Betting without favourite is a market that takes the favourite out of the equation, leaving only the other selections to bet on. We’re going to explore how this type of betting market works and reveal everything that you need to know, to be able to wager on it successfully.
This type of market works in exactly the way that the name implies. The original favourite is removed from the market completely, as if they don’t exist.
That leaves the remaining selections, all of which will be a shorter price, once the market leader has been removed. The selection which was originally second favourite, will now be the favourite in this market, with shorter betting odds, with all the other selections having their prices shortened.
You don’t tend to see them in handicap races on the horses, which is a type of race where various weights are applied to the horses, to make the contest more even. Handicaps are applied to both flat race and jumps. If the handicap is applied correctly, there shouldn’t be an instance where there is a strong enough favourite to require that selection to be removed from the market.
We’re now going to take a look at some typical betting without the favourite rules, to show you how this type of market works. With the original betting favourites removed, online bookmakers adjust the prices of the remaining selections, as we described.
The original favourite is no longer involved in the market, but of course, it is still competing in the actual event. Let’s imagine that we are betting on a horse race. If the original favourite wins, then the horse that you have backed in the betting without market, must finish second. The other way to win, is for your horse to win the race as a whole, beating all the other runners, including the original favourite.
Providing that there are enough runners, then each-way betting is also available. It works in exactly the same way, with the favourite removed from the equation, creating a change in which horses win and which ones place. Obviously the odds are reduced in without favourite betting, so this must be considered when placing each way bets.
To further understand the betting without meaning, let’s look at an example. The racehorse Constitution Hill won the 2023 Champion Hurdle, which is a feature race at the Cheltenham Festival, at an SP of just 4/11 (1.36). He is thus favourite to retain that title in the ante-post market, at odds of 1/2 (1.5).
That gives an implied probability of 66.7% that Constitution Hill will win the race again. Many punters will be put off backing this horse at such short odds, because the return is not worth the risk. Betting each way will also suffer, because punters will consider Constitution Hill a virtual certainty to place, which will effectively reduce one of the place spots.
Closer to the event, you can be sure that betting sites will introduce a betting without Constitution Hill market. As he has a 66.7% chance of winning, that is two-thirds of the book in the regular betting. That means that we can roughly say that the betting industry on the whole, will reduce the prices of the other runners by around 66.7% / two-thirds.
So the second favourite in the current betting odds behind Constitution Hill, is Impaire Et Passe, at 6/1. If you reduce 6/1 (7.0) by two-thirds, the odds for Impaire Et Passe in the betting without favourite market on the Champion Hurdle, would be 2/1 (3.0).
As we have said, it’s generally horse racing markets, where you most commonly see betting without the favourite applied. With a 7-day-a-week, 52-weeks-of-the-year schedule, you are never far away from finding a racecard or meeting where there is a very heavy favourite, which would benefit from the nominated horse being removed from the betting.
Aside from horse racing bets, you often find the favourite eliminated from betting markets where there is a very strong favourite. This can often be the case in football, particularly in outright markets such as betting on a league title winner, where there is one team that very commonly wins the league.
Manchester City have won the Premier League in five of the last six seasons. Meanwhile, PSG have won Ligue 1 in nine of the last eleven seasons and Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga in each of the last eleven seasons. Any of these league title markets would benefit from additional markets providing betting without favourite options.
No evaluation of these types of bets would be complete without looking at the pros and cons. Here are the main benefits and some of the drawbacks.
It always pays to employ some betting strategy. Follow this advice and you will enjoy more betting without bet wins.
You may now feel ready to place a wager on a betting without market. You’ll need a bookie that covers sports such as horse racing and football. Many of our recommended bookmakers and betting exchange options fall into this category. The one we’d point you towards above all others is bet365, they cover every race meeting in great detail, provide plenty of betting options and feature great odds.
The question of what does betting without favourite mean, has been comprehensively answered. You should now feel confident using such markets, understand how they work and when is the best time to use them. Explore our site, to find out more information regarding the meaning of common betting terms.
If you back the horse to win, then it either needs to win the race outright, or finish second to the favourite. Should you go each way, then you might get a return with a place finish, with the number of places possibly extended.
Betting without favourite markets only tend to be used when there is a very strong favourite. It is an entirely discretional market for bookies to offer and they don’t tend to do so if there are joint favourites.
If there is a selection that you fancy, but are unsure of its chances against the favourite, then using this type of market makes sense.
When you look at a race card at betting sites, you can click on the race to see the full range of betting markets that are available. Races with a very strong favourite, may have this sort of market.
Weigh up whether it makes sense to use this market. How will the odds of the selection that you want to back, be impacted by using this market? How big a chance of winning does the favourite actually have? Are there insurance deals available, that make more sense?