Betting Knowledge

Using Graphs To Visualise Ratings

There are a lot of numbers in sports betting. It doesn’t matter whether you are betting on racing, football, golf, tennis or any other sport. The way that most people analyse the competition is through numbers. These numbers are known as ratings.

Using numbers is fine when there are just a few of them, but what happens when you start to want more detailed ratings. Maybe you want a stamina rating that shows you how a footballer performs when he has just come back from an injury.

There are many types of ratings that you may want to create and you could end up with hundreds for every game or race that takes place. Being able to visualise what these ratings mean can be very difficult because there are so many of them. You get half way down the list for one horse and your eyes start to glaze over, you then move on to the second horse whose rating you are looking at and comparing to the first and you begin to feel your head throbbing before you decide it is time to stop.

Interpreting the information is more important than being able to create it.

One very simple way that is seldom used is to plot a graph. It is what we did at school during math lessons and we can do it now to help us make winning bets. As an example I shall use some of the data from my ProRatings service. A race in December gave the following ratings:

Horse RCF RW AS LRP SDP PRT
Annia -0.01 3.25 2.96 0.46 29.61 16.66
Billie Jean 1.15 3.25 10.66 0.18 24.1 42.89
Caol Ila -0.18 4.25 7.67 0.77 38.28 37.74
Duke Of Rainford -0.84 0.25 3.53 0.23 31.95 35.45
Lets Move It 1.63 -1.75 6.43 0.13 11.17 11.17
Lairy -0.84 -6.75 2.33 0.5 32.07 33.04
Rightcar Marian 0.64 -6.75 10.17 0.09 24.48 24.48
Taeping -0.21 -1.75 4.83 0.17 32.24 27.83
The Two G’s -0.5 -3.75 3.08 0.4 25.53 28.5
Thewinnatakesitall -0.63 1.25 4.51 0.38 29.53 36.33
True Red -0.94 -3.75 1.75 0.08 39.31 32.51
Turf Time 0.75 -6.75 3.5 0.1 19.31 30.63
Horse PCT JC DIV ASA HPSC ProExpert
Annia 16.66 51.38 0.83 17.76 -9.44 150.87
Billie Jean 22.17 44.17 0.66 31.98 4.78 86.17
Caol Ila 37.74 48.36 1.23 38.35 11.15 287.66
Duke Of Rainford 35.45 40.64 1.17 31.77 4.57 -79.21
Lets Move It 11.17 42.27 0.86 19.29 -7.91 60.74
Lairy 44.05 45.04 0.98 30.29 3.09 99.26
Rightcar Marian 24.48 54.26 1.11 30.51 3.31 -107.75
Taeping 32.26 48.57 1.23 28.98 1.78 64.18
The Two G’s 26.88 40.28 1.17 24.64 -2.56 33.26
Thewinnatakesitall 36.33 35.22 0.35 36.08 8.88 154.06
True Red 32.51 46.2 1.23 26.25 -0.95 -127.97
Turf Time 20.02 50.22 1.23 17.5 -9.7 4.03

At first glance this seems like a huge amount of information. It is quite a lot and you would not have to use this many ratings, the purpose of having a large number of ratings is that everybody likes to analyse a race differently and each user finds their own way of using the information profitably. Another way of using the information is to use our graph to visualise this race. If you have a spreadsheet this takes just a matter of seconds. We select all the information and plot it into a graph which gives us:

You can see straight away that the ratings for the horses are fairly similar until we get to the ProExpert rating at the end. It is likely that some of the horses are just edging slightly better than the others with their performance and so instead of a line graph we can use an area graph. This gives us:

The way this graph works is that you can only see the best horses. Turf Time is at the front of the graph and so you can see all of the orange in his performance. It is only when a horse is better than him that you can see their performance. More importantly is that immediately all the numbers begin to make some sense.

You can see that it is going to be  competitive race.  Turf Time has a good overall performance except in the HPSC and ProExpert where it is a bit weaker. True Red has a very bad ProExpert and so that would be a concern. Thewinnatakesitall and Caol Ila both have good ProExpert but don’t really feature with any of the other ratings and it is very hard to differentiate between the rest. You may want to skip this race or place an each way bet on Turf Time for small stakes.

A quick look at the results:

We can see that the race was clearly competitive with the high odds of the top 3 and Turf Time came 2nd with good odds.

Using a graph in this manner is simple and can help you with the ease of assessing your races quicker and more effectively.

You can read part two of this article here.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help punters improve their betting profits and think outside the box with their betting strategies. To date he has written over 450 articles on the site and recently started UK Racing News which has become a leading news site for horse racing in the UK and IRE. Check out my personal blog or my Google+

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7 Comments

    1. You can use this technique with any ratings but this method is actually advanced and developed inside our Betting Speed Evolution module where the graphs are drawn for you and can be adjusted based on race conditions.

  1. Hi Michael, What do all those abbreviations stand for.
    RW,As,LRP,SDP,PRT,PCT,JC,DIV,ISA, etc,etc. Certainly looks advanced and beyond the ordinary punter.

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