Mathematics and Second Favourites

Posted by Paul Moon in Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Racing Horse has been talking about the part mathematics plays in profitable sports betting and would like to continue with this thread a little further albeit in some basic terms.

If we accept the first two in the market win around 51% of their races it makes sense to seriously look at the strength of their chances before opposing. In a typical 12-runner race if the front two share the 51% figures (25.50%) then the other 10 runners share 49% (4.90%). Loss on turnover is around -14% in the first scenario while horses who are not first or second favourite return a loss on turnover of -22% and a 57% increased loss figure. Whilst we accept the figures are not refined they offer a baseline or predetermined value of something that is true!

Our next point might seem contradictory in regard to our Pacafi Strategy. Finding and opposing weak and vulnerable favourites, or those with little or no perceived value becomes an edge in the market. Some professionals believe if you want to make money from betting on horses you need to be betting against the favorite in the races that it is going to lose, which accounts for 67% of the time.

Recording and sharing our Pacafi Strategy since June 2011 striking at an average of 55% to 58% has reinforced our views regarding the second favourites. Within our rationale we always nominate a designated danger winning at around 36%, those that happen to be second favourites win at 26%. These figures are recorded despite being asked to beat a genuine favourite with optimum conditions to suit. Interesting to note the industry consensus has second favourites winning at between 22% and 26% which is in line with our own numbers.

So, where there is a pre-post market which predicts an odds-on favourite, it makes sense to bet the second-named horse in the pre-post betting market at the best odds possible. Despite our success with the Pacafi, short-priced favourites across the piece win less often than they are given credit for, and as a betting medium offer little value in general terms. The true value in the race often lies with the runner which appears to hold the highest realistic chance of the remainder.

There are other numbers to incorporate into the mix. Our 3Favinon Strategy shows/proves the high percentage of 3yo winning favourites in non-handicaps but generally start at much lower prices than those in handicaps. Favourites in handicaps account for approximately 26% of the winners so the suggestion is more second favourites win this category of race.

Another figure to incorporate into the mix above suggests around 85% of races have been won by horses with a previous outing in the last three or four weeks.

Horse racing is an unpredictable sport with many factors affecting the outcome of a horse race, most of them unknown to the bettor, jockey and trainer. Of course this unpredictability makes it such a popular and exciting sport, but adding randomness and guesswork invites negativity to a betting slip so the reason we use mathematics to counter those estimates and variables. As always be selective and make the figures work for you, try to think in general terms about percentages versus odds.

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Today's Pacafi: click here

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