Value Betting 2
I have to admit that if any such punter asked me how obsessed with value I am in other aspects of my life I would have to say I am not. I don't bother to look at how much a filling station is charging for a litre of petrol when I need to replenish my tank, even though by failing to shop around I am probably costing myself as much money as I would if having £20 on something at evens when, if I had bothered to look around, I could have got 11-10.
I do not grill my wife over her shopping habits to see if we could have saved money on the weekly groceries, and I do not drink in pubs simply because their beer is less dear. Thus, perhaps price-sensitive punters should not be too disparaging about those happy to take 5-1 when 7-1 is available elsewhere. For me, though, the difference between getting value in betting and getting value in general life is that the customer experience is so similar with bookmaker A and bookmaker B that there is no good reason not to spend a little while detecting where your money will produce the biggest yield.
Moreover, it usually takes very little time and effort to nail down the best-available price. In addition to the comprehensive Pricewise tables published daily on a vast array of sporting contests in the Racing Post, there are odds-comparison sites such as Bookiesindex which offer real-time updates on which firm is the best price about your fancy.
The ease with which punters can be informed where the value lies is irksome to some old-school punters, who shed a nostalgic tear for the days when getting the best price involved a car ride around a large town centre, stopping off at every betting shop to collate the various prices.
For them, it was harder to find what the best price was, but the fact that so few people went to the trouble of doing so meant that they were able to get far more on at the prices they desired. Now, the playing field has been levelled and even the most bone-idle backer can be sure he has got the value in less than a minute with a mouse in his hand.
Whatever other beliefs you have as regards punting and all its intricacies, never forget that value is simply the most important concept in betting.1 2