Betting Without

Betting Without Market

The “betting without” market neglects the favorites to improve a player’s winning potential. Let us learn how betting without works, the influence it has on odds, strategies and tips for betting w/o, and highlighting betting sites that feature markets without the favorite, among other related topics.

How Does the Without Market Work?

In most sports betting markets, the sportsbook always assigns a favorite, which always reflects on the odds. The stronger the favorite, the smaller the odds offered by the bookie. Punters generally have to bet big to get any significant return in such situations. One of the markets that bookmakers added to remedy this and improve punters’ chances of winning is betting without.

What, then, is betting without meaning? Also known as betting W/O, “betting without” is a type of market where punters can place bets on the winner of an event without a specific competitor (usually the favorite). Essentially, you will be betting on your selection to beat all the remaining contestants in an event except the favorite.

To win this bet, your selected horse must come second only to the favorite (i.e., best all the other participants except the favorite). Another way to win this bet type is for your competitor to win the event outright. Naturally, you will lose your wager if your chosen horse comes third, fourth, or any other position to the favorite.

However, you should note that according to the betting without the favorite rules, you will get much shorter odds on your selection than on an outright win bet. Also, betting without is not limited to races with a clear favorite. The market can also be available in races where no horse is significantly favored, and in such cases, it may be offered on multiple horses. 

Betting Without in Horse Racing

The Without favorite betting market first originated on the racecourse. Back then, rails bookmakers saw that business tends to be slow when there are heavy favorites with short prices and decided to offer this option. Punters typically go for this bet when they don’t want to risk vast sums of money on the perceived favorite for a small profit and don’t fancy any other to be strong enough to win the race outright.

For example, let’s say that you want to bet on an 8-runner horse race event, and the favorite is priced at odds of just 1/4. It means you will need to risk $100 to earn a profit of $25. In such a case, you can opt for a w/o bet on the horse you fancy to beat all others except for the favorite.

Betting Without in Golf

Another sport where this bet type is quite common is golf. The market works much the same way as we have explained for horse racing. You will be betting on which golfer will win a round/tournament without the favorite.

For example, Brooks Koepka is the clear favorite in an upcoming US Open tournament and is priced at short odds 2/5. Let’s say that you fancy John Rahm to be the tournament winner if Koepka wasn’t on the golf course. In such a case, you can go for the betting without market and back John Rahm to come second only to Kopeka.

How Does Betting Without Change the Odds?

When bookmakers decide what odds to assign to participants in a horse race, each horse is considered in terms of its likelihood of winning. The horses that are more likely to win the race (favorites) get shorter odds, while the ones with low winning chances get higher odds.

So, when a major favorite is excluded from a betting market, the odds attached to such a market are significantly altered. For example, taking a pretty strong runner out of the equation of a race with w/o betting will result in the odds of the other horses dropping significantly compared to the regular market with the favorite. Even events with unclear favorites will also slightly impact the odds offered.

Now let’s check out examples of odds changing in a 6-runner and 14-runner horse race in this betting market.

Race with a Strong favorite (6 runners)

Horses Standard odds for an outright win Without favorite
Horse A (favorite) 1/5 N/A
Horse B 8/1 4/1
Horse C 12/1 5/1
Horse D 15/1 6/1
Horse E 20/1 7/1
Horse F 25/1 8/1


Race without a Standout favorite (14 runners total)

Horse Standard odds for an outright win Without favorite
Horse A (favorite) 5/1 N/A
Horse B 7/1 2/1
Horse C 9/1 3/1
Horse D 12/1 4/1
Horse E 14/1 5/1
Horse F 16/1 6/1
Horse G 18/1 7/1
Horse H 22/1 8/1
Horse I 25/1 9/1
Horse J 30/1 1/1
Horse K 35/1 12/1
Horse L 40/1 14/1
Horse M 50/1 16/1
Horse N 60/1 18/1


Where to Find the Betting Without Market

Unlike standard options found at most sportsbooks, betting without the favorite is a unique bet type. So, it is usually available within the “other markets,” “more markets,” etc., sections of most online betting platforms that offer it.

