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Backing Favourites for a Living – Malcolm Pett

Backing Favourites for a Living

This page started life with an article from Malcolm Pett that asked the simple question “can you make money backing favourites”.

Malcolms original article is included below but before we get to that, a few thoughts from 2019.

Backing Favourites

The first thing to say is that you can’t bet all favourites and expect to make a profit.

That’s just not how the betting market works, there is always a profit margin built into a bookies prices, but because it isn’t an exact science not all prices reflect the true chance of the horse.

And so it is possible to cherry pick the best value favourites and to make a profit from those.

Some Facts

The headline fact is that favourites have won 34.99% of all races over the last 10 years up to November 2019.

If you had bet them all for £1 you would have been on 114584 bets, won 40,088 times and lost £7,904 at industry SP.

Your ROI would have been – 6.9%.

The split is pretty even across Flat, All Weather and National Hunt.

That is a pretty small loss percentage wise and that is what we have to overcome to make a profit.

One way to do that is to drill down into a sub set of races, a very small subset like this system 

Another is to search for false favourites. favourites that are at the head of the market on hype rather than proven form, favourites that are on unproven ground or have some other negative factor that is against them.

BOG

As with any backing if you can bet at best odds guaranteed then you can squeeze another few percentage points from your bets.

Although we all ultimately have BOG taken from us as we become more successful, if you still have it take advantage.

It is fair to say that the bookies are a lot more tolerant of punters who bet and win on shorter priced selections and your account and privileges.

Betfair SP

You can get even closer to making a profit with Betfair SP. in fact the loss we reported above for all favourites for the past 5 years reduces to 3575 when betting at Betfair SP and ROI of – 3.12%.

Psychologically betting favourites is a good idea, many a bettor has abandoned a winning strategy because they couldn’t tolerate a losing run.

Alternative Strategies

What we really want to do when we bet favourites is to bet at a high strike rate with shorter losing runs.

Other options are to bet favourites in the place only markets at Betfair, which will get you a much higher strike rate.

Or dutching together selections to have multiple runners in a race and of course a much higher strike rate. You can use our dutching tool to work out you stakes.

Here is Malcolm's original article from 2014…

Today we have our regular Wednesday article from Malcolm Pett and this week's subject is backing favourites for a living

Can you make money backing favourites?

Most people tell you that there is no value in backing favourites and you should stay clear of them and look for those “outsiders” that come in now and then, at a really good value.

It sounds plausible except almost 80% of all winners come from the top 3 or 4 in the betting and so although it’s not rare to see an outsider come in at great value…

…It’s not easy finding and identifying them.

Backing Favourites for a Living

If you have read any of my articles then you are probably aware that I tend to go on about strike rate and average winning odds a lot.

There is good reason for this…

…They are important…very important.

At the end of the day all that matters is that these two figures stack up and make you a profit.

If you go for the lower strike rate range then you will need higher odds to make money.

Where a higher strike rate means you need lower odds to make money.

So it doesn’t matter if you are on favourites or outsiders the figures still have to add up.

People love going on about finding value and if you like being a detective then it is really good fun.

But value bets winning are rare and so even if you get good at spotting them your strike rate is still going to be low, meaning you will get a lot of losers before finding a winner.

Looking for value bets also needs a big bank roll and you need to know when to take advantage of the odds available.

I follow a number of systems like this and you soon find out that you have to go through losing runs of 20, 30 or even 50, to make these systems work.

Not many people are prepared to do this and not many people have the bank to support it.

I am not saying you shouldn’t have high price value strategies…

…I am just saying it probably doesn’t want to be your only strategy.

But we have already talked about there being no profit in favourites so what else can we do?

Well let’s discuss that for a moment.

Let us say that we came up with a system that uses favourites and has an average strike rate of 50%.

That means “on average” we win one bet and we lose one bet.

So every time we lose…we lose 1 point which means every time we win we need to do better than 1 pt to make money.

In fact if we take Betfair prices where we can generally do a little better then we need an average winning price of 1.05, just to break even.

So let’s say for arguments sake we get on average a winning price 1.26 (2.26).

1.26 * 5% = 0.06 = 1.20 profit

So if we had 100 selections in a month and won on 50 of them it would look like this…

50 * 1.20 = 60 – 50 = 10 points.

