How To Make Money On The Grand National
Many people dismiss the Grand National as a complete lottery, but don’t let the large field size fool you into thinking you can’t make money on the big race.
Ok we might not be talking a guaranteed fortune here, but there are some tricks and stats that could see you earn enough for a celebratory round at the pub…or maybe a little bit more.
1. Get The Best Free Tips
Saturday morning will be awash with insights and supposed expert opinion on who will win, but very few people are worth listening to.
We monitor dozens of profitable racing tipsters here at the Smart Betting Club and there are a few good free tipsters, but we can’t reveal all of them here. We can recommend the following sources though:
- Betting Expert: A respectable betting and tipping community with their own Grand National preview available here.
- Easy Odds: Another general betting site with free betting tips that are better than average.
- Ben Linfoot: Sporting Life’s Ben Linfoot is worth a special mention as his free tips are a cut above the rest. It’s worth checking his Twitter feed for any last minute nuggets.
2. Get a Quality Racing Card
One of the best, if not the best racing database out there is ProFormProfessional. Their ratings program is excellent and their system builder is a powerful way to build your own betting strategies.
If you just want to dip your toe in the water of statistical betting, then we recommend their race guides. They offer a fantastic visual form guide that includes speed ratings, trainer/ jockey form and a whole host of other features.
3. Stats – Focus On Favourites
Everyone’s dream is to pick out a big priced Grand National winner and earn bragging rights with your friends, not to mention a nice lump of cash.
It’s true that favourites haven’t been the punter’s friend in the last three years, with the last few winners coming in at 33/1, 66/1 and 25/1 SP. Let’s just say the bookmakers have been rather happy with those results, but up until 2012 backing all horses between 1 and 9 in the betting order would have produced a profit to Betfair prices since 1997.
The number one favourite (including joint favourites) has won four times historically since 1997. This is enough to make you a profit of £18 to £1 stakes which is an incredible 70% Return on Investment. Should the longer historical terms exert themselves, then focusing on horses in the top half of the betting order could be the way to go.
4. Place To Win
The Grand National is technically a 16 runner handicap paying out, which means you are paid out up to four places when each way betting, but most bookmakers (online) will pay out to five places with some even going up to six.
The front end is also a good shout for each way betting, especially if your bookie is paying out five places as they often do for the National. Some even pay out six places.
If backing all horses in the top three of the betting order, you historically have 1/3 chance of your horse at least placing. If backing all horses in the top six of the betting order, you have a 50/50 chance of your horse placing.
In the last three years the outsiders have won it, but the top rank of the betting order placed more often than not:
- 2012: Winner 33/1, but 2-4 were 16/1, 8/1 & 16/1.
- 2013: Winner 66/1, but 2nd & 3rd were 12/1 & 10/1.
- 2014: Winner 25/1, but 2nd & 3rd were 14/1 & 10/1.
5. The Best Welcome Free Bets (Online)
If you’ve not yet exhausted all the potential bookmaker accounts available to you then it’s happy days with the Grand National as the bookies will be falling over themselves for your custom.
From £50 matched bets to treble the odds on winning National horses, the choice is yours. Most of the time there will be a small max bet on the best offers, so make sure you do your homework on whether it is worth while to you.
- Bet72 has one of the most comprehensive lists of free bets here.
- Oddschecker also run a number of exclusive offers.
6. The Best Bookie Offers (For all)
The bookies will also be after business from their existing customers which means lots of lovely insurance offers such as ‘Money back if a faller’ or money back if the ‘favourite wins’. Quite often these offers won’t be released until the morning of the race so it could pay to wait before you shop around.
There will also be a number of time limited price boosts released on social media. Generally be wary of these as bookies will boost something for a reason, but you can get your own back by utilising Betfair to lock in a profit.
- Bookmark Bet72’s Bookie Twitter Feed for the latest offers on the day.
7. Newspaper Coupons
A nice way to scrape some free bets is to check on what the dead tree press are running on the day of the National. There will be at least one or two papers running £1 or £2 no quibbles free bet coupons for you to use in shop or online.
You could find you pay for the price of your paper with a £1 winner, or if you’re feeling really cheeky, check your local takeaway for the day’s redtop!
In Summary – Good Luck
Many professional punters steer clear of the National, or just treat it like any other race. For all my years betting as a professional though, this is one race where I enjoy the social aspect of Grand National betting and for once have a small bet just for the fun of it.
If you earn enough to buy your friends a round in the pub from a £1 free bet you found in the back of the Daily Mirror, mine is a Guinness!