After 3 months of backing every tip from the tipster table on Befair’s exchange to see how it compared with the results on the tipster table which are recorded against bets bookies odds, I now have a good amount of data to draw some conclusions.
The first thing to say is that overall it is conclusive that it’s always better to get the best odds from bookies than it is to back every tip on the exchanges.
In an ideal word you’d use whichever (bookies or exchange) that have the best odds for each particular tip but running this site and a general lack of time makes this difficult for me so I am keen to make the automation using betfair work.
My profit loss for the whole 3 months (from 1st October 2016 to 2nd of Jan 2017) was +£178. £207.25 profit on racing and -£27.09 on Football. Considering that £250 of this was won via a mistake in my programming (backed the same horse multiple times and it won fortunately), the overall result is actually a slight loss of around £72 to £2 stakes!
It’s not as bad as it looks though especially considering that I’ve paid nearly 5% commission on every winning market. We are still doing ok and without commission we’d have made a fair profit.
The results have improved somewhat too since I made a few changes along the way. These being:
1) Trigger bets at only the odds advised on the tipster table and don’t accept less. This is important as if we are paying commission we need to be getting the same odds as on the board at the very least. I have triggered bets at lower odds of 10p just for results and settling purposes however.
2) Bet only if the odds are 10/1 or above, excluding Market Movers and professionals. This is very important and the fact that most of the value on Betfair’s Exchange is at odds over 10/1 is my most important finding. If you backed tips under this price then the overall total halved.
Some will think it’s obvious as it’s on the higher prices where Betfair are usually the standout bets price but I’ve played around with a few bands and 10/1 seems to be the best cut off point. The actual ratio of winning tips has been 1 winner to every 7 losers.
I am still confident in the long-term profits of the Market Movers so back these below 10/1 but I’m not so sure about backing professional tips (Andy Holding, Pricewise and Hugh Taylor) at odds of less than 10/1 on betfair. On the shorter priced tips I think we are settling for odds less than advertised far too often and the markets are very illiquid when the tips come through. So it may be best to stop backing these on betfair altogether.
There’s room for much more improvement too. The latest Horselays methodology hasn’t been working and it would have been better not to include those. I have ideas to trial to make these profitable as well.
There are also a couple of tipsters who are performing extremely badly and it’s only because I’ve been backing every tip that I’ve stuck with them! Excluding even one obviously poor tipster would have added a couple of hundred pounds to the bottom line.
I will be tweaking things a little to try to improve the returns and I’m confident of achieving better profits. Thanks very much to the tipsters that have been delivering winners, especially above 10/1.
*Remember that the figures in these spreadsheets don’t include commission and it was too difficult to add that in per market