learn to bet

In a perfect world, you get the best price every time. In the real world though, sometimes you’re either at work, out and about or just get beaten to the best price by someone else. It happens to everyone.

When it does happen, the next question is – is that tip still worth a bet?

In this article, I’ll cover how to decide whether to bet or not once your price has moved.

Firstly, pro punters will often let you know the lowest price to accept, so always follow their advice.

Sometimes, it’s implied in the selections. For example, horse ratings tell you that any price above the rated price is a bet, and any price below the rated price is not a bet. Other times, the pro will explicitly state a minimum price, for example: “take down to $3.50”.

A mantra often repeated on this site is “love a price, not a tip”. So be happy to leave a tip alone should you miss the minimum price.

But what can you do when you don’t know the minimum price?

One method you can use is to calculate the ‘break-even’ price based on the long-term PoT (profit on turnover) of the tipster.

Any price above the break-even price should be a long-term profitable bet. You can calculate the break-even price with the formula:

B = T / (P + 1)


B = break-even price
T = tipped price
P = PoT

For example, let’s say there’s a tipster who averages 10% PoT on his selections, and you were recommended a tip at $2.00. The best price you can find after work is $1.90. Is that still worth a bet?

B = T / (P + 1)
B = 2 / (0.1 + 1)
B = 2 / 1.1
B = 1.82

The break-even price is $1.82, so $1.90 is still a good bet.

That calculation assumes the tipster’s bets are all the same value (10% PoT).  Sometimes the tipster tells you they really like a be, or you know based on the bet type and previous results that the bet is better or worse value than average. In that situation, you can increase or decrease the PoT in the formula to produce a more accurate break-even price.

Line bets are trickier than price movements, because the line can move. When the line remains the same and the price moves, you can use the above formula.

But when the line itself moves (e.g. Bulldogs +11.5 becomes Bulldogs +10.5) you need sport-specific data to know how much a point (or a half point) is worth.

That’s because each point is worth a different amount in each sport. A good example is AFL vs soccer. One point is not that significant in a game of AFL, but in soccer one point (ie, one goal) is very important!

In sports where scoring involves multiple points per score (e.g. American Football), the value of a point can even vary within the same sport, depending on the line involved. In the NFL for example, the difference in value between +2.5 and +3.5 is much greater than the difference in value between +3.5 and +4.5, even though both lines are one point apart.

The reason is that 3 points is the most common margin in the NFL (along with 7 points) due to a field goal being worth 3 points (a converted touchdown is worth 7 points), whereas a winning margin of 4 points is less common.

You can calculate how much a point is worth in each sport with a large database of results. Most of us don’t have access to that information, nor the time or knowledge required to find out. There is some (albeit limited) information on the web. The best tip with line movements is to ask the tipster what a point is worth in their sport. That will give you some clues as to whether to take that bet next time you’ve been at work or out and about.

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