Is It A Good Strategy to Always Bet on The Favourite?


Why Betting on the Favourite is so Popular in Sports Betting?

Betting on the Favourite

Punters are always looking for a strategy that will help them beat the odds, the bookmakers, and anything else that stands in the way of a big win. If you’re brave enough to turn to Google, then you’ll quickly find hundreds upon hundreds of betting systems that guarantee profits. Just make a small deposit of £/$/€100, and never lose again!

That’s the promise that these systems make, and many of them focus on betting on favourites. Unfortunately, most of these sites will take your hard-earned money, and give you a compiled list of generalised textbook tips. It’s just not worth the expense.

Why are there so many systems that advise players to bet on the favourite, though? This is because it’s usually a pretty solid strategy. You should know that in fact winning betting strategies are those that exploit market inefficiencies and discrepancies. When it comes to favourites, there seems to be quite a few. That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that betting on favourites is a great strategy or one that will guarantee you a win by any means.

Before you start betting on favourites or underdogs, there are a few particularly important factors that you need to know about.

Pros and Cons

All betting strategies have both advantages and disadvantages. Listed below are our pros and cons for betting on favourites, although you might notice that the results of our tests are somewhat skewed.

  • Pros
  • The chances are higher that you’ll pick a winner
  • Cons
  • Even if you pick a winner, your profit won’t be that significant
  • Depending on the sport, the favourite stands less chance of winning
  • Losing a wager can be quite costly

Favourites Betting Strategy – The Research

Believe it or not, in the past 20 years there’s been a significant amount of research into the statistics of betting on favourites. There are several published research papers as well, but instead of clearing up the confusion, they often make it quite a bit worse. Some are very pro-favourite, whereas others are solidly against the strategy.

Unfortunately, things just aren’t black or white when it comes to betting on favourites. That said, there are a few key lessons and numbers that the research does give us. For example:

  • Betting on the favourite is usually a good bet, but it’s not a guaranteed win.
  • Favourites with short-priced odds are generally better value than those with long-priced odds.
  • You need to do your research and analytics.

What most punters and researchers have discovered is that betting on favourites might be a good short-term strategy, but it falls embarrassingly short in the long run. Some even refer to it as a strategy that allows you to ‘lose more slowly’. That said, losing slowly when picking the bookies by rating will still leave you a few steps ahead of many punters out there, so we’re off to a good enough start.

If you were looking for a definitive yes or no on the topic of favourites betting as a strategy, we’re sorry to disappoint. However, with the right information, you can still use this strategy – along with others – to give you an advantage.

Top Three Sports for Favourite Wagers
  • European Football (Soccer)
  • College American Football
  • College Basketball
Top Three Sports for Underdog Wagers
  • Baseball
  • Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
  • NFL Football

Betting on the Favourite

Bets on the Favourite

It might not be the best long-term strategy, but there are still a few benefits to wagering on the favourite. Here are a few of the significant benefits that come with betting on the favourite.

Why You Should Bet on the Favourite

It still gives you the best chance to win
Easier to Hedge

Why You Shouldn’t Bet on Favourites

It’s not sustainable in the long run
Losing a ‘sure-thing’

Betting on the Underdog

We all love a good underdog story, but that doesn’t mean that we like to take the risk of wagering on them. It’s a gutsy move, but if the underdog comes out on top, then you can make a considerable profit. Now that we’ve covered the good and the bad points of betting on the favourites, let’s take a look at betting on the underdog.

Why You Should Bet on the Underdog

Just a few wins can be profitable
Media hype can skew the odds

Why You Shouldn’t Bet on the Underdog

You need to know what you’re doing

In Conclusion

The hunt for the perfect betting strategy will, unfortunately, live on. While betting on the favourite has certain benefits, it can’t be called a fool-proof strategy perfect as a guide to beginner punters by any means. Yes, there’s science and studies, tips and strategies, but sports betting is gambling. Gambling is a game of chance and risk, and there are absolutely no guarantees.

Should you bet on the favourite every time? No, we wouldn’t recommend it. You might win in the short term, but you’ll lose eventually, and probably a pretty penny at that. It’s better to do your research and build a betting strategy from that.

Betting on the favourite would occasionally be the smarter move to make. Other times, betting on the underdog will afford you unique and profitable opportunities. It comes down to how well you can spot the discrepancies that’ll give you the edge over your bookie, and then using it to your advantage.

You shouldn’t shy away from or depend on either favourites or underdogs. Instead, focus on finding the most profitable and valuable bets. There’s no one best strategy, so find what works for you. Good luck, punters!

Javia Alex
Javia Alex is an expert-level Copywriter/Editor with a wealth of experience in the iGaming scene. A self-described player advocate, Javia’s player-first mindset, “tell it like it is”, has earned her an oft-cited voice across gambling circles. She frequently works late nights and long hours, fact-checking reviews and pages for accuracy.