MAIN / / The Zig-Zag Theory in Betting And How It Can Work For You

When it comes to sports betting, you need to plan everything ahead, learn the capabilities of players and the history of their victories and losses. There are lots of effective betting strategies, but in this insightful post, we’ll delve into the details of zig-zag theory or betting strategy. If you have never heard about this theory before, it is time to learn something new. Who knows, maybe it’s your chance to win?

What Is Zig-Zag Theory in Sports Betting?

Zigzag theory in sports betting is a well-known NHL and NBA strategy that states the following: if a team loses a game, you need to bet on them in the next game.

If you are a fan of the NHL or NBA, most likely, you have already heard about this theory before. This theory is mostly used when it comes to betting on hockey or basketball because both games have the same playoff format.

How Does Zig-Zag Theory Work?

In brief, the basic concept is simple: each game in a series is influenced by the result of the previous game. In this case, you need to bet on a team that lost the previous game because they are more likely to win the upcoming one.

However, you shouldn’t blindly follow this strategy. It should be noted that before you make a bet, you need to make yourself familiar with a variety of factors, including the capabilities of both teams, their history of victories, etc. But if you see that both teams are equal in terms of reputation, then victory usually follows defeat.

Zig-zag theory in sports betting is mostly applied to betting on the NHL and NBA. The thing is that both leagues have similar payoff formats.

So, why does zig-zag theory work? It is mostly based on psychology. The losing team has a strong desire to win and does the utmost to achieve that goal. Moreover, the winners of the previous game become more relaxed. That’s why they think that they will win again and don’t focus on the game.

Besides, the home advantage also shifts between the teams, and this may also influence the course of the game.

Advantages of Zig-Zag Theory

Are zig-zag sports bets profitable? What are the main benefits of this betting strategy? As we have already mentioned, if you will be blindly following this strategy, you’ll probably lose. Simply put, you can’t be a profitable bettor. But there are some examples where it can be very profitable.

In brief, this theory is based on sporting playoffs. There’s a well-known term, “home advantage”, which means a team is likely to win when they play on a home court. In the NBA, the home-court benefit means a lot because statistically, NBA home teams win 65% of the time.

Moreover, momentum can influence greatly the outcome of the playoff series. That’s why you should always consider this theory while placing your bets.

Zig-Zag Theory for NBA Betting

Now, when you finally know the terms of this betting strategy, let’s review where it can be used for NBA betting. In the NBA, the home court benefit is of prime importance. What does this mean? The answer is evident: when a road team gets outplayed in game 1, they will hardly bounce back in the second game. But if they fall behind 0-2 in the series of games that are headed home for game 3, odds are good that they will win (if they can compete with their opponent).

If the road team wins the game, in all likelihood, the home team will bounce back in the next game. But if you see that a more powerful team opens the series of games with two wins at home, it would be better for you to bet against an underdog.

Want to learn more about basketball betting? Check out this article on how to bet on basketball.

Zig-Zag Theory for NHL Betting

When it comes to the NHL, it actually doesn’t matter that much where the teams play. However, home-ice advantage is still important. In this case, the betting strategy is as follows: when the home team wins the game, the second team has more chances to win the next game, but it doesn’t mean that it will happen. Statistically, if a team goes down 0-2 on the road, it is more likely to bounce back at home during the next game. In this case, you shouldn’t make bets based on the zig-zag theory only.

But there’s also one aspect that you need to keep in mind. You shouldn’t underestimate a hockey team that dropped the previous three or four games. They can achieve much better results under the pressure of the public. Most bettors don’t study statistics and learn the history of their losses and victories. They won’t place bets on the team that failed to win previous matches. But this can be a huge mistake!

To avoid failures betting on ice NHL games, read our guide on ice hockey betting.

What to Keep in Mind about the Zig-Zag Theory?

Zig zag theory is mostly based on probabilities and historical statistics. But some other factors also need to be considered. We shortlisted a few tips that you should always keep in mind while using zig-zag sports tactics.

The matchup

The matchup between both teams is the question of major concern for bettors that want to use this theory. The first thing that you need to do is to check the history of both teams. This information is usually enough to make profitable bets.

Split stats

Checking out split stats is another tip that will make your bets more profitable. You should consider this information before placing your playoff bets. Split stats allows bettors to control the general performance of players in specific situations.


This tip is especially useful for placing bets on the NHL playoffs. Here, suspensions happen more often than not. Before any game, you should surf the web trying to find the information if the chosen team is hampered by suspensions.


Even if you are an inexperienced bettor, you must always control this aspect before making your bets. Before the game, you should browse the internet and read about both teams. Look for information about their injuries. A quick Google search can save you money! Unfortunately, injuries happen in sports and they can influence your bets.

The motivation of a team

Monitoring the statistics of both teams is of utmost importance. But you should also consider their raw motivation. We don’t mean only game-to-game motivation. It can be the team’s motivation that goes into a series of games.

Zig-zag Betting Summary

Overall, the zig-zag theory is a simple betting strategy that doesn’t require any specific skills. Even though it’s the simplest betting strategy, you shouldn’t blindly follow it because sometimes, it may fool you. It doesn’t always work.

Like any other sports betting theory, this one is one of the tools that you can use to improve your winning chances. Remember that success in betting is hard work that involves research, knowledge, and experience.

If you want to try your hand at zig zag betting, download the Parimatch betting app. Here, you will surely find absolutely everything beginning or experienced bettors need!