One of the most frequent questions asked in betting is “how do we know if we’re getting the right odds on a horse?”
In reality this isn’t really possible to know until the outcome of the race has happened. Of course this is of no help to us but by going through our own set of results we can work out if our odds taken was close enough. You’ll often hear other professionals talking about keeping records of all your bets, well this isn’t just to see if we’re on top in terms of profit every month, it’s also an extremely powerful tool in helping us decide at what odds we should be looking to get in the future.
Let’s look at an example below which looks at a set of results from a system I use around trainers during the A/W and jumps season. Ignore the cells in red at the moment:
Now just focusing on the PROFIT section on the far right we can see that all the positive cells are returns against those winners and they are all shorter odds from the top end of the market. These 20 bets returned 6 winners for a profit of £18.30p to £10 stakes. That’s a 9% return on investment which isn’t too bad but what could have we done to improve this?
Looking now at the red cells. These highlight the odds of the horses that are not at the top end of the market. By applying a maximum odds at which we bet, we can improve our profits. In this case, with this system I have a maximum odds at which I will bet, set to 13/2. In the above example we can see this has cut the amount of bets to 9 but with 6 winners. Not to mention a now much improved profit of £88.30 to £10 stakes and a massive 98% return on investment!
So going back to getting the right odds for our bets, how do we do this?
The first step is to start keeping records of all the bets we are having whether it is from a tipster, our own form reading or a system that we are using. I like to start with a 100 bets as this is a good sample size and then go through all the results with a fine tooth comb. By eliminating the odds that are just not returning us any profit we can now start to eliminate them from our future betting.
I will warn you that you’ll miss out on the odd big priced winner but if you go through all the previous results, how many bets would you have had to make to get that winner? Unless you are primarily focussing on a system or method that selects big prices then you’ll probably find that you’d be making a loss.
I monitor all my bets on a monthly basis and check that I’m betting within my odds range. As long as I keep checking frequently I know that I’m effectively getting the right odds about my bets.
I’ll be back next week with how probability works within the odds we take and how we can use this to our advantage.
VALUE AT THE RACES