Know Your Place When Punting

Is there value in taking runners to place in today's market?

You’ll hear a range of opinions on place betting. There’s quite a few advocates of it, while others have little time for it – and maybe some unkind words for those who engage in it!

Should you be doing it?

If you look at a bet as an investment, then first take the total amount you’re willing to outlay. The question then is whether you invest your stake entirely on a win, or whether you take a portion of it and stake that on the place instead.

You’ll get more collects if you do the latter, of course, but the returns will be a lot less than betting to win.

So is the trade-off worth it?

Focus On Value

To answer that question properly, we need to look at it through the over-arching principle of all successful betting: long-term value.

Let’s say you have $100 to invest on your horse. You could have the whole $100 on the win, the whole $100 on the place, $50 each way… or (for example) $20 to win and $80 to place, or any other combination.

The key thing to remember is that if you stake for both a win and a place, you’re having two bets. The two bets will each have a different expected value (EV).

For a refresher on EV, see here.

In any successful betting strategy, you should always take the option that offers superior EV – or in more relatable terms, superior PoT (profit of turnover).

If you focus all of your resources (your bankroll) on the strategy with the greatest EV, or PoT, then you’ll be better off in the end than any other strategy.

So the question becomes: can a place betting strategy present a greater EV than win betting.

The Pros' View

We asked that question of a few of the Champion Bets analysts, and the response was overwhelmingly in the negative.

The major reason given was that place dividends offered by bookmakers these days simply don’t measure up. The returns you get make it impossible to match the PoT offered by win betting.

In the good old days, bookmakers generally offered each-way dividends at 25% of the win dividend. If you have a look these days, invariably that figure is lower. It can hover a bit, but place dividends these days are closer to 20% of the win dividend. This shift has really taken a lot of the value out of place betting.

“I’ve investigated it at various times in the past and I can’t get it to work for me, certainly not as well as win betting” says NSW racing analyst Mark Rhoden.

“If you could get the old quarter odds, that’d be fantastic. But that doesn’t happen anymore.

“You have to treat it as a separate enterprise from win betting and you have to look for value in the place markets.”

Melbourne racing analyst Trevor Lawson isn’t keen on place betting either.

“I have a real focus on protecting and maintaining my bankroll: in simple terms, my aim is always to get the highest possible return for the lowest outlay,” he said.

“I just can’t achieve that with place betting. The outlay I need to have for a decent dollar return is simply too great and it goes against my instincts to protect my bankroll.”

Trevor is far more interested in backing multiple horses at value for the win, taking advantage of superior value available in the win market.

Again, that’s what all successful betting comes down to: superior value.

Mark Rhoden is certainly no stranger to finding value, with over $10,000 profit in the past year.

Make sure you’re winning this Spring racing carnival with NSW Winners.