When I was introduced to sports betting, I was asked to lay a high priced non-favourite in a football match. The person who introduced me sweared that it has never failed him. If I look back now, it is amazing to see the journey I have taken.
Markets, People opinion and Favourites
We often see favourites in racing. We do see non-favourites winning. There used to be days when the result pages are crowded with Fs and 2Fs. There were days when I see the score screen in my local bookmaker was void of Fs and 2Fs. Often I left these shops wondering what makes the favourites/non-favourites tick. Those were the days when I used to mindlessly bet just by reading the descriptions on the betfair timeform page or a racing post description that comes on the tv screens.
Its not rocket science but an art with uncertainities
Slowly and steadily I got introduced to the intricacies of racing. Even after so much experience, it feels like I have only learnt a handful. As soon as I realized this, things started to become clear. This led to the thought process that if I am having so much difficulty in reading the races, I am sure 90% of the betting population would have the same difficulty. I started reading all the race characteristics to figure out which one was the most difficult characteristic to read.
"HORSES" came the top answer. But this is a more subjective opinion. There is no objectivity to measure the fact that horses are the ones in racing that are most difficult to read. Then I started looking at elements that can influence but at the same time are very much measurable. Going can be read, trainers are most of the times predictable, horse builds are predictable as well going by the Sire progenies. Combining all gave me a view that there will definitely be some courses or some type of races which will be very very hard to read even for the most experience of the bettor or even the handicapper. "Bingo"! Now the next challenge was how to translate it to something that can really be profitable over long term, again and again and again.
Lets bet on the market unpredictability
Lets see an example of how to translate this phenomenon of unpredictabile conditions to our advantage. Laying is the key here as it is all about unpredictability. Since the advent of exchanges this is a very powerful tool in the hands of any person considering betting as a serious activity. The next key is getting the returns better than evens while laying. That comes not so often and when that comes, it comes with too much of justification to put fear into your bellies to oppose it. That is when another advancement in betting comes to the rescue "Place markets"
Now comes the task of finding the characteristic that makes it difficult for the market to predict. Look at the following statistics. These are about courses where the market is able to predict better.
And now we look at courses in UK and Ireland where the market has not been able to predict the results better than average.
So clearly there are definitely courses where the market has not been able to predict with a greater accuracy. That will form the basis of this example.
So whats the simple idea
So the simple idea was laying the favourite to place on these courses that are difficult to predict. I did a trial to figure out how the historic results fare. The trial turned out to be successful.
But sometimes, you can't really go by the historic data, like introduction of going sticks. I then started rolling statistics for 100, 200 and 300 days to decide on the best courses to lay on.
So now here am at the end of 2015 and the statistics looks like below.
Now the possibilities are endless. You can look at characteristics like heavy going in summer, top trainers in course etc. The key is obviously, just sticking to what you have got, believe in what you have got, define your limits and do not get bogged down by what market thinks. Here's to another profitable year as I will be looking forward for 2016!