I wanted to write about something a bit different today. How betting teams work. A betting team is a business that is setup with the sole purpose of making profits from betting. The most famous in the UK is probably the Veitch team and in the world Bill Benter (was based in Hong Kong) is probably the best known. There are also major teams in the US and Australia.
I have had personal experience with some of the major teams in the US and so that is where my knowledge comes from. But, if you ever wondered if it truly was possible to make a profit from horse racing then you need to look no further than these teams. In the US, the major teams (known as whales) turnovey $500,000,000 per year in bets and they can make in excess of $100,000,000 in profit!
With the major teams competing against each other, the markets are no longer free markets. They are instead controlled by the major teams who dictate the favourites and compete against each other to make the biggest profits.
So how do they work?
It was actually my experience with these teams that changed my style of betting. If we go back to the very fundamentals of making profit from betting there are essentially two choices…
- You have very few bets and have a high ROI
- You have a large amount of bets and have a low ROI
As a betting team this leaves you with only one real choice, number 2. The reason being that if you go with option 1 then you are going to need an extremely large bankroll and be able to get very large bets on. The downswings have the potential to go on for a long time and, ultimately you will make less profit. Using method 2 you need a smaller bankroll, you can place smaller bets but turnover a huge amount more than method 1 and will make more profit. It also has the benefit that this method doesn’t suit most punters and so you are doing something totally different to the normal punter, increasing your edge even further.
In the UK we have a lot of tradition and as a country we are reluctant to change traditions. Nowhere is this displayed more prominently than in horse racing, and it stems from the regulators of the sport who are possibly the most reluctant to make changes in the sport.
Outside of the major festivals there is still an image of horse racing being elitist, and we do nothing to stop this image. Do you remember when you first opened the Racing Post and looked at all the numbers? Talk about overwhelming and nowhere do you find any information explaining what all the numbers actually mean!
But where the majority of the racing world provide as much data as possible for their punters, we fail to do so. We don’t have sectional times, reports on training runs, reports on medical information, weight of the horse and many other things which are provided in other countries.
What this means for us as punters, is that if we can quantify information that is not widely available, then we can use it to powerful effect.
And we do this by using… ratings!
The ratings don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be better than what other punters are using and as most punters aren’t trying to quantify anything that isn’t provided for them, this is easier than you may think.
To start think of something that may be useful to a specific race. For example, imagine how useful it would be to know the likelihood of whether a horse is going to be ablke to make it to the front of the field. After all, in a sprint race being at the front can make the difference. We need to ask ourselves if…
- Is there anywhere this is commonly available?
The answer is no, this information isn’t readily available anywhere. If we had this information then we could combine it with either our own speed figures, or those provided by someone else, to significantly help us in our analysis of these sprint races.
So we have found something that we want to quantify and we then need to ask ourselves how we are going to go about doing it. There is always more than one way to do things and we want to brainstorm as many ways as possible and then determine which of those are likely to be the most effective, and which is going to suit us in terms of putting into practice as well.
Some examples of how we my want to measure the likelihood of a horse being at the front in sprint races are…
- Watch the races and assign points manually
- Use the race comments to assign points based on how often the runner got to the front
- Look at the breeding and assign points based on pace in breeding
- Make your own sectional times using replays
You don’t need to setup in the same way as a big team in order to take their principles and use them to increase your profits in your own betting.