With online sports betting and especially horseracing betting, it seems to be a lot easier to pick the losers than it is to pick the winner. For most New Zealand punters, narrowing down the field can be a herculean task, especially in a race with a 20-runner handicap and a never-ending stream of data points to contend with. But what if there was a much simpler way to make a profit? This is where the sports betting strategy of laying the favourite comes in.
Since the introduction of exchange betting sites, lay betting has become a popular approach for both amateur and professional punters. The strategy of laying the favourite allows punters to focus on one horse in the race and reduce everything to a single decision. With regular online sports betting, the standard approach is to assess the entire field of runners or perhaps the top-5 and decide which horse will win. By laying the favourite, you simply need to decide whether the favourite will win or not.
One Decision and One Result
According to the statistics, two-thirds of all the race favourites do not actually win. However, this doesn’t mean that laying the favourite is always a good idea. For this strategy to become profitable, it is important to look for horses termed “weak favourites”. This should be a horse at odds of 3.0 or below. For anything above this, the ratio between risk and reward goes awry. The best sports betting brands are keenly aware of weak favourites where punters look for an easy win, and tend to blindly back favourites into prices that are far below their true odds.
Finding Weak Favourites
A weak favourite could also be a horse that has been incorrectly assessed and its chances are far lower than what the market predicts. Laying the favourite requires more knowledge of online sports betting, the market and the interpretation of results than when backing a horse. A good way to start is to look for horses that have poor course records, and those that are far too short for such a competitive race.
A good strategy to begin with is to focus on just 1 meeting or race per day. As with most online or mobile sports betting wagers, it pays to do as much research as possible on the course, its biases and the way the horses handle the track. When looking for a horse to lay, factors to consider include the ratings, the last time out record, the type of course, the trainer record, the ground form, the distance of the race, weight and the odds in relation to the field.
One popular strategy is to look for horses that are termed false favourites. A false favoured is somewhat different to a weak favourite. In this case, a false favourite is a horse installed by market makers at an intentionally incorrect price. The idea is to attract and exploit a throng of blind favourite backers. This is more popular in smaller mid-week races and generally doesn’t’ happen with main events. Laying the favourite can be a great betting strategy that beats having to look for the best football odds or picking a winner when there is too much at stake.