Laying 3rd favourites on lay system

Laying 3rd favourites on lay system
Harry TheTrader 8 minutes

If you are familiar with the Betfair exchange then you may have heard of the lay betting system a couple of times.

Perhaps you use it when placing your wagers.

What everyone is familiar with in horse racing is putting your money on the occurrence of an outcome.

That is, in your opinion, there is a high chance that the event occurs.

Lay system is the exact opposite. It contradicts what you already know because this time you are banking on the non-occurrence of an outcome.

What most punters do is laying on a favourite horse that is presumably overpriced in the market.

However, there are different variations to the strategy. It is possible to lay the 3rd favourite.

Sounds profitable, doesn’t it? Keep reading and get to know more about the 3rd favourites on lay system.

Chapter 1

How Do 3rd Favourites on Lay System Work?

How Do 3rd Favourites on Lay System Work?

Hearing it first, it may sound a bit risky and edgy but that is what rewards the most in gambling.

In case you are new to these terms, let’s do a quick run-through. Ideally, there is usually a favourite horse that holds the highest winning probability in regular bookies.

On the Betfair exchange end, punters are looking to lay on such horses.

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They are willing to take the opposite side of the wager and put money on the loss of such a horse.

Although it isn’t that straightforward, there are lots of considerations and analytics that give them the green light to make such a decision else they would keep losing money.

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One major way of knowing is through overhyped horses; there is always that one horse that is pushed by everyone to be the favourite for the race.

A closer look at the form and record of such horses may point out something else. Possibly, the horse is in a rather poor form and could bottle the race.

Sport traders are out for such situations to lay on the favourite and wait for the outcome.

If the horse doesn’t come on top as anticipated, regular gamblers lose but those who employed the lay system in their exchanges get the win.

It sounds a bit off as opposed to what everyone is used to; however, there is another option if you want to play it safe.

Rather than laying on the favourite, you employ the same system on the third.

Laying Big Favourites or Underdogs

This strategy requires research. Okay, maybe not, but then don’t expect to bank profit.

You can trust us, and we’ll repeat it – the more the odds drop on a particular favourite, the more likely you will make a substantial profit without hedging your bet.

Of course, many factors affect significant movements in the odds. For example, it could be a personnel situation, financial problems or even the weather on a particular day. So, before using this strategy, check how big the odds movements were in a specific match and whether this impacted the outcome.
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step 1

Match Selection & Lay Betting

We love to use this strategy in lower-league matches. We noticed that the pre-match odds for the home team to win the game were at odds of 2.1. Just before the match started, these odds dropped to around 1.70. This was not ideal for us, so we decided to exit during the game. Did we make a profit? Check it out!

laying big favourites or underdogs-step 1-1

Because the highest BACK odds on the home team were 1.70 on the exchange, we placed a LAY home team bet for £10 at odds of 1.71 to get our bet matched as soon as possible, as we were seconds away from kick-off.

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After a while, our bet was only partially matched. However, this did not last long because the odds on the home team suddenly dropped to 1.64, and our bet was fully matched.

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step 2

Taking Action According to Match Events

The match itself was a real rollercoaster. In the 10th minute of the game, the away team had already scored a goal, and we could have exited the market with a profit, but we did not.

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Three minutes later, there was a change to the scoreline, as the home team managed to grab a goal. At this point, we were at a loss, but this was the match we expected as well…

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In the 30th minute of the game, it was 2-1 for the home team. However, we were convinced the odds were even better for placing a LAY home team bet, so we added another £10 for this event.

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At this point, our bets were as follows:

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The away team managed to score an equalising goal just before half-time. We were then able to exit the market and make a profit of more than 40% of our initial bet at half-time of the match.

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However, we did not do so because we expected a more significant profit and waited to see what happened in the match’s second half.

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It was a good decision. In the 65th minute of the match, we decided that our profit was enough for us. It was more than 70% of our initial bet, an excellent return for trading. Therefore, we decided to hedge our bet by placing a BACK bet on the home team.