Depending on the bookie you prefer, this market may be named “betting without,” “betting without favorite,” “betting w/o,” etc. In some cases, the sportsbooks may even use the horse name— for example, “betting without Corach Rambler,” “betting without King of Steel,” etc.

Betting Without Strategy and Tips

Like any other form of betting, you need knowledge and strategy to be successful when betting on without favorite market. Let’s explore some essential tips to increase your chances of success.

Betting Without Strategy

Betting without is a pretty straightforward betting market. However, you still need to do your due diligence regarding strategy before placing any wager. Ensure you thoroughly research the participants in an event before backing one to only come second to the favorite. You should employ a solid bankroll management plan to help you mitigate risks while maximizing your wins.

When to Use ‘Betting Without’ Effectively

Due to the nature of the betting market, there are specific times when a punter should consider betting without a favorite each way. You should only opt for this betting market when you are confident that your selected runner is a strong contender but unsure whether it can best the favorite. This way, you will win the bet if your selection wins or finishes second only to the favorite.

Taking the favorite out of commission can effectively boost a player’s winning chances and the potential payout they can earn on the bet. But of course, the odds will be smaller than backing your selection to win outright.

Betting Without by the Bookie

Due to its unique nature, betting without a favorite market is less common than other standard betting options. However, quite a number of betting sites offer the market to their punters. Let’s explore some of such platforms.

Betting Without on bet365

One of the biggest sport betting sites that offer this bet type to their punters is bet365. Betting without a favorite on bet365 sportsbook even provides more options than on most other platforms. The market is available under the “more markets” tab on the platform’s racecard and is usually standard for horse races in the UK and Ireland.

The best part is that bet365 without a favorite market, typically features two options —one with a single favorite excluded and a second with two favorites excluded.

bet365 Review

Betting Without on William Hill

William Hill’s Without favorite market can be found in the betting market list on the racing platform. This bookie’s bet without the favorite market is also typically open for events in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The William Hill option works like most bet markets by offering odds to players after excluding the favorites. A significant upside is that the bookie displays the odds of this market alongside that of the main race, giving punters an idea of how removing the favorite from the equation has impacted the price.

William Hill Review

Betting Without on Betfair

Another major bookmaker that offers this market is Betfair. You can find it in the list as a column under the market offers on horse races. It’s also more common for races in the United Kingdom and Ireland. You can wager on races without a single favorite or 2-joint favorites.

Betfair Review

Betting Without on Boylesports

You will also find this bet option on Boylesports listed as a column in the main race card platform. It works much like other bookmakers, with the advantage of being displayed next to different market offers for easy comparison. It’s also more common for UK and Irish racing.

Unlike other sites, Boylesport displays this market as “w/o” followed by the favorite’s name (i.e., w/o Corach Rambler). It also features joint-favorites with two runners (e.g., w/o Corach Rambler and King of Steel).

BoyleSports Review

Alternative Bets

While matched betting without on Betfair or other bookmakers can be an excellent market, it might not be ideal for you. Thankfully, punters can use many other alternative betting options when placing bets on horse racing, golf, and other similar sports. 

Some of the best alternatives include:

  • Race winner: Picking a selection to win outright.
  • Match bets: Bet on one selection to finish in front of another.
  • Place market: Bet on a selection to finish within a certain number of positions (e.g., top three).
  • Each-way bet: Placing two separate bets simultaneously (i.e., a win bet and a place bet).

Final Words

To sum up our betting w/o meaning article, this market offers a unique way for punters to get more value for their bets. So, betting without the market might be the ideal option anytime you fancy a runner other than the favorite. Thankfully, while it’s not as common as other standard bet types, several major bookmakers offer the market. 

Jimmy E
Writer & Tipster

Jimmy is our on-duty tipster and writer. His favorite sports are cricket, tennis, and basketball. If you’re looking for the best betting tips in the business, Jimmy’s your guy. His tips and events previews are among the most read at BetZillion.

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