Are you a fan of laying the favourite on Betfair? Plenty of punters are, however there is more then one way to skin a cat, as they say…
You might come across a match where you just know the favourite is not going to have an easy ride of it however they will still probably win which can leave a dilemma. The first instinct can usually be just to lay that favourite so you profit if they lose or draw the match but this is actually not your only option and many beginners do not realise this.
There are more inventive ways to oppose the favourite that can actually still leave you in a winning position even if the favourite wins and we will look at those now. Sometimes you just know a favourite will struggle to win, however they might still win which is where the below options come in.
Here is an example of a match with a really strong favourite which we will use for the illustration purposes of the article.
Lay Favourite and Trade Out
From an in-play trading perspective the best way to oppose the favourite would be to lay them and then trade out, or “cash-out”, if the favourite falls behind in the match of if their odds reach a certain point.
The main benefit of this is that if you are right about the favourite struggling in the match then they will will definitely trade higher then their starting price in-play and you can have a profit secured before the late stages when most favourites will usually grab a late goal after struggling. How many times have you seen a team like Man Utd struggle all match but then nick the win in injury time? If you let your lay run in those situations then you will be extra annoyed because you were half right at least.
In our example above, if you were to lay Man City @ 1.16 you would be risking 16 ticks. If you wanted to gain at least 16 ticks profit then you would need the Man City price to hit 1.32 and this could easily happen in the first half if they start slowly and the score remains 0-0. A goal for Barnsley would be even better!
The Asian Handicap betting is most popular in Asia (obviously!) and is still catching on in Europe however many punters do find it a bit confusing. You should not be afraid of using the Asian Handicap as it can be a good way to oppose a hot favourite. For example, if you backed the underdog with a handicap of +1.5 then even if the favourite does win the match by a one goal margin you will still profit. So if you do feel the favourite will struggle, yet they do struggle and sneak a 1 goal win then you make money. If the favourite romps home by 2 goals or more then you were going to lose your bet anyway.
In this situation, you can back Barnsley with a +2.5 Goal headstart @ 2.02. This is a more generous handicap then usual due to the fact that Man City are such strong favourites so do not always expect this. If you were to back Barnsley with this handicap then you would only lose your bet if Man City won the match by 3 goals or more. Definitely a bet worth taking if you fancied the favourite to struggle.
A market that not many tend to look at is the half-time/full-time market. Sometimes the prices on offer on Favourite/Favourite in this market are much shorter then they probably should be. If you have decided that a favourite is going to struggle in a match then laying them in this market is a good way to go since if they do not win the first half then you have already made your money. If they do end up leading at half time and also at full-time then you have lost but you would have lost with a regular lay anyway.
Laying in this market does cost a little bit more then laying in the Match Odds market however you do often see a favourite struggle in the first half yet come out firing in the second half and win it comfortably.
The market still has not fully formed but you could lay Man City @ 1.51 in this market at the moment. This is the type of market you would definitely look towards if you have a strong favourite who is usually a slow starter.
Back Under 2.5 Goals
This is an interesting out of the box way of taking on the favourite. Basically, when you have a strong odds-on favourite then the markets usually expect goals. However, if you are expecting the favourite will struggle then this is usually going to be because the underdog is playing defensively and putting ten men behind the ball. Better known as, “parking the bus” in the UK.
This then means that if you are right and the favourite is going to struggle then there will not be many goals in the game. Since if the favourite is not going to score a lot then its rare you will see the underdog score a few goals too.
So, by backing Under 2.5 Goals you are covering many eventualities including the win for the favourite by the score of 1-0 or 2-0. If you can get higher then 2.20 on Under 2.5 Goals this could actually be a better choice then using the Asian handicap since scorelines such as 3-2 or 4-3 are not very frequent when you have a strong odds-on favourite.
Here you can currently see Under 2.5 Goals is available at 3.55 in the match we have picked as an example. The prices will vary but generally you will always find high prices on Under 2.5 Goals when you have a strong favourite.
Those are a few slightly different ways you can oppose the favourite that are worth thinking about. Just remember that there is no possible way to win every bet or trade you make. Sometimes, you might think a favourite will struggle and they romp home by 5 goals, (I been there!). Just be sure to assess each match closely before deciding the best course of action.
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