So as you can see we don’t have to have a very high “average winning odds” to make a decent amount of points every month.

The thing is to test…it’s no good saying you cannot make money on favourites unless you try some strategies over 2 or 3 months.

If you pick well then even if you don’t get the prices you need. You are unlikely to lose as much as you would following a low strike rate high value system with long losing runs.

Malcolm

Create your own speed ratings

Over the last few years I have created a number of different ratings for our own use and clients but these have all be form related.

So I guess it was only a matter of time before the question of speed ratings came up.

Some people argue that speed is the only real way to judge a horses chance of winning a race…

But as with all things racing, it is never quite that simple.

Speed of course is related to distance.

It is the time it took the horse to run the race divided by the distance that gives us the speed at which the horse travelled.

Continue Reading

Multiple Bets

I've never been one for multiple bets!

I suppose the lower strike rate puts me off and the general feeling that they are mug bets, loved by bookmakers.

I've always known that if you have value bets that you multiply the value with a multiple bet, but I've never been tempted until recently.

The reason I'm into them now is because a couple of the tipping services here have been using each way Doubles and Trixies to great effect.

These guys have been hitting a good few wins and when they come off these bets pay big 🙂

Here's an example double from Gary Poole's Bookies Enemy No1 service…

Epson Hill – Won 13/2

Online Alexander – Won 9/1

Paid £814.40 for £20 staked (£10 eachway double)

Here's another from Gary where they all placed second, but the bet still made a great return…

American Hope – 2nd 10/1

Gold Dream – 2nd 14/1

Don't Bother Me – 2nd 22/1

Paid £404.50 for £40 staked (£5 eachway trixie)

And it's not just Bookies Enemy that is exploiting these bets. The Racing Consultants know the power of the eachway multiple.

Here's one of theirs that was nearly massive but still won big with two wins and a place…

Slade Power – Won 4/1

Baccarat – Won 12/1

Toscanini – 2nd 11/2

Paid 497.50 for £40 staked (£5 eachway trixie)

If you want to be involved with bets like these the easiest way is to join one of these services and profit from their hard work.

But if you don't like paying for tipsters then there is an excellent article in the February On Course Profit mag that explains how to do it for yourself.

Links

The Racing Consultants

Bookies Enemy No1

On Course Profit

Today's Selection

 
14:05 Thurles Down Ace – win bet – 13/8 Betway

Tongue Tie Research

You'll remember that last week I mentioned the Geegeez article that talked about the use of tongue ties and how a horse needs a few runs with a tongue tie before they will let them self go.

The theory being that the horse still thinks that it's tongue will get in the way and is worried it won't be able to breathe and so doesnt give all.

But after a few runs with a tongue tie it starts to realise that it doenst have tongue problems anymore.

So I've been doing some research.

First off some facts. All horses wearing a tongue tie for the first time in 2013 & 2014 produces the following big losses.

Runs = 3959
Wins = 319
Strike Rate = 8.06%
Loss at iSP = -1335.24
ROI = – 33.73%

So it seems that wearing a tongue tie for the first time is a negative factor and the losing ROI is such that maybe it has the makings of a lay system.

Then it occurred to me that the reason that the horse doesnt perform well first time out with the tie is because it is still worried about a previous experience with breathing and doesn't realise it will be ok with the tie.

But surely there are some trainers that use the tie at home and get the horse used to it and trusting it before they ever go racing with the tie on and that maybe there are trainers that win first time-out with a tongue tie.

So I had a search for trainers who are profitable with first time tongue tie wearers.

And I found some.

For example Rebecca Curtis had 22 starts over the two year period that ran with a tongue tie for the first time.

Seven of those won for a 32% strike rate and they made an industry SP profit of 5.86 which is a 27% ROI.

Charlie Longsdon had 32 starts and 8 wins and an industry SP profit of 20.3. Which is a strike rate of 25% and an ROI of 63%.

I've selected the best performers from 2013/14 and checked their 2015 performance and a good profit has been made so I'm going to run this as a system live for a while and see if we have something worth following long term.

Today's Selection

2.30 Wolverhampton Kalimantan – win bet – 11/8 Bet 365, Paddy Power

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