An alternative view on value.

Is it possible to completely miss a tipster’s price on a consistent basis, and yet still be sure of securing value on each bet he tips?

I was asking myself this question this past week as I failed to get the advised prices on the excellent Racing Intelligence’s bets, and generally struck my wagers at significantly lower.  This is a service for whom the odds move quickly but generally speaking, as I’m usually at my laptop when his bets come through, jumping on immediately means I at least get close to the official prices.  Due to circumstances this past week I’ve not been sitting down and in a position to act as fast, and these circumstances are likely to continue through what is left of the summer.

This all caused me some initial concern.  Should I still be following if I know I’m likely to be only able to bet at much reduced odds?  We all know the fundamental importance of value in every bet we strike.  If I’m not confident of achieving this, am I not relying on luck to make a profit over the next few weeks, needing to hit a higher strike rate than usual to have a chance of making any money?  Over time, one thing is for absolute sure – if you’re not betting at value prices, you’re not going to make any money.

Then I started to consider things from a different angle.

If we work on the assumption that Betfair SP represents as close as we’re going to get to true market efficiency in the price of a horse, then we can start to reassess the premise that if we’re falling significantly short of a tipster’s advised prices, then we’re ultimately doomed to failure.  Say Tipster A advises a horse at 10/1.  I can only take 7/1, but the Betfair SP (the closest to true market price) is only 5/1…then my 7/1 betting slip carries good value, does it not?

Now before we draw any conclusion we have to note that it is not only on winning bets that we must judge whether we are attaining value or not.  We need to be backing at longer than Betfair SP on a consistent basis to be able to say we can follow a tipster profitably or not if taking shorter prices than those advised, whether the horses go on to win or not.  And let’s be clear, we’re not going to turn a profit close to the tipster’s official figures.  But say an outstanding tipster is running at an official ROI of 25-30%, and because of the odds movements we’re not getting close to the advised odds.  We may still be able to eke out a very acceptable 10% say, if we’re consistently beating Betfair SP on the majority of the tipster’s selections.

Food for thought.  I should add too, that the SBC’s odds testing sections of their reviews point out exactly what sort of dent on the official ROI we might expect to take when betting at different times following bet release; hugely valuable information.  But one thing is for sure.  The rather lazy assertion that, “I can’t follow that tipster because the odds move too quickly”, may actually not be true if we’re prepared to make a certain level of profit that is lower than the officially recorded.

A poor week for the portfolio and the month is now running barely above break even.  Bet Alchemist, Racing Service 1 and PGA Golf continue to struggle, and no eroics from anyone else this week.

Bet Alchemist (100 point bank): Staked 35pts, -8.213pts

Racing Service 1 (200): Staked 44pts, -26.25pts

Golf Insider (400): Staked 29.5pts, +74pts

PGA Profit (500): Staked 99pts, -99pts

Precision Value (200): Staked 62pts, -18.54pts

Racing Intelligence (200): Staked 189pts, +67.77pts

Scottish Football Income Booster (100): n/a

Racing Service 2 (50): n/a

Total for July: ROI 0.95%, ROC 0.28%

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