The Price Is Wrong: Value Challenge

“The Price Is Wrong” – Three Part Challenge

As we're in varying states of liberty constraint at the moment, for entirely good and important reasons of course, I thought it might be fun - and perhaps helpful/interesting - to set up a three part challenge over the course of the next few weeks.

The aim of this challenge is primarily to improve decision making. Better decisions mean a more refined approach to wagering, and a greater focus on the right puzzles. That will subsequently equate to more fun and more profit (or less loss, depending on where you are now).

Importantly, I wanted this challenge to be accessible to all, regardless of whether you're currently a Gold subscriber or not; and I wanted it to help users understand how to get more from the toolkit we offer, again regardless of being a Gold user or not.

In point of fact, I've no idea how this will play out, as it's a first try. But the approach should have merit, and I hope will be enjoyable as well as instructive. So here's what I'm thinking...

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I've called it, "The Price Is Right Wrong", and the fundamental aim of the challenge is to try to help you to identify horses that will go off at shorter prices than you can back them earlier in the day. This is 'value', and it is the core objective of every winning bettor.

Just mull that in the ol' grey matter for a minute, because it's important. The core objective of winning bettors is NOT to back loads of winners. Not necessarily, at least.

Rather, it is to trust the implicit efficiency of starting price betting markets, and to aim to beat those odds lines. The most accurate barometer of the outcome of a race is the starting price (exchange starting price, in truth, but ISP is closing that gap since racing went behind closed doors). Therefore, if we as punters can consistently take a better price than starting price, we will win over time. We WILL win over time. It is incontrovertible.

OK, so we're going to be trying to consistently beat SP. In other words, we're going to be looking for horses where "the price is wrong".

If you're still with me, then, as the late great Leslie Crowther used so wonderfully to implore his excited studio audience, come on down!

A Challenge in Three Parts

The Challenge will be in three parts and, as with betting itself, this is not intended as a direct battle between competitors. Instead, the aim is as a catalyst for self-improvement. In a fun, engaging kind of way.

The three parts can be days, weeks, or as long as it takes. For the purpose of this we'll work it over three weeks, this being week one, but there's no end date so take as long as you need!

The three parts are as follows:

Part 1: Race Selection

Choosing the right races means giving ourselves the best chance of finding an edge. Race selection is at the bottom of the pyramid of edges and, if appropriate thought is given at this stage, prospects at every turn further up are amplified. But which are the right races? This depends on what and who you know, or - in the case of this challenge - what data you have at your disposal. Things to consider might be:

- Not too many (or too few) runners
- Plenty of form on offer (which usually means older horse handicaps)
- Those with a 'setup' bias (draw, pace, ground, etc)

Part 2: Shortlisting

Having identified a few of the right races, or just one - again, time will determine that - the second job is to separate contenders from pretenders. There is little point in betting all (or nearly all) runners, and nor necessarily should we only bet a single horse in a race. Such decisions are informed by the shortlisting process. Again, there is no right or wrong way of doing this - different strokes for different folks and all that - but in the context of this challenge, we'll home in on one or more of:

- Instant Expert
- Pace (and draw for AW races)
- Trainer form
- Hot Form
- Ratings analysis
- Form profiling

How many of these you cover will depend on your available time, level of experience, and appetite for tinkering. But introducing any of them (which are new to you), as opposed to none of them, will almost certainly improve your punting acuity.

Part 3: Bet Selection

There are plenty of outstanding form book judges who are hopeless punters. Why? Because they choose the wrong bet types, or they over - or under - stake, or they are insufficiently price sensitive, or they don't have enough accounts (by choice rather than as a result of closures/restrictions). In this part, the focus is on optimising our smart judgement in parts one and two by making the right plays. These could range from simple to more complex:

- Taking the best price available
- Availing of Best Odds Guaranteed where possible
- Considering extra places versus the place fraction returns
- Win bet vs each way vs 20/80 vs place bet
- Without favourite markets
- Dutching
- Laying
- BOG optimization via multiples

Come on down!

So, let's do this. The most important thing at this stage is to avoid overwhelm. The above might seem like a lot: that's why we're doing it in stages! And how many, if any, of the elements you personally engage with will depend on your time, experience and interest constraints. But know that the very act of committing to this sort of an exercise already marks you out as an above average bettor. But I want more for you than that!

Click here to get started with Part 1: Race Selection, and get ready to start spotting the odds that will come on down!

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7 replies
  1. Paul Blacker
    Paul Blacker says:

    Hi Matt,
    Sounds interesting is it possible for you to send your three part challenge as links in an email or are these being made each week as swatting Thursday night for Friday/ Saturday with the open November meeting . If not no problem I’ll watch later just a thought . Thank you.


    • Matt Bisogno
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Paul

      The challenge is timeless. I’ve called it ‘three week challenge’, but it is a three part challenge and is not dependent on any specific start or end date.

      So feel free to access and have a crack when it suits you. The key really is to try to stick at it for long enough to introduce a degree of routine – good habits, if you will – into your (not yours specifically, one’s) picking.

      But yes, I will be sending the link in an email.


  2. Bubbles180
    Bubbles180 says:

    This is very much close to my analysis at the moment, using specific number of runners, also sometimes specific class of race and type, then I use Odds Rank, then using Report Angles then on to Instant Expert then finally profilier, this then gives me my selection/s for the day, the only part I do not do really is bet selection as all my bets are win only, but with the run of placed horses I seem to be getting maybe looking at place market might be an idea. That is the part I will be interested more but will be reading all of it, cheers Matt looking forward to it.

  3. wattyk14
    wattyk14 says:

    This sounds great. I never know when to put my bets on. Most times i back on a morning they drift and I often miss winners as I refuse to take a poor price. No way will I put a bet on at far lower than was previously available unless it is still value. I believe this is like going to the supermarket and paying twice as much as other customers. I know backed horses are far far more likely winners but drifters win plenty and the optimum value price is not easy to decipher. m

  4. wattyk14
    wattyk14 says:

    (cont)I I have every confidence that this video will help me decide the value prices. Cheers. KEITH WATSON

  5. Philip Talbot
    Philip Talbot says:

    This sounds great Matt, thank you. Even though I am ‘only’ 61 I’ve been betting after a fashion for more than 50 years (my grandpa would put sixpence each way on something for me most days and even in those days I recorded every bet!) and have been a ‘value’ disciple since reading Mark Coton’s seminal Value Betting in 1990. Truth be told, I do well at spotting value but I still lose most years. So it must be something else that I do consistently wrong in all the myriad variables the puzzle presents us with (probably betting in too many races for starters) , so I hope this series helps me be more selective and disciplined if nothing else. Looking forward to it. (That feels like a confessional…!).

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