Stats On Winning Favourites


Manchester United are very much in charge of their Europa League last-32 against Real Sociedad after pulling off a 4-0 ‘statement victory’ in Turin.

Talisman Bruno Fernandes put them in front in the first half as he took advantage of a mix-up between the Real Sociedad defenders and goalkeeper Alex Remiro before passing the ball home.

Fernandes doubled the Red Devils’ advantage on 58 minutes as he stroked the ball home into the corner. The goal initially wasn’t given as he was flagged offside, however, replays showed he was in fact onside.

The second goal shed further light on just how brilliant the Portugal international has been at Man United. He’s now been directly involved in 52 goals (33 goals and 19 assists) in 58 appearances for the club.

But on talkSPORT 2 commentary, Matt Holland picked out Marcus Rashford as ‘the most important player’ for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.

He said: “He may not have scored but I think he’s been the most important player in the transition from defence to attacking areas. He’s the one that’s got up the pitch with real pace and determination to take them on and create things.”

Here are the average win rates for the wagering public’s favorite, on average, at racetracks across the nation: Favorites Win 35% of the time Favorites Place (run 1st or 2nd) 55% of the time Favorites Show (run 1st, 2nd or 3rd) 69% of the time. Adding these up and dividing by 5 the average probability of a horse winning is 3101 10725 making the odds 7620: 3101 Also note the odds do not directly represent the real chances of horse winning but a perceived chance and the odds may go up or down depending on how much money has been bet.

Rashford did score moments later as he slid home after latching onto Fred’s pass in a rapid counter-attack, with former United player Owen Hargreaves later labelling the Red Devils as ‘the best counter-attacking team in Europe’.

Daniel James made it four with a cool finish after a lung-busting run down the right wing on a night which saw 18-year-old Amad Diallo make his senior debut for the Red Devils. Christmas slots free.

The match made a frantic start with former United man Adnan Januzaj curling wide, while Alexander Isak forced Dean Henderson into making a smart save.

Rashford had two great opportunities to score but Fernandes made no mistake following a collision between Robin Le Normand, Igor Zubledia and goalkeeper Remiro.

It was all Man United from that point and they ran away with victory against the LaLiga outfit, who also have Manchester City legend David Silva and former Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal on their ranks.

As Holland put it at the end of the match, the result is a ‘statement victory’ by Man United, who will have made the rest of the teams in the competition sit up and take notice.

Many horseplayers dismiss horses that went off as the post-time favorite and lost in their previous race. Often these horses are not worth playing back, yet there are occasions when they are worth backing.

In my early data collection, I looked at all beaten favorites, regardless of lengths behind, finish position, or any other factors. The raw results were encouraging as shown in the table above. The win rate was 23 percent and a straight win bet on these horses was showing a loss of only 5.4 percent. This is still better than playing the post-time favorite in every race, but we can do better!

When we start looking at horses that finished second, third or fourth in their last race, the results start to show even more promise. Horses that failed as a favorite and finished second in that race show a much better win percentage at just about 32 percent and a small loss of -2.0 percent. (In this study, the initial 1,287 horses showed pitiful results at fifth place and beyond, so those horses were no longer tracked.)

By further filtering the second-place finishers in their last race, we arrive at what makes this a solid spot play:

  • The horse must have been the post-time favorite in its last race, which was at least three weeks (21 days) ago.
  • Horse must have finished second in its last race and been beaten by no more than four lengths.
  • The horse must show that it has finished in the money at today’s race distance and over today’s surface (dirt, all-weather, turf).
  • The horse must show a win percentage of 10% or greater over the course of its lifetime and in the last two years (both individually or combined).
  • The horse must be dropping in class today.
  • If there is more than one contender that meets the above criteria, play the horse that was beaten by fewer lengths last time out.
Stats On Winning Favourites

There can be any number of reasons that the horse lost as the favorite last out. Be sure to check the comments and see if the horse experienced a troubled trip. Quite possibly the horse may have stepped up in class and finds itself back at the right level today. Perhaps the pace was too fast for a horse that is a one-dimensional frontrunner.


Stats On Winning Favorites 2019

While this angle typically produces short-priced plays, it does hit over half of the time. This is an excellent angle to use when keying a horse in an exacta or trifecta and/or when singling a horse in a multi-race wager such as a daily double or Pick 3, 4, 5 or 6. By coupling use of this spot play with your normal race handicapping and pace analysis, you will find that it hits consistently.