We all talk about ‘value’ in connection with the odds we are backing our selections at, be that in horse-racing, football, cricket, golf or whatever.
But, what is value in connection with odds? How do you know if you are getting ‘value?” Is it measurable?
There is more than one answer to the question. Value can be measured, but only really after the event. Or, more accurately, after multiple events. If you make a profit after a series of bets, say a few hundred bets or a few months’ betting, then you are clearly ‘getting the value.’ And, it can be measured in a number of ways. The simplest way would be ROI (Return on Investment) which is the profit made divided by the amount invested. So, a profit of £150 after having invested £1,000 on bets would be a 15% ROI. That indicates you are beating the odds consistently and are therefore identifying value in your bets.
Another, possibly more meaningful measure than ROI, is A/E which is Actual divided by Expected. The ‘Expected’ figure is the chance denoted by the odds, so for example 3/1 equals 1 chance of winning in 4 and therefore a 25% chance. This is noted as 0.25. Similarly, a 6/4 chance is 4 winning chances in 10 and equals 4/10 = 40% = 0.40. When you add up all the numbers given by the Expected odds in a series of bets you arrive at the Expected number of wins. If your Actual number of wins in that series of bets is greater than the Expected number, then again you are ahead of the game, you are beating the odds and you are finding value.
Value can also be subjective. Prior to a race, who can say that 2/1, 9/2, or 8/1 is a value bet on any particular horse? Value is in this pre-race scenario is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. If I tell a friend I bought a return flight to New York for £400 and thought I had got great value, my friend might think otherwise. He may say, that’s not great value, I got one for £370. My value (the £400 flight) is not his value (his £370 flight). So, to a large extent, pre-event value is a feeling you have that the chances of winning are higher than the bookie thinks they are. It is a feeling personal to you and perhaps not others.
In the pre-internet days, I used to try to ‘get the value’ on a Saturday morning, by running between a number of nearby betting shops. There was a Ladbrokes opposite, a Tote (pre-Betfred) and a William Hill both within 3 minutes’ walk, a Surrey Racing (now no more) and a Corals within about 5 to 10 minutes. In those days, only a handful of races were priced up early, and if Pricewise had tipped one you fancied, then you had to be quick off your mark to get the bet on before the 15 minutes that all bookies in those days would hold prices for was up. This involved a lot of sprinting between bookies and was definitely a lot healthier exercise than today’s version of getting on, which is basically clicking on odds comparison websites or on a betting exchange.
In those days, all bookies opened at 10.00 am on a Saturday morning. Whatever route I took between these bookies on a Saturday morning to get the value, Ladbrokes was always last, purely because the manager was a lazy couldn’t-get-out-of-bed sort, and as often as not, instead of opening up at 10.00 am, would only unlock the doors close to the 15 minute price-holding window closing, whereupon the prices you wanted to take had been slashed.
Nowadays, I definitely do look at value in the terms of the post-event profitability of a long-term number of bets. If I know that I can make profits in the long term, I’ll settle for that and not get too worked up about occasionally ‘missing the price.’ How many times have you clicked through to a bookie from an odds comparison site, only to get the ‘The price on your selection has changed’ message? Nobody gets top price all the time, so I don’t think it is worth getting too annoyed about missing a price. It will happen many times.
The Champagne Kid service is about identifying value in horses from angles that the market in general may have missed. Don’t get to upset about having to take the 13/2 because you just missed the 7/1. On a good number of occasions, the odds advised for the bet will drift out as the market continues to miss the potential winning angle. Look at your results long term, and if you are losing, then you need to change your MO to correct this. If long term, you are winning, then excellent! No need to worry about missing the early price on the odd occasion.
The Champagne Kid service puts bets out later than most services. That means on occasion that prices that have long disappeared have been missed. Don’t worry! The afternoon-before odds were almost always never available to decent money anyway, and the morning markets are used as a factor in assessing a horse’s chance. ‘Steamers’ in the market cause a drift on other horses, and that van be very valuable where some potential value you have already identified becomes even greater value.
Take the long-term view. This is the advice you are given when you join a service on the Betfan platform, and it is important advice that every punter should take heed of. And so to conclude, ‘getting the value’ is not a one-off scramble to take the occasional out-of-line price on an odds comparison site. It is a long-term project!