Stop Backing Favourites

The favourite usually has the best chance of winning a race.

But should you be backing them?

Here’s what the numbers say.

Favourites tend to win about 33% of races and there seems to be a bit of a trend showing this number to be increasing slightly. I suspect an increase in races with less runners has a lot to do with this. Another interesting statistic is that odds on favourites tend to win around 60% of the time.

All of this is quite interesting, but it doesn’t mean a hoot from a betting point of view.

When you look at favourites in terms of profit/loss you’ll find that blindly backing the favourite in every race will leave you with a loss of 5.6% on the money you stake.

In other words, if you were to bet on the favourite in every race, you would lose an average of 56 pence for every £10 you bet.

Of course, you can probably get better odds than the starting price a lot of time, and you could come up with a better strategy for betting on favourites rather than just blindly backing every single one. But the favourite is usually too well accounted for in the betting market and it can be very difficult to find any value in betting on favourites.

That’s not to say you should never bet on favourites.

Occasionally you might spot the odd opportunity where the favourite does make a good value bet.

But it’s important to remember, Bookies win because favourites lose.

If you are looking to find a good value bet in a race, you’d do well to instead look for a horse that has a good chance of opposing the favourite.

Until next time,
Kenny Turnbull

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