Profitable betting strategy – Don’t discount short odds
All bettors hope to stumble upon a profitable betting strategy and sometimes they can be fairly simple.
So I have admitted to being somewhat of a gambling geek I have spent lots of time reading forums, blogs, books and whatever I can get my hands on that is betting/trading related.
I am always looking for a profitable betting strategy. One theory that I found interesting is the favourite-longshot bias in betting.
Here is some reading material for some of you that this might interest.
In a nutshell if you don’t want to read through those articles it shows that by blindly betting on every favourite you would lose a lot less then if you blindly bet on every underdog.
Bookmakers exploited the fact that a punter was more likely to back at higher odds. Given the chance to risk say £10 to win £90 then they would be to risk £10 to win £2.50. This lead to longer odds being much poorer value and further away from the real implied odds.
It indicates that is easier to find value in favourites then it is to do so in underdogs. A lot of the research I have read was from many years ago so I wanted to see if this trend is still prevalent in today’s markets.
Profitable betting strategy
Looking at Pyckio a tipster site that has ranked thousands of tipsters we can see that the number one tipster bets at average odds of 1.28 (at the time of writing) going by the name of PistolPete with 6.1% yield over 568 bets.
He has achieved this by betting exclusively on low odds in Tennis. This is one indicator that the favourite-longshot bias is still prevalent at least in Tennis.
My second indicator was a service called Banker Bets which also focuses its betting on short odds over varying sports.
Over two years the service has banked an increase of 192.90% to the average available odds (meaning this could have been bettered by selecting the best odds available at the time.)
Spurred on by the success of the two above tipsters I then looked at how I could emulate their success and improve upon it. Another profitable betting strategy or theory known as value betting or chasing steam exists.
It basically states that by bettering the odds available at the sharpest bookmakers Pinnacle, SBObet etc in efficient markets such as the Premier League you will have a value bet. A value bet is a bet that has a greater chance of winning then the odds imply.
This wasn’t too difficult to do especially at the lower odds. Bookmakers such Ladbrokes, Betvictor and William Hill often had better odds then the sharper bookmakers. The exchange Smarkets with its 2% commission alongside another low commission exchange Matchbook also often provided greater odds then the sharpest bookmakers could offer on several occasions.
Using these two theories alongside some filters such as no injuries to key players, no heavy weather conditions, no major changes to a side I have small yet profitable sample size of bets to suggest this is worth continuing with.
From October 2015 to February the 14th I looked at home teams between the odds of 1.2-1.6. I only bet on teams that I was familiar with and had easy access to likely team formations, general team news etc.
The teams I chose were
- Man City
- Man Utd
- Atletico Madrid
After 53 bets at a level stake of £100 per bet the profit and loss was £618 with an ROI of 11.6%. The only overall losing teams over this period were Chelsea with a loss of -166 from £700 staked and Man Utd with a loss of -29 from £600 staked.
This is a small sample size however it is encouraging and with in play betting and trading an option there are ways which may improve this method.
For example teams such as Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid that often start home games as 1.1 or below. In cases such as these we could explore the half time market or over 1.5 goals market in play.
There are many angles to take with this type of betting/trading.
I hope that this article has given you some insight into the profits that can be obtained from short odds. It could be a betting angle that is worth looking into.
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Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
Upon returning to England his focus has been on making a living from sports trading, betting and arbitrage. Over the course of 5 years he has managed to make a six figure profit using the strategies discussed on this site.
Ryan runs the sports betting and trading website www.smartsportstrader.com