View Full Version : Odds Maker

Ghostzapper04

01-30-2016, 10:13 PM

Hi all, I'm new to the forum. From what I've seen there are a lot of sharpies here.

I'm not a math guy so I'm hoping to calculate a formula or find software that will. What I am specifically looking for is an equation/software that will allow me to assign a win percentage to a horse. In turn I should receive what the correct odds should be, solely dependent on what percentage I assigned to the horse. It should also take the takeout into account.

I feel this would allow me to find overlays/underlays based on my handicapping skills (ha) much more accurately. Thanks for your help.

Dr Gonzo

01-31-2016, 07:17 AM

Hi all, I'm new to the forum. From what I've seen there are a lot of sharpies here.

I'm not a math guy so I'm hoping to calculate a formula or find software that will. What I am specifically looking for is an equation/software that will allow me to assign a win percentage to a horse. In turn I should receive what the correct odds should be, solely dependent on what percentage I assigned to the horse. It should also take the takeout into account.

I feel this would allow me to find overlays/underlays based on my handicapping skills (ha) much more accurately. Thanks for your help.

Welcome, Ghostzapper04.

Every software program that I've seen, including ones costing $1500+, fall way short of the mark setting a reasonably accurate odds line. If anyone knows of software that does this calculation well, I'd sure like to know about it.

That being said, I create my own odds line based upon the number of true contenders in the race. For example, 3 contenders might be 2/1, 3/1 and 4/1 totaling about 80% of the win pool. I always leave about 20% for the other horses to make allowances for surprises, bad handicapping etc.

Here is a good place to start : http://blog.twinspires.com/2012/07/making-fair-odds-line.html

Good luck to you.

Doc

Capper Al

01-31-2016, 07:31 AM

Welcome Ghostzapper04.

Checkout the thread 'Morning Lines are Just Wrong' for another view of MLs.

upthecreek

01-31-2016, 10:41 AM

Hi all, I'm new to the forum. From what I've seen there are a lot of sharpies here.

I'm not a math guy so I'm hoping to calculate a formula or find software that will. What I am specifically looking for is an equation/software that will allow me to assign a win percentage to a horse. In turn I should receive what the correct odds should be, solely dependent on what percentage I assigned to the horse. It should also take the takeout into account.

I feel this would allow me to find overlays/underlays based on my handicapping skills (ha) much more accurately. Thanks for your help.

You could try the FREE Handifast program from a member here Allows you to weight certain factors and gives you fair odds(see attached)

In the example R9 Tampa today the #6 is 10-1 Ml fair odds 3-1

Ghostzapper04

01-31-2016, 12:06 PM

Welcome, Ghostzapper04.

Every software program that I've seen, including ones costing $1500+, fall way short of the mark setting a reasonably accurate odds line. If anyone knows of software that does this calculation well, I'd sure like to know about it.

That being said, I create my own odds line based upon the number of true contenders in the race. For example, 3 contenders might be 2/1, 3/1 and 4/1 totaling about 80% of the win pool. I always leave about 20% for the other horses to make allowances for surprises, bad handicapping etc.

Here is a good place to start : http://blog.twinspires.com/2012/07/making-fair-odds-line.html

Good luck to you.

Doc

Very good info. Thanks.

Dave Schwartz

01-31-2016, 01:14 PM

In turn I should receive what the correct odds should be, solely dependent on what percentage I assigned to the horse. It should also take the takeout into account.

Indeed you would like that, as would every player on the planet.

This is known in horse racing as "The Holy Grail."

Ghostzapper04

01-31-2016, 01:31 PM

Indeed you would like that, as would every player on the planet.

This is known in horse racing as "The Holy Grail."

LOL. Not in that sense. 'correct' in a mathematic sense i.e. a 3% horse should be 32:1.

Dave Schwartz

01-31-2016, 01:36 PM

And that would be "The Holy Grail."

The goal is to be able to say, "#1 has a 32.2% chance of winning" (and be correct, of course).

(Please note: Not trying to be critical. Just trying to understand.)

Ghostzapper04

01-31-2016, 01:42 PM

And that would be "The Holy Grail."

The goal is to be able to say, "#1 has a 32.2% chance of winning" (and be correct, of course).

(Please note: Not trying to be critical. Just trying to understand.)

Of course, but it's much more about being able to identify massive overlays based on your handicapping than being actually able to compute exact chances of winning, which is impossible.

Capper Al

01-31-2016, 01:56 PM

Of course, but it's much more about being able to identify massive overlays based on your handicapping than being actually able to compute exact chances of winning, which is impossible.

