Backdoor cover explained – What is a backdoor cover?

If you have any experience of sports betting, then the chances are that you might have asked ‘What is a backdoor cover?’. Even complete newcomers to sports betting will benefit from having backdoor cover explained as it’s an essential part of understanding how you can win your bets even if the result of the match that you’re betting on goes against you. Above all, by having backdoor cover explained, you’ll be capable of reaching a greater level of understanding of how sports betting works. So read on to get the answer to the question of ‘What is a backdoor cover?’

Backdoor cover explained simply

  • Refers to event occurring late in a sporting contest
  • Backdoor cover affects your bet, not the overall result
  • Great for live betting
  • Applicable to all major sports like football, cricket, tennis etc
  • A big part of spread betting

What is a backdoor cover?

Backdoor cover is a popular term in the US sports betting world. It basically describes what happens late in a sporting event when actions occur that causes you to win or lose your bet without affecting the whole outcome of the game.

So if you had bet on one team to beat another team by a certain margin, and this either did or didn’t happen due to a late score, then backdoor cover would have come into play. As such, backdoor cover is merely a term for describing what happens in the betting world.

Because of this you won’t find specific betting markets for things like backdoor cover, but it can be a useful way of analysing what happened or what could happened in a sporting encounter.

So backdoor cover can either be a good or a bad thing. The key thing to remember is that it’s your ability to spot when backdoor cover might happen that will ultimately have a big impact on the success of your sports bets over the long-term.

Backdoor cover explained with some simple examples

If our basic attempt at having backdoor cover explained didn’t help you understand ‘What is a backdoor cover?’, then it could be a good idea to flesh out the theory with some solid examples from the sporting world. For this we’ll just take a look at examples from football, cricket and American football, but our examples could be applied to many other sports.

Backdoor cover in the NFL

If you want to bet on American football, then you might want to be aware of backdoor cover. Let’s imagine that you’d bet on San Francisco 49ers to beat Chicago Bears by at least one touchdown. This would mean that you’d bet on a market that gave you a 49ers win +6.5 points.

The 49ers entered the fourth quarter with a healthy lead of 24-10, but the Bears managed to stage a remarkable comeback, and scored a touchdown and a field goal. This brought the score to 24-20 in the 49ers favour and San Francisco managed to hold on to the win.

This would be backdoor cover for the Chicago Bears, and you’d lose your bet as the winning margin was just four points. While San Francisco 49ers won the match overall, the fact that the Bears scored and got backdoor cover would mean that you’d miss out on making a betting profit.

Backdoor cover for football

While the term ‘backdoor cover’ is more common in US sports, it’s a concept that can easily be applied to many sports in the UK. So let’s say that there was a Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanders, and you had bet on Newcastle to win by two or more goals.

Newcastle managed to score early and held onto their 1-0 lead until the 80th minute. Here they managed to score another goal which brought the overall match result to 2-0. By doing this, Newcastle wouldn’t have affected the overall result of the game, but they would have helped you win your sports bet by providing backdoor cover.

Backdoor cover in cricket betting

Backdoor cover can even apply to sports as traditional as cricket. Let’s imagine that you had bet on England to beat South Africa by at least 30 runs in a T20 international. England had made a promising start and had reached 204/7 at the end of their 20 allotted overs.

South Africa struggled to begin with, but as England’s bowlers tired, South Africa were able to hit plenty of boundaries in the final few overs. By the time that the T20 match had concluded, South Africa fell two runs short of their target and lost the match with a final score of 202/7. This late burst of batting didn’t affect the overall match result, but you would have lost your cricket bet as a result of the backdoor cover.

What is a backdoor cover useful for?

Above all, backdoor cover is a term that will help you identify when you could be in line for either losing or winning your sports bet in the closing stages of a match. You’ll get to know which teams or players are capable of producing the backdoor cover necessary for a winning bet and by having backdoor cover explained, you’ll know when to give yourself an extra margin of error.

Backdoor cover has become even more important thanks to the advent of live betting. The ability to quickly put down an in-play bet means that you could give yourself a much better chance of using backdoor cover to your advantage.

Plus the ability of cashing out your bets early also means that backdoor cover has never been more important. After all, if you’re betting on a team to win by a certain margin but things look like they might be going against you, then this is the time to cash out your bets early.

How to spot when backdoor cover could come into play

Being able to identify when backdoor cover could occur is hugely important. As a result it’s a good idea to know your favourite teams and players inside out so that you can take advantage of any instances of backdoor cover.

For example, in the Premier League, football teams like Liverpool have been known to score lots of late goals in their matches, while Chelsea went through a phase of starting strongly but often ended up conceding lots of loose goals late in a game.

This kind of knowledge can be very helpful as it will allow you to put down your bets with a greater amount of confidence that you are giving yourself enough leeway for backdoor cover, while getting the best odds possible.

Similarly, it’s always good to make a note of any injuries or fitness concerns with the relevant competitors. After all, if a tennis star has a niggling injury, they might be able to make a strong start to their match, but they could start to fade as the game goes on.

It’s also worth noting that external influences can have a big impact on whether backdoor cover could occur. For example, a cricket match could have looked to give one team a massive win, but the sudden arrival of humid conditions could have given the underdogs much better seam bowling conditions. This would reduce the winning margin, and the backdoor cover wouldn’t have changed the overall match result but could clearly be important in determining the success of your sports bets.

Try these betting guides and strategies

So if you understand the answer to the question of ‘What is a backdoor cover?’, it could be worthwhile taking a look at some alternative betting types and strategies. You may not think that you need to have rising method explained, but it’s essential to learn all you can about sports betting if you want sustained success.

From having a halftime bet explained for football to having a head to head bet explained for rugby, it can all help you avoid making daft mistakes. Plus with the ability to have a value bet explained to spot truly remarkable odds, to having bad beat explained to avoid those shocking defeats, you’ll be well-placed for the next time that you want to bet on sport.


By having backdoor cover explained, you hopefully won’t have to ask ‘What is a backdoor cover?’ anymore. You’ll see that backdoor cover is something that happens late in a sporting encounter that can affect your bets, but not the overall result. There’s little way that you can actually predict when a backdoor cover will take place, but it’s a term that can describe what happens when you win or lose your sports bet late on in the game. So that by having backdoor cover explained, you’ll know that this can be an important event that determines the success of your bets on your favourite sport.

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