What Does Favorite Mean In Sports Betting and Wagering?
If you’re looking for a get-rich quick scheme, you are most certainly reading the wrong article. Betting favorites is not for those who lack patience and enjoy slowly building their bankroll. While betting favorites may ensure a very high winning percentage, the return on your investments will be laughable. Not to mention, betting favorites on the money line makes bankroll management a daunting task since one or two losses in a row could see you lose hundreds of dollars in a short period of time. However, if you are still inclined to bet on the favorites, this article will help you understand what you are getting yourself into.
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What Does Favorite Mean?
When someone uses the term “favorite” in sports betting or horse racing, they are referring to the team, individual or horse that is expected to win. Often times, favorites are given odds that reflect the extent in which they are expected to win. In sports, the higher the negative odds (-300, -500, -1000, etc) the higher the likelihood they have to emerge victorious. In horse racing, the same can be said, but the odds are expressed differently (1/9, 2/5, 3/2, 8/5, etc.).
If you are looking to extend the vocabulary, heavy favorites are always referred to as the “chalk”.
Is Betting the Favorite Good Strategy?
The biggest mistake that a casual bettor can make is betting on favorites only. Sure, the majority of games will end up being won by the favorite, but this is a proven method that will kill your bankroll in a hurry. The reason for this is that the bigger the favorite you bet on, the more you have to risk in order to return a good size profit. If you continuously bet favorites in the -200 range, you would need to risk $200 each and every time to win $100. One loss, and you will need to win two more bets just to recoup the $200 you already lost. Any sort of multi-game losing streak would put you in a very big hole and cripple your bankroll.
Blindly betting on the favorite is the laziest method you can utilize when handicapping games. As a whole, the general betting public does that and almost always sides with the higher-profile team, which means linemakers have the smarts to inflate the odds of the favorite to attract bets on the other side.
The most important thing to remember is that while a favorite is much more likely to win the game outright, it doesn’t mean they are any more likely cover the point spread than the underdog is.
Betting Favorites on the Point Spread or Money Line
There is a big difference between betting on the favorite when talking about the point spread and money line. In regards to the point spread, the favorite has to lay points. This means that they are essentially starting the game trailing the other team. You will see odds like -3.5, which means that the favorite will need to win by four or more points in order to reward bettors who bet on them.
In regards to the money line favorites, they will often have a negative value attached to them. It will look something like -120, -250, -500, etc. This means that in order to profit $100, you would need to bet that set amount. The higher the negative value is, the more of a favorite that team or individual is.
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