Tag Archives: Malcolm Pett

SP Before the Off

Grey Horse BotToday we have the first post from new contributor Malcolm Pett.

Malcolm explains how we can know the Betfair SP and bet based on Betfair SP before the off!

Here's Malcolm…

Just about every system you come across on the web would first have been created using past data.

If this is the case then the result will be shown using either SP (Industry Standard starting price) or BSP (Betfair Starting Price) for results.

There is nothing really wrong with this because it is the only way of giving people the chance to check the results they are seeing as being accurate.

But where it does cause an issue and pose a problem is when it is a price sensitive system or a system that relies on being on a particular ranked runner, like the favourite.

BSP and SP are calculated at the off.

You may think by looking at the ranking a few seconds before the off will tell you who was favourite, second favourited etc…

But often this isn't the case. The BSP/SP announced ranking can be different to the just before the off rank.

A short test we did with Betfair some time back clearly showed that the rankings can differ by as much as 1 or 2 runners in every 10.

Maybe this doesn’t sound too bad…

…But when you consider you could be following hundreds or even thousands of bets over the course of a year…this could easily change the results you were expecting or the results being advertised.

The same is true of price. The price before the off is often different to BSP/SP causing even more inaccuracies in your system.

So what can you do to make sure you are on the correct runner or within the correct price range?

You may already know that just as Betfair's market goes in-play the BSP price and ranking is made available through their API.

So we have developed a great feature on the Grey Horse Bot that allows the bot to read the BSP price and Ranking as soon as it happens.

This gives the Grey Horse Bot user the opportunity to choose which ranked runner to bet on or to only place a bet into the market if it is within the price range you require.

When you create your own system it should be part of your testing to determine if you get better prices before the off or in-play. You can test both automatically with the Grey Horse Bot.

Thank you for reading I really do appreciate it.

Malcolm

——

Malcolm is the creator of a number of Betfair automated betting products like the Grey Horse Bot. He also writes articles for Betfair. Apart from automation Malcolm likes creating and testing systems and believes his readers should have all the statistical facts available to make proper informed decisions.

If you have any questions about bots or automation please add a comment and we'll try and answer them.

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

Recovery staking a TABOO subject?

Today we have our regular Wednesday wisdom from Malcolm Pett, we also have selections for both the Headgear and Tongue Tie systems. Here's Malcolm…

Recovery staking for me has always been a taboo subject.

I have tried it in the past and lost a lot of money doing so.

When you mention recovery staking most people think about putting all your losses on the next bet and that’s the one to be AVOIDED at all costs.

Obviously a conversation about any form of staking needs a disclaimer…

Don’t do it unless you are fully aware of the cost!!!

Also there isn’t a staking system ever thought up that will allow you to make money from a system that doesn’t consistently make profit.

But I use one I actually call “Help recovery”.

It doesn’t usually recover all your losses but it seems to help.

I call it “1234..etc” staking and it works simply by…

“Increasing your stake by your ORGINAL stake every time you lose”

There are a few of things to clarify here…

It’s not doubling your stake (although bet 2 makes it look that way).

It won’t work with systems that don’t have a high strike rate.

The further you go into the sequence the less likely you are to recover your losses.

You need a stop loss setting.

Here is how it works.

1 is your original stake.

If you lose you go to 2 which is your original stake multiplied by 2.

If you lose again you go to 3 which is your original stake multiplied by 3.

And so on.

If you lose on 7 then you would have lost 28 points of your bank.

And you will need a 4/1 winner just to break even.

Which will be unlikely when used with a high strike system that this idea works best with.

So why use a staking system that won’t recover your losses?

With high strike systems you tend to get a mixture of very low prices and odds on prices.

You don’t tend to have long losing runs and so when this system does kick in it can often be for only 1 or 2 selections and the odd higher priced winner just seems to help boost up the profits.

I find with some systems this can be an extra 10 or more points a month.

A couple of tests we have been doing over at the Grey Horse Bot website have results sheets showing how this works.

Click here for an example.


Again please be warned that staking isn’t for everyone and you need to be aware of the risks.

I tend to use 7 as my maximum with this system and realise that if I hit that…

…then it is a month’s (or more) profit down the drain.

Also when using staking select a stake lower than you normal would.

1% or less of your bank.

Thanks
Malcolm

http://greyhorsebot.com

System Selections

With both of these systems I'm still paper trading, but I wanted to post the selections so you can follow along with the live test.

Tongue Tie System

14:55 Chepstow – Nervous Nineties – 150/1 Coral

First Time Headgear

14:35:00 Down Royal – Reality Dose – 16/1 Bet Victor

Today's Selection

14:20:00 Chepstow Champagne Express – win bet – 3/1 Bet 365

Being flexible added 8% ROI

Malcolm Pett's Wednesday column
======

I have always liked to think of myself as a “Flexible” thinker.

In other words I am ready to change my opinion if I feel there is enough evidence to convince me that another way is better.

Sometimes I have to admit that I can be a little too quick to change my opinion but I suppose I would rather be that way, than to stubborn to change it at all.

Don’t get me wrong I have very strong belief’s about some things, it’s just I like to be flexible about others.

For instance I am a dog obedience and trick trainer and over the years I have learned the best way to train is “reward” based training.

It’s quick and it works and dogs respond to it well.

So I am totally against using any device or training method that causes a dog distress or harm or even looks like it could.

Sorry you won’t convince me otherwise!

But on the other hand…

I have been talking about the “Interactive” ratings that we are testing over at the Grey Horse Bot website for the last month.

I came up with a rating as 220 as being the best figure to follow.

But now on reflection and more testing I think 260 is the better number.

It’s not quite as profitable as 220 (by a very small margin) …

…But there are 3 good reasons for choosing 260

1. A higher strike rate.

2. Less selections

3. A higher Roi.

Although taking all the selections into consideration over the last 
3 months 220 has made 38.63 points, 260 has made 38.59.

Hardly anything in it…

But you would have been on fewer selections, which would have given 
you a higher strike rate and a better return on your investment.

The strike rate difference is over 4% and the ROI is 8% better.

So in this case it seems sensible to change from 220 to 260.

But that is the really good thing about this test it has allowed users to decide which rating suits them.

I do have to have a little giggle to myself though when after all I have written about these ratings I still get the question…

“What is the best rating to follow?”

Well at least I now have an answer…

If you want to follow along with the test then pop over to the Grey Horse Bot website.

Maybe you have another opinion…

It would be great to hear it.

Thanks
Malcolm

http://greyhorsebot.com

Today's Selection

14:30 Chelmsford City Indias Song – win bet – 9/4 Sky Bet

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