Betting Favorites Explained in 2022
The easiest way to win bets when wagering is to back heavy sports betting favorites. These are players, teams, horses, and other competitors which are head and shoulders above their peers. They are more likely to win and you can benefit from this.
It’s common knowledge that backing the superior side (betting chalk) can increase your wagering winnings. However, you have to be prepared to place large stakes as strong contenders come with lower odds.
What is betting on a favorite?
Backing the strongest competitor to win a game is a great way to have a winning wager most of the time. These can be top-rated athletes, exceptionally strong teams, outstanding horses, super-fast greyhounds, etc.
Let’s look at a hypothetical game to explain this:
|Info about the teams||Probability to win||Sportsbooks’ odds|
|Team A – Far stronger||· 1st in the standings|
· play in great form
· have quality players
|Team B – Underdog||· dead-last in the standings|
· on an endless losing streak
· most first-choice players are injured or suspended
It is evident from the game above that Team A will likely be victorious. They are top of the table, are in great form and have some of the best players in the league.
Sportsbooks estimate that Team A has a 90% probability to triumph and gives it minuscule betting odds of -900. If you want to make a profit of $100, you would have to bet $900. This large stake is to be expected as all heavy front-runners come with very low odds.
In contrast, Team B is the underdog. They are last in the standings, can’t win to save their lives, and their best players are all out. As a result, sportsbooks think that they are highly unlikely to triumph and give them odds of +900. Odds of +900 mean that you can win an incredible amount of money on Team B winning, but this is unlikely to happen.
Types of bets
Players can back probable winners in 2-way, 3-way moneyline, and outright winner wagering markets. In all of these, one of the competitors is far superior when compared to the others.
A 2-way betting market means that there are only two possible outcomes to a game. It’s much easier to back a top side in markets such as these as you choose the more likely of only two outcomes.
|Washington Nationals -278||Cleveland Indians +225|
There are only two outcomes that you can back in this baseball game. If you go with the sensible choice of backing the Nationals, you should bet $278 to get a return of $100.
3-way markets mean that there are three possible outcomes: the home team wins, away side wins, and draw. Let’s look at an MLS match to explain this:
|Atlanta United -208||Draw +325||FC Cincinnati +475|
As you can see, Atlanta is expected to triumph here and the best that FC Cincinnati can hope for is a draw. The draw outcome slightly complicates things here as it is another outcome you have to worry about.
You can also bet on a strong competitor to win an entire event such as a race, league, or tournament. For instance, you can back an odds-on favorite horse to triumph in a race in which he is the clear front-runner for victory.
Placing a bet on a favorite: Step-by-Step
If you understand how betting works placing a bet on the stronger side in a game is quite easy. All you need to do is go through some basic steps which are easy to remember. Here’s how you can place a bet on the chalk:
- Pick a reliable sportsbook that offers lots of different sports.
- Select the sports that you love.
- Analyze all games.
- Analyze all games.
- Shortlist the teams/players with the highest probability to win. These are the wagering selections with the lowest odds.
- Find the strongest probable winners among them.
- Select those which represent good value for money.
- Back those selections with a stake you are comfortable with. Remember, front-runners for the win usually have low odds so you have to back them with a larger stake.
- Submit the bet.
Usual sports for betting on heavy favorites
All sports have games in which one of the competitors is superior and one is considered an underdog. This means that you can wager on shoo-ins for the win in popular sports such as football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, etc. Let’s look at three such games:
|NBA||Philadelphia 76ers -833||Detroit Pistons +550|
|NFL||Philadelphia Eagles -244||Chicago Bears +200|
|NHL||Tampa Bay Lightning -200||Montreal Canadiens +170|
If you are going to bet on probable winners, negative American odds will be your constant companion. As you can see from these examples, all of the home sides are expected to win and come with negative odds. The 76ers, in particular, are considered as far superior to their opponents. To get a profit of $100, you would have to bet as much as $833.
The Eagles and Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t such heavy front-runners, but would still require larger stakes to make backing them worthwhile. To get a profit of $100, you would have to stake $244 and $200 respectively.
You can make much more money if you back the underdogs. However, chances are that those bets would be unsuccessful. If you place $100 on the Bears, for instance, you would get $200 as profit. Placing a bet of $100 on the Pistons returns a huge but unlikely profit of $550.
