the Cowboys win their game.
There is also something called Double Action which means that your 2nd bet will have action if the original bet ties or is cancelled. Remember, in single action, the only way for the 2nd leg of your bet to be active is if the first bet wins against the number.
If/Then single action bets can be fine for those that are risk adverse. Personally I think they cost people more winners in the long run if their handicapping is sound because they negate a possible winning bet if the first bet loses. But risk is person dependent so if you are interested in them check out your sports book to see which options they offer.[hr]