WARNING: This article may make your brain hurt!
Picking our recommendations is the most challenging part of what we do at Form Golfer – but once we’ve identified the players who we believe represent value, there’s one more job to do – determining which price and each way terms we are recommending.
Years ago, the golf market revolved around standard each way terms of one quarter the odds for the first four places. So comparing prices was easy – the biggest price represented the best value. At the time of writing, there are four different place terms in common use: one quarter the odds for five places and one fifth for either six, eight or ten places. At majors, where competition for business is at its highest, there may be even more places on offer.
On balance, these changes have been good news for golf bettors, with each way value much easier to find. But in general you will be taking a lower price in order to take advantage of the very best place terms, so it becomes important to be able to compare if we are to get the best possible value.
By way of an example, if you are offered 33/1 with one fifth the odds and six places, would you be better taking a lower price of 28/1 also with one fifth the odds, but with an additional two places on offer?
Even asking the question is enough to cause a minor brain meltdown! But fear not, the boffins at Form Golfer have been crunching the numbers to work out the expected returns for the different place terms on offer. Broadly, our conclusions are as follows:
- One quarter odds for 5 places offers the same value as one fifth odds for six places, so you should simply pick the biggest odds on offer when comparing
- In order to justify taking one fifth odds for 6 places over one fifth for 8 places, you would need to be taking a price roughly 15-20% bigger (e.g. 33/1 rather than 28/1) for the six places to be better value
- Similarly, to justify taking one fifth for 8 places over one fifth for 10 places, you would want a 15-20% bigger price
All of our recommendations come with the price and place terms that we suggest taking. Sometimes we will recommend taking a bigger price with less favourable place terms (or a smaller price with more favourable terms) in order to get what we feel is the best value. Unfortunately there will be times when this goes against us, and we get a 9th placed finisher that we didn’t cover for 10 places. But at other times we’ll benefit from having taken a bigger price on (say) a third place that didn’t require cover down to 10th place. These things tend to balance out in the long run – and as ever our focus is to find the best possible value for our subscribers – making good use of the different each way terms on offer is a key part of this.