Finding winning bets: Form, historical analysis and the present

3 legged stool technique

There are lots of views out there on how to come up with a successful betting strategy for finding winning bets.  Some common examples below:

  • Historical statistical analysis: analysing race or game data to come up with winning bets (e.g. betting horses ridden by a certain jockey at a certain course between certain odds = a profit of x over the past 5 years). This technique goes on the assumption that history will be repeated in the future.  A quick comment on that; just because a strategy appears to have been profitable for the past so many years or months, it does not mean that it necessary will occur again in the future.
  • Form analysis: analysing the form of the horse (course, jockey, form versus other horses etc) to determine its chance of winning.
  • The insider tip: this is everyone’s favourite. The trainer, owner, or someone’s mate gave some good advice so it must win.  The other one is, there is money piling in and the odds are dropping fast so someone must know someone.

So are any of these better than the other?

They all have their merits (2 and 3 more than 1), but my advice is you need to use a combination of all 3 (hence the 3 legged stool in the picture). What do I mean by that?

  1. Start off with form analysis: the more analysis you do in this area the smaller the number of selections you will have.
  2. Once you have looked at the form, then look at the historical stats for that course. What age horses do well, from what stall, does the favourite have a good win % etc. (if point 1 is done properly, this step can be skipped).
  3. Then look at any current information that you can find e.g. trainer opinions, odds movements etc.

Don’t forget the value!

Most important of all, ensure there is value in the odds.  Calculate (based on the above 3 points) what you think the % chance of the horse winning is.  Then convert it to odds and ensure the odds you get are higher than that.  For example, analysing all the historical course stats, the current form, and the markets moves may suggest that horse 1 is going to win.  If everything points to that, then everyone is probably going to have piled in and backed that horse.  If you get in late you are very unlikely to be getting any value from the bet i.e. you will be backing odds that are less than its true chance.

Sounds simple!  Obviously I’ve not given any details on how you complete points 1-3.  There are plenty of articles on the internet and more will come from me over time.  That should be a good point to get you started in finding winning bets.