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In any betting market, odds compilers put together odds for each outcome. This applies to any sport or event. The odds on offer reflect the perceived probability of an event taking place, and the odds are designed to make a theoretical profit for the bookmaker and be attractive to bettors at the same time. The outcome that is the shortest priced is known as the favourite.
This outcome provides the smallest return and potential profit because the perception is that it is the most likely outcome. However, less than half of the favourites prevail across the full range of sports and betting markets, and favourite backers will lose money over time.
The outcome with the lowest price is known as the favourite and this applies in horse racing, football betting and every other betting market. The favourite is important in betting because some bettors like to back the favourite blindly.
However, there are few sports and markets in which always betting on the favourite will make money. The strike rate for the favourite is the highest of all the options but the odds on offer mean over a sustained period of time favourite backing will be profitable.
In any two-way market such as to win a tennis match or qualify for the next round in football there is a favourite and underdog. In horse racing the favourite is usually the best backed horse. However, there can be false favourites, whereby the best horse does not have favourite status, and betting turnover can force the favourite and underdog to flip but this is rare.
When a betting market opens there will be a favourite but other outcomes could prove to be more popular in which case a team or horse is backed into favouritism. Injury news or jockey changes can influence betting and the emergence of a new favourite.