Finding an edge in betting

Once you make that all-important discovery that it’s value odds that you need to be focussing on and not picking winners, the next stage in one’s betting education is to find an edge.

Just how do you do that though with so many expert bookmakers and punters analysing stats in much finer detail than you’ll possibly be able to?

It’s extremely difficult and time-consuming to manually price up horses or race every day so it’s sensible to try and create a system and automate as much as possible.

Initially, it’s very tempting to try to cater to all circumstances but this is a mistake. We did this when we first started working on the Holy Grail. We had over 20 different factors we deemed important at the time such as form, goals scored, goals conceded, reputation, league position, team news, etc all used to create an overall price.

The trouble with this is that you will at best end up with the market price at best because you’ve factored in everything and probably done a poorer job than the market too.

We then saw the light and decided to focus on just one piece of statistical analysis and analysed it in as much detail as possible, better than most others could. When you’ve done that you still have to be able to apply that information and convert it into a price.

It’s important to then test the prices that you’ve created against the market for a long period. It’s tempting to tweak the system to cater for additional scenarios or because one or two horses finished dead last but try to ignore this and focus on the long-term. 500 bets is an absolute minimum for determining if a betting system is working.

We have had long-term success with the Holy Grail system and despite an unusually disappointing last season, the system is looking good again.

The Holy Grail results from last season highlight another important point that by analysing over too short a period is another potential pitfall. Admittedly, a season is not a short period but in the context of 3 or 4 seasons in which we’ve been running the system and considering the overall profits we can expect last season to be an exception. The margins are very small when betting at log odds and last season’s deficit could have been overcome in a handful of bets.

When you get it wrong or have bad luck by doing things properly and staking sensibly you will lose relatively small at worst but if you win you can win big.

Of course, when things do go awry, you have to take caution and assess whether it’s just a blip or whether something may have changed to make your system unlikely to continue to be profitable. Fortunately, the Holy Grail seems to be back on track and after close analysis last season was a bit different to any other. I mean Leicester City won the league for one thing! Remember too that even bookmakers with their guaranteed edge still have long periods of overall losses in sports betting.

There are horse racing festivals where nearly all favourites romp home and I remember a few years when bookmakers lost millions and were praying for a draw in the Premier League when there was hardly any before Christmas!

The Market Movers profile is another system that makes use of an edge. The edge with these is that we are the fastest to react to moves on the exchange. We can assess the size of the movement, at what odds they are, and how much money has been staked to determine whether a selection is likely to hold value. So far we have made over £1500 to £10 stakes in less than 3 months. The ROI of around 20% is almost unheard of.

We could further tweak the system to account for only handicap races, races with more than 8 runners, etc etc but we have an edge and by trying to cater for more scenarios we run the risk of eroding it.

That’s not to say that we won’t analyse further and look for patterns and potential improvements but unless something significantly strong over a long period is uncovered, it is very much a case of if it ain’t broke…

Dynamite21, one of our profitable tipsters from the Tipster Table has started to see the correlation between profitable tipsters and those that specialise somehow. Another brilliant example is the new tipster profile WhippaSnappa who focuses purely on 2 year old horses and who has made over 200 units this month. I also know that one of our other most profitable tipsters focuses almost solely on trainers.

If you want to start improving your betting, our number one tip at BettingTools is to specialise.

The Market Movers profile is another system that makes use of an edge. The edge with these is that we are the fastest to react to moves on the exchange. We are able to assess the size of the movement, at what odds they are, and how much money has been staked to determine whether a selection is likely to hold value. So far we have made over £1500 to £10 stakes in less than 3 months. The ROI of around 20% is almost unheard of.

We could further tweak the system to account for only handicap races, race with more than 8 runners etc etc but we have an edge and by trying to cater for more scenarios we run the risk of eroding it.

That’s not to say that we won’t analyse further and look for patterns and potential improvements but unless something significantly strong over a long period is uncovered, it is very much a case of if it ain’t broke…

Dynamite, one of our profitable tipsters from the Tipster Table has started to see the correlation between profitable tipsters and those that specialise somehow. Another brilliant example is the new tipster profile WhippaSnappa who focuses purely on 2 year old horses and who has made over 200 units this month. I also know that one of our other most profitable tipsters focuses almost solely on trainers.

If you want to start improving your betting, our number one tip at BettingTools is to specialise.