Comparing Betfair SPs with On-Course and Industry (Off-Course) SPs

Data between January 2017 and January 2021 was used in this study. It excludes the months of July and August.  In July and August 2020 the Industry SP was still settling in and any comparison would be invalid.

The data covered every horse that ran during the above period which had a Betfair SP and SP recorded. Races with a Rule 4 deduction are not included.

The data was then divided into bands for Betfair SP. The bands are by the percentage chance implied of that horse winning. These are shown as on course SP odds.

Prices shorter than 8/13  BSP were excluded as there were too few of them in the industry SP sample.

Then the average SP was found for all horses in that band. This was produced for the  on-course and industry SP.

The results are shown in the table below.

The advantage column is colour coded, with green being in the bettors’ favour and increasing red shades against the bettor.

There are three main features.

  • The industry SP is better for the bettor if they are betting at longer than about 14/1, especially if they are betting in the 40/1 and longer area. However few horses win or place at these odds.
  • Between about 4/1 to 15/2, the industry is markedly worse for the bettor, notably many bettors bet each way at these prices.
  • For prices shorter than about 5/4, the industry is slightly worse for the bettor. This reflects that many horses at these prices start favourite or second favourite and as noted previously in other studies are now shorter then when prices were derived from on course.

Credit: Steve Tilley data analysis and FlatStats for SP percentages.