Example of betting on a favorite
Backing a front-runner usually comes with a high likelihood of having a successful bet. However, like most things related to wagering, there are exceptions to every rule.
Strong competitors will triumph in most of their games, but will sometimes have a bad day at the office and the wager will be a losing one.
Winning example of betting on a favorite
Let’s say you always bet on NFL games and here’s one that you fondly remember:
|San Francisco 49ers -357 (superior side)||Final Score|
27 : 10
|Minnesota Vikings +275 (huge underdog)|
You staked $500 on the San Francisco 49ers to triumph against the Vikings. The game ended 27:10 for the 49ers and you made a profit of $140.
Losing example of betting on a favorite
Let’s say you wagered on another NFL game:
|New Orleans Saints -385 (superior side)||Final Score|
20 : 26
|Minnesota Vikings +300 (huge underdog)|
You always back probable winners so this game was a no-brainer. You backed the Saints to triumph with a substantial stake of $77 to get a profit of $20.
Unfortunately, backing the stronger side didn’t pay off this time. The Saints performed poorly and once again confirmed what you already knew – front-runners aren’t always guaranteed to win.
Betting the chalk for beginners: How to bet
Backing the stronger team is something that all betting beginners can do. Even if you don’t know much about football, basketball, or baseball, you can still make a very accurate prediction if you back the superior side. Here are some tips on how to get the best out of this bet.
- Tip 1: Always check the form of probable winners before backing them. Sometimes a team may come with lower odds, but these might be deceptive if the team is in a poor run of form.
- Tip 2: Another thing to closely follow is team news. This will tell you if the chalk is at full-strength. It is not wise to back teams that have players missing due to injuries or suspensions.
- Tip 3: Going with professional betting tips that give you the best picks is also a must for betting beginners. These contain invaluable information about games and are often the difference between a winning and a losing wager. Our service, Billy’s List, for instance, has some top-quality picks that you can instantly get when you sign up for free.
- Tip 4: Start with lower stakes. It is best if you start small at the beginning as you don’t want to be discouraged by big initial losses.
- Tip 5: Increase bet amounts as you gain more wagering experience. Once you feel more comfortable backing strong contenders, you can slowly start to increase the stake amounts.
Betting the chalk for professionals: How to bet
There are a couple of wagering strategies that work well when betting on strong contenders in games. These are the Kelly criterion and the flat betting strategy.
When wagering with the Kelly criterion, bettors calculate the optimal stake size for each bet. If the bet comes with low probability, the Kelly formula produces a negative value and says that there’s no point in betting on it.
In contrast, if the Kelly criterion produces a positive value, it means that the bettor should back that outcome. The criterion also advises the player on the percentage of his bankroll he needs to place on an outcome.
Strong teams that triumph in most matches work well with the Kelly criterion. This is because for the Kelly criterion to work properly, you need a team with a high probability to triumph in a game. And heavy front-runners for the victory always come with high probability to win. If they also come with realistic odds, the Kelly criterion would almost certainly guarantee winnings.
Another strategy that works well with superior competitors is the flat betting approach. It stipulates that bettors should always bet a fixed amount of their bankroll on every wager. For instance, if you are betting 2% on every bet and have a $100 budget, you would place $2 on every wager.
Backing a superior side usually results in winnings. This means that if you bet flat, you can expect lots of small winnings which will accumulate over time. Moreover, you would suffer minimal losses as you always place the same stake sizes.
Betting on favorites: Try it now at one of the top 5 betting sites
Now that you know how profitable backing a superior side can be, it’s time to turn that knowledge into winnings.
The best way to do this is to wager at a sportsbook that offers high odds. The 5 betting sites here work with minimal sportsbook edges and offer great odds.
Betting on teams and players which are odds-on to triumph is quite easy. You just select the ones which come with realistic odds and you back them with a stake you are comfortable with.
Yes, you can. You can back any superior competitor or team in the point spread market or any betting line for that matter. In point spread markets, teams will have to win by a certain number of points to cover the spread otherwise the bet will lose.
If you use the right wagering strategy, know how much to stake, and bet at sportsbooks with low margins, you can make lots of money.
It’s better to bet on the team which is more likely to triumph. The higher odds of underdogs are not worth the risk as underdogs rarely triumph. Betting the chalk is always a more sensible option.
Stronger sides and players triumph much more often than underdogs. This varies from one game to another, but if a team comes with a 90% likelihood to be the winner, it will win 9 times out of 10.