When you are looking at betting, most people consider finding the winner to be the most important bet. Of course, in some ways it is, but actually there is a lot more profit to be made in the side markets.
Side market bets are the smaller markets that allow you to bet in slightly different ways. The biggest example is the place market. For a while you could only bet on the place market using Betfair and the Tote but now bookmakers are starting to open up these markets with William Hill leading the way.
Other better known markets include the forecast and the tricast. To win these bets you need to predict the order that the first two or three horses will finish in respectively.
For those of us who have the ability to overcome long losing streaks without going on tilt, these markets can be the most lucrative places to bet.
They are only suitable if you are comfortable with long losing streaks however because the bets are harder to win and so you win less often. I am going to assume that because you are reading this then you take your betting seriously and you understand that losing streaks are part of winning.
This leads me on to explain why these side markets are such good betting propositions!
To make a profit from horse racing, or any other form of sports betting, you need to be better than the majority of punters. It is the mass punters who decide on the odds. Of course, the bookies make the final decisions but their decision is based on where the majority of punters are putting their money.
It is this phenomenon that allows us to know that the mass of punters are generally good at finding the winner. The favourites win more often than any other runner. But, the favourites don’t make a profit because all of those punters know they win more than any other runner and so the odds being offered are too low.
This is why you hear successful punters (myself included) banging on about value odds time and time again. It is the only way to be successful in this game.
However, it is much harder for the mass of punters to predict more complex situations. The next most complex situation after which horse is going to be the winner, is the place market where you need to predict which horses will come in the top 2 or 3 finish positions.
The mass of punters are still pretty good at predicting the place market, but not as good as the winning market. But when we start getting to the more complex side markets such as forecasts, tricasts, exactas etc… the mass of punters are no longer very good at predicting them.
Imagine walking up to someone you have never met in the bookies and asking them which horses they think would come first, second and third in the right order and the probability of it happening. I would pretty much guarantee that they would be a long way off the mark.
This is where our profit comes in. Because the mass punters are not very good at predicting these side markets, we can get huge value in the odds. Huge value in the odds turns into huge profits, which is something that we all want.
So, next time you are thinking about developing a betting strategy or system then consider developing one that bets in the side markets. It may take a bit more time and you may have longer losing streaks but, when you look back over the next year of using it, you are going to be pleased that you did!