Is it possible to know what a horses true chance of winning is?
Whatever anybody tells you, the answer is no.
We can estimate a horse’s true chance of winning, but we won’t ever know it.
When I first started betting on horses, I was told to stop trying to get the exact probability of a horse’s chance of winning because you would only ever know it after the race.
And… there’s only one true chance.
The winning horse has 100% chance of winning and all other horses had a 0% chance of winning.
It took me a long-time to get my head around that, but now that I do, if you’ve got any questions on it, please leave me a comment and I’ll answer them.
However, it’s common knowledge that the odds just before the race begins are a very accurate estimate of a horse’s chance of winning,
This is something which is very easy to test.
Take every horse with odds of 2/1, and you should see around 33% of them win.
Odds of 2/1 indicate that the horse has a 33% chance of winning.
You can calculate what a horse’s odds estimate it’s chance of winning by dividing the number one by the decimal odds.
A 2/1 horse is decimal odds of 3.00. That means:
1 ÷ 3 = 0.33 or 33% chance of winning
But to save you from doing it, I can assure you that over the long-term the pre-race odds predict the chance of a horse winning accurately.
Creating an odds line, like we do in RA Pro with our PR Odds, is a process of trying to predict a type of horse that will win a certain amount of time over the long-term.
For example, we’d expect all of our 5/1 shots to win 16% of the time in the long-term.
Why do we do this?
Because it helps us to know when to place a bet and when not to place a bet.
This is how…
If we know that over the course of a year our 5/1 selections win 16% of the time, then if the odds with the bookmakers for one of these selections is higher, we know that we’ve got a value bet.
Bet these selections every time they come up and you’ll make a long-term profit.
It’s not possible to ever know a horse’s true chance of winning.
But we don’t need to know a horse’s true chance of winning in order to make a profit.
All we need, is to know that if our odds line says a horse has a 16% chance of winning, that those horses will win 16% in the long-term. That doesn’t mean one specific horse has that chance of winning, as I’ve mentioned, there’s no way of knowing that. It means that all these horses over the course of a year or two will win 16% of the time.
With this information, we can easily make a decision on whether to bet on a selection or not, simply by only placing the bet if the odds with the bookmakers are higher than the odds in your odds line.