Do Bookies Lose if the Favorite Wins?
Bookies win and lose money based on the action they take in. The bookie doesn’t automatically lose if the favorite wins.
We’ll open up with a quick example:
Neil Magny is a -235 favorite to defeat Robbie Lawler (+195) in the UFC. You end up with three players betting on Lawler to win, but Magny wins. You end up profiting off the Magny bets.
So, as you can see, even though the favorite won, you didn’t lose, as your players bet the underdog.
Bookies actually like it when bettors wager on favorites and here’s why. Your players will need to win a higher percentage of their wagers just to break even when betting on favorites.
When a player bets at -110 odds, the break even percentage is 52.38%.
However, when a player bets at -150 odds the break even percentage jumps to 60.0% and if a player bets at average odds of -200, the break even percentage increases to 66.67%.
Now favorites are expected to win and that’s priced into the odds, but moneyline odds are primarily derived from public perception (popularity) rather than the actual likelihood of a favorite winning.
Your Players Need to Win More Consistently When Betting Favorites
If a player places ten bets at -150 odds, they’ll have $1500 in total bets. If six of those bets win, you need to payout $1500 and you’ll break even. If five or fewer of the bets win, you’ll profit.
It becomes even tougher for a player to beat you when they’re betting big favorites.
If a player places ten bets at -200 odds, they’ll have $2000 in total bets. If six of those bets win, you end up paying $1800 to the player, which means you’ll profit $200 off the ten bets.
One of the biggest problems associated with losing bettors is that they bet big favorites too often.
This is great news for a bookie. If your players are betting big favorites and winning, don’t worry too much, as things will work out and the player will most likely lose everything they’ve won back.
Players that bet big favorites are more streaky than other players, though. Make sure you have a bankroll to payout winners when required to keep everything running smoothly.
Point Spreads Even Tougher to Beat
Even expert sports handicappers struggle to maintain a 55%+ win percentage of point spread bets.
Point spread bets (ATS bets) are tough for the player to win long-term. Whether the player is betting on favorites or underdogs, it doesn’t matter, as the spread makes the game more of a 50/50 chance.
You shouldn’t worry about whether your players are betting favorites ATS. They’ll win some, but most players will lose a lot more often than they win, which is how you make money.
Balance Your Book and Work on Volume
We come back to these two topics in our lessons frequently because they’re the most important.
If you balance your book as best you can and work on increasing volume, things will work their way out and you’ll be on the path to becoming a successful and more importantly, profitable bookie.
If you have even action on all sides of a market, you can’t lose.
However, we want to be clear here. You don’t lose if the favorite wins as a bookie. In some cases, you may lose money, but it’s all dependent upon the action you’ve taken from your players.