What does best price mean in betting?
Let’s talk best price. We’ve already identified betting value and only betting where there is value as the single most important thing to do if you want to show a profit in sports betting for your efforts.
Getting best price isn’t too far behind. But what does it mean?
For the most part bookmakers offer very similar prices about a particular event occurring. And what you’ll tend to find is that the more high-profile that event is, the more similar the odds are.
Examples of that would be the odds on a big televised Premier League game, the favourite for the Grand National or the odds on England to win the upcoming Test match. Not only is the process for calculating odds pretty much the same at all bookies but these days they’re all be very aware of what everyone else is doing and they don’t really like to be out of line with whatever everyone else is offering, especially if they’re going bigger about a particular outcome.
If say Paddypower are offering 6.0 on Roger Federer winning the Australian Open and everyone else is going 4.0, then they’ll start to assume they’ve got that one wrong. And will probably shorten that price sooner or later.
When do bookmakers offer different prices?
But there are exceptions. To an extent betting odds work like any other marketplace so there needs to be some competition as regards offering a better deal than your rivals, not to mention the fact that those who price up markets (known as traders or odds-compilers) do have slightly different opinions.
So for example when Manchester United play Chelsea Ladbrokes might make United 2.5 with Chelsea out at 3.3. But the sportsbook at Royal Panda might make United 2.4 and Chelsea 3.45.
But what you’ll often find is that the bigger differences in price occur in two situations. Firstly, outsiders. In a 10-horse race you might find that the biggest outsider of the lot is 35.0 with one bookmaker and as big as 60.0 with another, whereas the price on the first three or four in the betting won’t be too different from one bookie to another.
Secondly, on more obscure markets or side markets if you prefer. A good example of that is first goalscorers and anytime scorers in football. Again, the prices on the Sergio Agueros and Cristiano Ronaldos will probably be similar but if you want to back a Nemanja Matic or a Nicolas Otamendi, it’s pretty surprising how the odds on them scoring differ from one Operator to the next. Otamendi might be just 7.0 with one and as big as 14.0 with another.
Whoever it is that you want to put your money on is of course up to you but once you’ve decided where it’s going, it’s imperative that you bet at the best possible price.
Why is getting best price so important in betting?
Each time you don’t get best price on something that goes on to win, you’re throwing money away, pure and simple. You’re basically saying ‘I don’t care how much I’ll go on to win.’
Look at it this way. If three different companies all offered you a job as a driver and in your opinion all companies were as good as each other, you’d take the one that paid the best, right? Or if three different stands were all selling the same model of car, you’d buy the cheapest one, right?
Well it’s the exact same with betting. You simply have to take the best price available each time you bet. And this is particularly the case if you place lots of bets. Each time you’re missing out on maximizing your return if you don’t get best price. And this is even more the case if you place big bets.
If you placed a 500 pound bet on Kevin de Bruyne to score at 3.2 with say Coral rather than the 4.2 he was available at with Betfred you’ve essentially missed out on 500 quid in profit, pocketing just 1100 rather than 1600. Why would you want to do that?
How do you make sure you get best price?
‘Back in the day’ it involved physically visiting different high street bookmakers and comparing the odds. So you could have been forgiven for deciding not getting best price was a right hassle.
But these days you have no excuse. Thanks to odds comparison sites like Oddschecker, you have all the prices at your fingertips and you can access all the different prices on a particular outcome within about 30 seconds.
But to be able to get best price all the time, you do of course have to have accounts with numerous bookies.
Don’t confuse best price with promotional odds
Occasionally bookmakers will throw some ridiculously big odds out there. Like Cristiano Ronaldo being 20.0 to score in a particular game.
Very often they give you these boosted odds as a reward for you just having opened an account or as a publicity stunt. There’s nothing wrong with taking these odds of course, if you’re eligible to take advantage. But very often the maximum amount you can have on the bet is 1 pound and they may come with wagering requirements. Either way, these boosted one-off odds as part of a sports betting promo are a very different thing to a company going best price.