Are you guilty of ignoring these winners?
How and why punters miss the value of EW bets
There was something I touched on in last month’s blog entry (read it here), that got me thinking…
And it’s to do with the psychology of betting…
More to the point, it’s about the psychology of winning.
Namely… as punters, we often put the thrill of winning above the actual monetary return we get from our success.
Now in last month’s article I wrote about lay bets, and how a lot of punters don’t get the same uplift from laying a horse (even when it’s well beaten, and trails home down the field).
Yes, they’ve still been on a winning bet. And, yes, they’ve still made money.
But there’s simply not the same buzz around a horse losing… as there is with one that gets up in a driving finish, and takes it on a photo.
And that’s even if you win more money on the lay bet?!
A similar example is where punters would much prefer the bragging rights to backing the 6/1 winner of the Epsom Derby… over landing an 8/1 gamble on the same day in a Class 5 handicap at Beverley.
Might not be you. But I know from working in this business for 30 years, that many backers trade more off the emotion of success, than its actual financial reward.
Strange. But true.
And here’s another example of punter logic…
Take a line from the argument about lay bets, and the enjoyment gained from physically backing a horse that comes in 1st.
And then apply it to each-way betting.
Because here, again, I think a lot of backers have a misconception about the importance of this type of bet. Losing sight of just how lucrative these bets can be.
Now I’ve spoken in previous blogposts about the use of each-way bets in terms of strike rate, bank preservation, and the mental well-being of some punters (who like the reassurance of getting more regular returns from their bets).
And these are all perfectly valid points, depending on your risk profile.
But what I want to do here is to provide some illustration for those bettors who maybe don’t understand these advantages of each-way betting (or possibly believe they don’t apply to them)… and back them up with some numerical evidence.
Because betting, at the end of the day, is all about the numbers.
Placed EW bets are still valid winners!
This is my point.
I genuinely believe that some punters, when they win (rather, get a place) with a golf betting tip, or a horseracing gamble, they really don’t value it for what it is. Or appreciate the profit they have just made.
Take an each-way bet in a race… let’s say it’s a 12/1 shot in a big 20-runner handicap. A typical weekend punt for some backers.
Your horse comes in 4th. A well-beaten 4th.
At ¼ odds, the place terms you’ll get in a race of this type, you’ve still doubled your money. And had multiple chances (four places) to collect.
Compare that to backing a 10/11 banker on the nose, where only winning will do.
Now even supposing this second horse absolutely bolts-up, and wins half the track… you’re still going to pocket less than your e/w bet which just nicks a place in the day’s big race.
Which would you prefer to be on?
A bigger sense of satisfaction/enjoyment from watching your horse sluice up, or a bigger amount of money in your betting bank?
The type of EW bet might well be key
The above example is just an opening gambit.
And maybe a 1 point profit from the each-way bet at 12/1 (backing 0.5 point each-way at ¼ odds), as opposed to a 0.91 point win from landing with a “good thing” at 10/11… the difference is neither here nor there.
But let’s take golf, for example. A sport I have a massive interest in (with the Golf Insider), and one which is fundamentally tailored to each-way betting.
Yes, you can back win-only in the likes of 3-Ball markets, or with Top 20 bets or in player match-ups, but you’ll be backing each-way for the most part in the outright winner market.
And here we do see huge odds on offer, and golfers placing at prices which you’ll never see in a horserace, for example.
Take Harry Higgs in the USPGA Championship. The unknown American tied 4th at 750/1.
Now he never got within a 2-iron of the eventual winner, Phil Mickelson, but placing 0.5 point each-way at those odds (and even at 1/5 odds) would have returned you a 74.5 point profit!!
Better than landing a straight win bet at 66/1 – and how many of those have you picked up recently?
All of a sudden the power of an each-way bet seems more tangible.
Now I log the outright odds of every placed golfer in very tournament on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, and the average odds of those guys who place in the Top 5 each week is around 100/1.
That equates to 9.5 points profit from your standard 0.5 point EW stake. Like backing a 10/1 winner.
Again, not to be sniffed at.
Or think of it in terms of ROI
Take the example of a horseracing tip at 6/1, and you’re getting 1/5 odds for the first 3 places.
The horse comes 3rd.
A £10 each-way stake will return you £22.
Wow, Matthew!! That’s a huge £2 profit on the bet.
And, of course it is.
But a £2 profit on a £20 outlay represents a 10% return on investment. Again, not a rate of money-making that you should turn your back on.
Make that horse, golfer or antepost football bet 8/1, and the same stake is returning you £26… which makes for a 30% ROI.
And with the places on offer you have three chances to win, not one.
Move that onto a big race handicap, and a 16/1 place at ¼ odds will see you collect to the same tune as a 6/4 winner.
But even with these figures suggesting, proving I might well argue, the case for each-way bets… I still think that many would prefer to back a short-priced winner, over a decent priced EW place bet.
There’s not the same sense of emotion with a bet which technically loses (i.e. doesn’t come first) but still generates a decent profit.
Human nature maybe. Punter nature definitely.
This is why punters ignore these value bets
My belief is that too many backers work on an emotional, and not a financial level.
In other words, their actions are dictated by mood over money.
Now this might be on a subconscious level, so there’s “blame”, as such, for punters operating in this way. But for me, this explains why each-way bets like these are ignored, at best, or derided, at worst.
Maybe at the heart of the matter is whether your fundamental trigger to bet is for entertainment (and the buzz it creates) or to make money.
For some this is a 50/50 split. For others, it’s 60/40… maybe 80/20, or 90/10, one way or t’other.
But a failure to appreciate what these bets can deliver, will undoubtedly cost you money in the long-term.
They might not be sexy, and they won’t afford you the same bragging rights as a winner, but they have a legitimate part to play in your day-to-day betting.
For sure, the shorter odds you use for your each-way bets, the less impact that’s detectible to the naked eye. But use these bets on the type of markets you’ll get in a sport like golf, and their value becomes easy to see.
So my point is this…
Just as you should vary the markets and sports you bet on (in your never-ending search for value)…
You should also embrace each-way betting, as much as win-only stakes, it your efforts to derive enjoyment and profit from your betting.
OPINION: Like many, if not all, of the blogposts I write, the primary purpose here is to make you think (and hopefully act) a little differently when it comes to your betting. Try to add a little more “head”, and a bit less “heart”, into the way you approach your gambling. And this article very much fits the brief. Because I genuinely believe that a lot of punters treat placed each-way bets as virtual losers, or the next best thing, and fail to recognise their value – not just in keeping their betting bank ticking over, but actually providing hard cash to their account i.e. PROFIT. Win-only bets might be prettier, but as we know, good looks ain’t everything!!