How Is The SP Determined?
The SP of all horses in a race are determined by a team of SP Reporters at the racetrack where that race takes place. Each reporter assesses the odds of each horse on the boards of several on-course bookmakers, and these reports are used to determine the SP that best reflects the betting-market when it closes.
SP In Today’s Betting Markets
One of the biggest dilemmas punters used to face was trying to determine whether it was better to take the early-price on offer on a horse they wanted to bet-on, or not take the early-price in the hope that the SP would be bigger.
For example, if you bet £10 on a winner that was priced-up at 6/1 in the early-price market you would have won £60. Meanwhile, if you had placed your £10 at SP, and it was returned 7/1, you would have won £70. Of course, the SP could also have been lower than the Early-Price – meaning you would have won less if you had struck your bet at SP.
However, with most online bookmakers now offering Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) on all UK and Irish Horse Racing – most punters have the best of both worlds. If you’re not familiar with the practice of BOG, it basically means that you should always take the best-price on offer about any horse in any race as, if the SP is bigger than the early-price, you’ll get paid-out at SP anyway – a Win/Win Situation for “The Punter”.
For Example, if you bet £10 on a horse at 6/1 in the early-price markets, and it wins at an SP of 7/1, you will get paid-out at 7/1. But, if you bet £10 on a horse at 6/1 in the early-price markets, and it wins at an SP of 5/1, you will still get paid-out at 6/1.
The Betfair Exchange
The other consideration in the current Betting Markets is the Betfair Exchange. Bettors choosing to bet via this platform still face the dilemma of when to take a price about a horse, as the price you take will be the price you get paid-out at, regardless of whether the SP is returned higher or lower than the price you took.
However, with bookmakers offering Best-Odds Guaranteed to try and attract people away from the Betfair Exchange, Betfair have introduced the opportunity for bettors to have their bets settled at Betfair SP – most of which are returned at bigger prices than the SPs that are returned from the racecourse. (However, explaining Betfair SP is a whole new article so, if you want to read about and understand Betfair SP, please click here).