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Value – Is It A Myth?

Good morning all,

Twitter has once again come alight with the old “is there such a thing as value?” argument after one or two Tweeters basically said that it's only value if they win.

Whilst it's true that getting value doesn't put bread on the table, there's surely a counter argument to that, which is one I try to make (again) on the main piece today.

Plus one from Market Rasen that should be a bit fitter than he was when I saw him at Southwell last time out. 

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Does value in betting exist? And if so, how can we find it? What’s it worth to us if it’s out there?

The old “value” debale rears it’s head every now and then, and it’s doing so once agains courtesy of certain quarters on Twitter that have raised the notion the value doesn’t really exist, or rather it does, but only if you’ve backed the winner.

So what is value? At it’s most basic – say you have a coin, not in any way biased or rigged, just heads or tails. What’s the chances of it landing heads? Assuming it won’t land on it’s side, it is, of course, evens. Over a long period of time, it will drop heads as many times as tails. And that’s important – over a long run.

Bookmakers, if they were betting on it, would probably offer you 10-11 each of two. That’s their margin – for every 11 pounds they take on each selection, they are guaranteed to win a pound. 22 pounds taken, 21 paid out (assuming they take the same amount on both outcomes).

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However, say a bookmaker offers you 11-10 it falls heads. Would you bet it then? You should, because you’re getting odds better than the true chance of that happening. The bet loses, it’s tails. Was it still value? Of course it was, because you beat the odds. You’re offered the same bet. You take it, it loses again. Still value? Yep, it’s still value. In fact, it’s value every time you are offered the bet at those odds, because you know – and here’s the important bit – you’ll win money over a long run.

So how can you spot it when looking at a race? First of all, let’s blow one myth out of the water – you can’t get value backing at short odds. You can, if you know what price you think a horse should be. At Plumpton on Monday, watching the away racing at Southwell, I saw that Bold Spirit was being offered up at 13-8 at Southwell due to a gamble on the second favourite. That was much bigger than I had anticipated – nearer even money was my tissue – and on this occasion I was right, it won easily. There will be times I’m wrong backing a short one, but as long as the horse is a bigger price than I have it on my forecast, I’ll be getting value.

The trick is, of course, pricing a race up in your head. Don’t do it for all races – take half a dozen a day you like the look of, or just a couple if you don’t have time – and have a go yourselves. Specialise in races where you know all or most of the form, that’s key. You have to know your subject matter. There’s a decent overround calculator here- – if you want to try.

I price a race up to 100% and work from that – anything that’s a bigger price with the books once they have built their margin in is one that’s worth consideration.

Don’t be frightened to back one if you think you’re miles out from what the actual first show is. You make it a 7-1 chance, and it’s 20-1 on opening show? Don’t assume it’s you in the wrong, and you’ve made a mistake. What if that goes off 8-1? Who was nearer then? I used to do that a lot, and I’d worry I had missed something but once you start tweaking a bit and having faith in your own tissues, you’ll back plenty of decent priced winners.

Value exists – and whilst you back plenty of losers too, if you keep beating the SP, you’ll win – in the long run.

Market Rasen is where I go for the selection today and Mondo Cane is worth a bet in a weak contest at 1.20. At his best, he'd be better grade than this and there was plenty to like about his comeback run at Southwell after an absence last time out – he looked plenty big enough in the paddock and badly in need of the run, so to last out as long as he did was a better effort than I thought him capable of. The handicapper has very kindly dropped him another couple of pounds and if he's over that effort (always a worry about the “bounce” in these situations) I think he must go close.

Today's selection – Mondo Cane 1.20 Market Rasen

Good luck with all your bets today,



1 thought on “Value – Is It A Myth?”

  1. Hi
    Value exists on any event to those that no how to price correctly you have to have a percent difference in mind that is consistently applied
    I.e 10 % in your example 7/1 or 20/1
    Would just fail
    2/1 on a 5/4 chance does
    Bold spirit I made 5/4 so backed it at 2/1
    Hope this helps

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