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Odds-on favourites… in a way, you could say punters love them.

After all, they’re odds-on for a reason: the market expects there’s a better chance than not that they’ll salute.

Yet some punters avoid them altogether.

Odds-on favourites: What is the market actually saying?

Remember the maths: to convert a decimal price to a percentage chance, just divide it into 1.

A $1.80 shot?

1 / $1.80 = 55.5%.

The market regards it as a 55.5% chance of winning.

That’s perhaps the first lesson to learn when it comes to odds-on favourites: make sure you know exactly what the market is saying.

Some people see $1.80 about a horse and think “it’s a sure thing!”.

Well, no… it’s not.

A sure thing is a 100% chance. $1.80 is a 55.5% chance.

If we ran this identical race 100 times, the market is saying the favourite would win just 55 of them.

That perhaps doesn’t seem so appealing. Which brings us to the next question…

Odds-on, look on?

That’s the mantra of some punters – they prefer to simply avoid odds-on favourites altogether.

We asked our Melbourne pro punter Trevor Lawson for his thoughts.

“I don’t normally take odds-on. I’ve taken some in the past and watched them go under. At the moment, I’d really prefer not to take much less than $2.70,” said Trevor.

“I think you’re outlaying too much money for not a great return.”

So is it smarter to simply avoid odds-on favourites altogether?

That gets back to knowing the horse’s real chances through a reliable set of rated prices.

Here’s an extreme example: what if could take a prime Winx, or Black Caviar, at $1.90 with your bookie?

That’s odds-on. But for a horse that you may have thought was a $1.10 shot, it represents incredible value and most punters would jump all over it.

In reality that’s extremely unlikely to happen, particularly with such a high-profile horse. But the principle shows why many punters are still happy to take odds-on favourites, and shows why you can’t always rule them out.

So the message is clear – be very wary on odds-on favourites, but as with all things punting, the key lies in one thing: value.

Punt like a pro with Trevor Lawson’s Melbourne Ratings.

As well as a full set of rated prices, speed maps and suggested bets, you can spend each and every raceday with a pro punter: the Melbourne Ratings Live Page gives you direct access to Trev himself to ask whatever you like.

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