BOG off

If you bet on the horses regularly then you’ll be familiar with the BOG acronym which of course stands for Best Odds Guaranteed. This means that if the starting price of a horse is bigger than the odds that you got for your horse, you will be paid out at the bigger price.

BOG is a massive help to punters as although most winning tips shorten as the start time approaches, more winners drift than you would think and the BOG enhancement makes a difference. Especially on sites like ours where we will update the odds to the BOG ones for our tips, IF the tipster has selected his tip with a BOG friendly bookmaker.

In the last 12 months we’ve had a total of 5103 winning horse racing tips on our site (includes places).

Of those 5103, 844 have had a bigger starting price than the odds that were obtained for the tip. That’s 16.55% and clearly plenty enough to make a difference to your bottom line.

Of course like a lot of free bet offers and promotions like Each Way Extra and Enhanced Places, BOG can be taken away from you if you are a successful punter. This is no surprise really when some winning bettors are restricted or denied from betting at all with some bookmakers.

I thought it might be interesting to analyse how much of a difference BOG makes to our tips and what kind of average prices would you need to obtain if you weren’t betting with a bookie who offers BOG or if you prefer to use the betfair betting exchange where there is no BOG either.

The average difference between the start price and the odds obtained on our 844 winners was 1.29.

So, if you are placing a bet with a bookie that doesn’t offer BOG (or on betfair exchange), on average you’ll need to make sure you get over a full point more than the odds that have been listed for the wining tips.

This doesn’t mean to say that EVERY tip has to be a full point greater as we often see a huge drift that sees the start price start 5 or 6 points higher than the early price and these will have a big effect on the average. The average settled odds on those 844 winners where BOG came into play was 9.8 thus meaning that our average listed price would have been 8.5 (9.8 – 1.29) and we need to be matched at that figure of 9.8, if not using BOG.

Last month, our top ten tipsters had 17 winners each on average and using the 1.29 figure could see over 200 points wiped off their totals theoretically. This would be enough to see six out of the ten put into the red! Remember only 16.55% of listed winning tips end up bigger though, so the actual figure is realistically likely to be around 30 points wiped off each on average for each tipster. This still adds up to a lot over time.

On the exchange we also have to account for commission which is 5% for most punters, although you will be competing with punters who are on less than 5%. So, let’s say you were wanting to back a 3/1 favourite on the exchange and we add on a conservative 0.75 rather than the full 1.29 average to account for BOG. That takes the price to 3.75/1 or 4.75 in decimal odds.

The formula for adding 5% commission onto our decimal odds is:  (odds – 1) / (1 – (5/100)) + 1

This takes our required odds to 4.9. You’ll probably find it difficult to get this kind of price on a 3/1 favourite on the exchange and impossible with a non-BOG bookie. It’s no surprise that you’re much more likely to turn a long-term profit on the bigger priced horses.

The bookies have more of a margin built-in on the outsiders due to the favourite/longshot bias and this margin isn’t present on the exchange. There is more movement on these prices too due to lower liquidity and you can often get matched at some huge prices. The downside is that you have longer losing streaks and it’s important to keep your bets small.

You don’t want to only bet on the longshots though as that’s no fun and not the idea of following a tipster. We want to match the profits seen on our tipster tables each month as closely as possible.

So, the message of this article is a rather obvious, always use a BOG bookie where possible.


Here are a list of bookmakers that we use for our tips and that offer BOG:

Betfair (Sportsbook)
Paddy Power
William Hill


Bookies/exchanges that we use that don’t offer BOG:

betfair exchange
Marathon Bet