I’m often seeing people discussing “dead cert” bets both on this forum and other places, and debating whether to lay a bet because of it. Deciding not to lay a bet (or worse, a leg of your accumulator!) because you think it is a dead-cert, is truly a bad idea 99% of the time. I wanted to bring up some important facts now that will hopefully change the way you look at betting.

***** Odds & Probability *****

One of the most under-appreciated things about Betfair is the fact that the odds are **deadly accurate** and representative of the **probability **of that selection winning. There have been studies that have tried to prove & disprove this and the results are always that the markets are very efficient – if you placed £1 on 1,000 RANDOM events, you would expect to break even (if commission was 0%)

It is for this reason that making a profit via traditional mug punter aspirations of “picking winners” is a flawed methodology. Over 1,000 bets you will definitely have losing bets, I am sure we can agree on that. So it is not about picking winners, so much as getting the best odds, so that your winners outweigh your losses. The only hope a mug punter has of making a long term profit from betting is by grinding one out by taking above-value prices. Obviously there will be a minority exception to this rule, but the fact that less than 2% of punters make a profit long term, should tell you all you need to know.

Consider 2 people betting on the same tips every week. Person A gets their bet on early and person B gets on later, after everyone else has backed the tip and the odds have come in a little bit. It is quite possible that Person A could end up in a long term profit, and Person B in a long term loss, purely because they’re taking 5-10% worse odds than Person A… 5-10% is HUGE in betting terms.

There is a fairly well-known blogger who follows tips and publishes his results. Over the last 5 years he is $284,890 in profit, at the time of writing (australian dollars FYI) but guess how much he has had to bet, to achieve that?

$28,422,010

Yes the comma is in the correct place. Over 28 million. So he is actually only making around 1% profit on every bet he makes. Which is good! But consider if he had taken 5% worse odds, he would probably be in a 7-figure loss.

***** Dead Certs and why they don’t exist *****

Let’s use a quick example – Barcelona playing an average team with Win odds of 1.20 may seem like a dead cert, because hey – it’s Barcelona! And the odds are so low, why even bother laying it? The market agrees that they will probably win, right?

Well this question is flawed for 2 reasons:

– First of all, the probability of a Barcelona Win in this example at odds of 1.20 is 83% which sounds good. You can work out the probability by dividing 1 by the odds (so 1 / 1.20) … but this also means there is a 17% chance they will Draw or Lose. That is nearly 1 in 5 times you are going to be left frustrated at yourself and wondering why you didn’t just lay the bet as normal.

– Secondly, the fact the odds are so low means the actual cost / liability you need to lay is tiny. You can lay a £50 bet and you’d only need a tenner in Betfair to do it! Hardly a problem for most people – it’s not going to be using up vital money you need for other bets, like a horse @ 5.0 might do (then you’d need £250!)

Because the markets are proven to be efficient, if you do 100 bets at 1.20 you can be pretty sure around 17% of them will lose. And seeing as you probably came here to make consistent money, this is a bumpy ride you probably don’t need… but most importantly – NOT LAYING THESE WILL NOT MAKE YOU ANY EXTRA MONEY! Maybe in the short term, but the probability will always catch up with you sooner or later – so why bother?

Lay your bets, follow our advice, and your profit will grow consistently 🙂