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Gaining A Winning Edge Betting The Favourites

I have been looking at the odds in handicap races recently and have been trying to find a method that will give me around a 50% strike rate, with minimal losses.

I started looking at my Fairbot Betting Software at the beginning of all races that had 6 or more runners, handicaps only, trying to see what the percentage of the first two in the betting were.

Looking at all sorts of statistical web sites and downloadable databases, it was clear that overall in these races, the first two in the betting won approximately 50% of the time.

This percentage became a little bigger when the favourite was 2/1 or less and a little smaller when the favourite wasn’t, or if it was an open race where the favourite started at 4/1 or bigger, but taking a general overview, the first two won about half of the time.

This means that the rest of the field also won about half of all races, so I started to look at what odds and percentages all of these runners were at the off.

I thought to myself that if I could get better than 50% about either the first two together, or the rest of the field, I could gain a small edge with these margins over a long period of time, bearing in mind my profit on a win would always be more than my loss on a losing bet. In this instance, getting better odds than 50% of the field actually means a smaller figure, so 49% or less.

The first thing I noticed was how close to 50% backing the first two favourites was in a large number of races. I have spent years looking at ways of gaining an edge and am always fascinated by how accurate the odds are overall and how over a very long period of testing, an edge could actually be found but would only make you 20 points profit or so over a whole year because the odds are so tight and accurate.

At least using the betting exchanges we can get a small increase in the odds and this helps give us a slightly better chance. Also using the Fairbot Software allows us to see the percentages of all our bets as we select or deselect a horse and this makes it easy to work out what to bet on as I will explain in more detail.



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James Dawson

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