Identifying When to Stay Away from Betting Favorites

Posted by Joe Solari on Friday,March 18, 2016 5:44, EST in

Bookmakers, as many of you already know, are in the business of setting odds and making money, depending on how your wagers go. The more you lose, the more the gain… so although the majority of online sportsbetting lines give a clear depiction of the real betting situation on the ground, some lines—whether for favorites or underdogs—are inflated to ensure some margin of profitability for the bookmakers. At any given time you want to bet, your job, therefore as a bettor, is to study trends and figure out how to beat the Oddsmakers and bookmakers.  That, essentially, is what we are trying to do in this article, as we address when its best to stay away from betting favorites…

Identifying When to Stay Away from Betting Favorites

Everyone Loves Favorites, But…

Placing wagers on favorites is the most common strategy of betting, and the best part about it is that it can be done by anyone. All one has to figure out is who is the favorite on the sportsbetting board and then place a bet… Even more agreeably, favored teams or athletes are often the strongest ones in their respective contests, so they often emerge victorious. However, over time, you are bound to realize that favorites are not the best option to go with in your sportsbetting picks. Below are some reasons and pointers you may want to take note of when thinking about betting of favorites in sportsbetting odds:

1-   Poor Current Form

However good a team is, you should be cautions when you notice that they are not having a good run in their recent games. A good example here is the 2015-16 Houston Rockets in the NBA, who have been very shaky both at home and on the road this year. If you see such a team favored on the betting boards, ensure that you rigorously assess them to find if there are indeed any strong reasons to go against their bad form.

2-   Bad History with a Particular Opponent

This is the classic tale of history working against a team, or at least affecting the psychology of players/teams that have been losing to a particular opponent. The Kansas Jayhawks, in the NCAAB lines, are a good example of this… Bill Self and his Jayhawks team RARELY lose at home, a fact that is affirmed by the manner in which Kansas has lost just 9 games at home in over 210 games. A good number of teams in the Big 12, as you’d expect, have never tasted any form of victory against the Jayhawks in Kansas. If you see such a visiting team favored in the lines over Kansas, steer clear from it…

3-   Injuries and Suspensions

This is as simple as it sounds. If a team is betting favorite yet it is missing one or a number of its key players due to injuries or suspensions, you can be sure that the impact will be felt, often in a negative way. So rather than sink in your bets with the short-handed team, it is most advisable to keep away from such a team and save your money for something else.

4-   The Letdown Effect

Often when a team or a player is coming off a big win or a demoralizing defeat, they tend to shift down the gears in their next game. In the scenario of a big win, complacency tends to creep in, making the players lazy, or the bookmakers can inflate the lines due to public euphoria. In the instance of a demoralizing defeat, let’s say a mid-season loss that eliminates an NFL team from playoff contention, the zeal to fight in the next game is often toned down. The result in both cases is, on many occasions—though not always—a letdown effect… so you should be wary of teams favored after such scenarios.

5-   Popularity Leads to False Favorites

Teams like the New England Patriots in the NFL or Real Madrid in Soccer have many supporters who often have high hopes and beliefs in them, even when they aren’t playing that well. With that in mind, the Oddsmakers can make them as outright favorites in a game that they look destined to lose, or maybe open the lines placing them as underdogs, and then soon make them favorites once the oblivious public starts pounding on them in the betting lines. The result, as you expect, is often not a good one and recreational bettors, especially those who don’t know much about certain teams and players, fall for this ploy every time. The next time you notice this; I bet you now know what to do… Mind you, sometimes even unpopular teams are favored wrongly, so keep an eye out for that, as well.

March Madness Banner 3

6-   Calamities and Miscellaneous Influences…

Special circumstances such as the death of a player in a school, death of a coach, death of an athlete’s loved one, firing of a coach or even quarrels within the management in an organization can equally have a negative impact on the motivation of players and teams, so tread precariously when wagering on favorites who are going through such influencing factors.