Getting the Best Odds

I have recently realised just how much a difference getting the best available odds makes. This week’s Prem Selections showed a 11.73% ROI on level stakes. Not too shabby after predicting wins for Swansea, West Brom, Fulham and Man United. This 11.73% was based on the odds available on Betfair and including the maximum commission rate of 5% but if we had placed each bet with the bookmaker offering the best odds the return would have been 15.5%! A difference of 4 or 5% could work out to be quite a lot of cash in the long-term. (See this week’s Premier League Selection results here by the way: Premier League Selections)

What I also realised was that these odds were actually slightly less than what Betfair had available but when you factor in the maximum commission of 5% the Betfair odds work out less value. It seems that many of the popular markets are set based on those who have the lowest commission rates i.e. 2% and that makes sense really.

It did get me wondering though whether each time Betfair quote that they had x amount of markets at better prices than other bookmakers whether this includes the deduction of the maximum commission of 5%. This is also quite topical because Betfair are apparently bringing out their own oddschecker type functionality called “Betfair Everywhere” that lets them see just who is offering the best odds on your selection, much to the disgruntlement of the bookmakers. Whether they show Betfair prices still after the maximum commission of 5% is deducted and makes the price worse than others, remains to be seen. Or perhaps this is for the markets they themselves are looking to lay in as they have proposed and if this means that we get better than bookmakers prices on more of these markets then that would be great. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has more information about how any of this will work.

Of course getting the best odds is not always such a simple decision. For my daily singles e.g. the bets you see on tip of the day, I am going to find the best possible price as my stake is always the same and it should be pretty easy to manage. But my premier league selections often require 10 bets at once and having these 10 bets all with different bookies could make it time-consuming to place and difficult to keep track off. What if you do terribly badly with one bookie and you need to transfer money from another to get funds back in? There will be delays in getting funds in and out and you basically have to make sure your stakes are thin enough in relation to your total funds to allow you to deposit with all the bookmakers.

I will therefore be keeping my Premier League bets with Betfair because of this. I always said I wanted to prove it could be done on Betfair too. I also use Betfair for trading too and also for any bets that I might be looking to lay off in if I’m watching the match and things turn against me but for my tip of the day I will now be making sure I get the best price available. So as you can see deciding to use the best price available will undoubtedly improve your results but it may not always be viable or at least easy to manage. It very much depends on your style of betting, the funds you have available and how organised you are!