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However, it took a while to create real examples from trading, save screenshots and describe them briefly, so after a time, the odds for the home team to win jumped to 2.46, and finally, we managed to place a BACK bet on the home team.

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laying big favourites or underdogs-step 2-9

As it turned out, this was an excellent decision for us, as moments later, the home team scored a goal to make it 3-2. However, the Trader team would not be themselves if they did not try to show you something additional.

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step 3

Sacrificing Profit

Since we had a profit from trading in this match anyway, we decided to move forward and placed a new LAY home team bet. This time it was about half of our current profit and was at odds of 1.18.

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After a brief consideration, we sacrificed another 50% of our profit to have the opportunity to win 400% of our initial bet potentially. This was the last bet we played in this match. Ultimately, the market and the bets we placed were as follows.

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laying big favourites or underdogs-step 3-4

step 4

Final Result

The match ended 3-2 for the home team. This time, our predictions were not entirely accurate. We indeed managed to make a profit of 20% of our initial bet, and for a moment, it was even 80%, but the match failed to end X2 as we had initially assumed. If the differences in pre-match odds fluctuations had been more significant, i.e. the odds for the home team would have dropped from 2.1 to 1.5 or lower, then we would not have hedged our bet, and here we finally did.

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As you can see, this match was full of emotions and excitement – a lot was going on, evidenced by the number of bets made and settled.

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li Trading is a moment of ups and downs. In just 90 minutes of a football match, we managed to record a 50% loss, only to have an 80% profit shortly after that and eventually end up with a 20% profit. The final decision always belongs to the Trader. How much profit you want to make is entirely up to you. Remember to be satisfied with even a 5% profit at the beginning of your trading adventure. It’s not much, but it’s still better than any loss.

For this article, we wanted to show that the laying favourites strategy can bring even 400% profit, but in the end, we didn’t manage to do it because the home team won the match. However, in the process of trading in this match, we managed to make ‘only’ 20% of our initial bet.
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In a regular race, the top prospects for the win are the first to third favourites. They always have the hype and backing of everyone.

In this case, your eyes are gazed at the third favourite. Such a horse is already overpriced in the exchange which makes it a great pick.

In fact, some great media houses are with great speculation of the probability of the third emerging as the number one.

For no reason, everyone backs up this horse. 

Once you’ve carefully analysed such a horse; you consider the overhype and most importantly you spot two other horses with better chances of winning.

In this case, you have yourself a good 3rd favourite lay system.

You could go ahead and place your lay bet.


  • It is a safer approach compared to the regular system
  • The horse pricing is usually favourable for players
  • Great payouts


  • Conducting analytics and pinpointing the third favourites for the lay system may be somewhat tedious.

Chapter 2

Tips and Tricks From Experts

Tips and Tricks From Experts

Now that you have the knowledge, you should check out these helpful tips.

They come from experts and would go a long way in making your system successful.

  • Apply the 3rd Favourites lay system to race with at least eight starters: It is best to apply this system to races with more horses. In such cases, there is a higher chance of your system panning out better.
  • You don’t necessarily have to place your orders before the race: Unknown to many, in-play applies to the lay system so you don’t need to make your picks before the race. You could watch the odds and the race for a little while after the race has begun. When it looks more certain, go ahead and pick the third favourite horse on the market.
  • Don’t forget to refresh: If you are watching the odds live, it is important for you to refresh. The odds fluctuate and there may be a change in the positioning so always refresh to stay updated.

Chapter 3

Bottom Line: Should I use 3rd Favourites on Lay System?

Bottom Line: Should I use 3rd Favourites on Lay System?

There is nothing stopping you from employing the 3rd favourite strategy in your lay system.

It is a much safer approach for those who don’t want to pick the favourite winner.

Although the payout may not be as large as going all out on the first favourite, you still stand a chance at winning.


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