What are your numbers worth if two-thirds of the time they are wrong?

Dave Schwartz

01-31-2016, 02:22 PM

Of course, but it's much more about being able to identify massive overlays based on your handicapping than being actually able to compute exact chances of winning, which is impossible.

IMHO, raising the tolerance for errors does not negate the need for accuracy and verification.

Ghostzapper04

01-31-2016, 02:41 PM

IMHO, raising the tolerance for errors does not negate the need for accuracy and verification.

Agreed. After I've used this method and have a sample size, if what I think are 15% horses are coming in at 3%, I'm going to have problems. I'll have to keep a sturdy database of this, which I likely wouldn't have if we weren't having this conversation. Thanks, Dave.

Dave Schwartz

01-31-2016, 03:44 PM

Agreed. After I've used this method and have a sample size, if what I think are 15% horses are coming in at 3%, I'm going to have problems. I'll have to keep a sturdy database of this, which I likely wouldn't have if we weren't having this conversation. Thanks, Dave.

Good job! The secret to success!

:ThmbUp: :ThmbUp:

crestridge

02-01-2016, 01:51 PM

Check out, "The Signal And The Noise" and "Precision: Statistical Mathematical Methods In Horse Racing", can find them on Amazon.

Ghostzapper04

02-10-2016, 01:39 PM

Got what I was looking for with this Odds Calculator from Derek Simon.

(excel download)

https://valuewagering.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/fairoddscalculator.xls

green80

02-10-2016, 01:43 PM

what is used for the numerator and denomonator?

Ghostzapper04

02-15-2016, 01:29 PM

what is used for the numerator and denomonator?

I set the denominator to 1 for every horse. Thus, a horse that's 10:1, should have a numerator of 10 and a denominator of 1.

JoeLong

02-16-2016, 05:38 PM

There are three books I'd recommend reading in search of odds-line calculation.

1). Thoroughbred Handicapping as an Investment - Dick Mitchel

2). Money Secrets at the Racetrack - Barry Meadow

3). The Four Quarters of Horse Investing - Steve Fierro

After reading and understanding these publications you will discover what goes into building a credible rating system or odds-line.

After years of trying to perfect an odds-line I have come to the conclusion that the Four Quarters approach to odds-line construction is about as good as it gets. Couple that with Barry Meadow's Win Bet Chart and you have a viable means to attack racing from a edge/odds probability window of your own making.

Ghostzapper04

02-16-2016, 10:58 PM

There are three books I'd recommend reading in search of odds-line calculation.

1). Thoroughbred Handicapping as an Investment - Dick Mitchel

2). Money Secrets at the Racetrack - Barry Meadow

3). The Four Quarters of Horse Investing - Steve Fierro

After reading and understanding these publications you will discover what goes into building a credible rating system or odds-line.

After years of trying to perfect an odds-line I have come to the conclusion that the Four Quarters approach to odds-line construction is about as good as it gets. Couple that with Barry Meadow's Win Bet Chart and you have a viable means to attack racing from a edge/odds probability window of your own making.

Thanks for the advice; going to read these.

Capper Al

02-17-2016, 07:14 AM

All rubbish! By definition, if one could nail an odds line they would be rich. All they need to do is bet on horses with post time odds above their line. It would be like getting 6/1 odds on a roll of a die. One could be certain with a fair die that in the long run they would come out ahead. If they are not rich then it's rubbish.

raybo

02-18-2016, 06:11 PM

I agree, odds lines are only as good as their long term results. The odds maker must, consistently, know how the horse compares to all the others in the race, and if the horse will demonstrate that edge today. Nobody knows that, all the time! But, the astute odds maker, who concentrates on the long term, can make long term profit, even if his line is not perfect in individual races. Individual races, and individual race lines, mean little to the long term. It's all about "consistently being good enough" to mean something long term.

Alas, I have never seen or heard of an odds maker who has a good enough line to bet it all the time, and make long term profit from doing so.

Frankie D

03-25-2018, 10:20 AM

great thread worth the bump.

It comes down to what is revealed and suggested by Raybo. Edge has to be on horses properly modeled into the betting line odds

DeltaLover

03-25-2018, 10:39 AM

Don't bother with probability estimates; something like this is not only impossible but also even if you had a magic way to estimate the "real" win probabilities it would have been useless for betting purposes as the market offered odds are not known until the end of the race.

The Judge

03-26-2018, 04:57 AM

This is as good a book on odds making as there is. I must admit I'm a fan of the author Mark Cramer.

I think it was by Cynthia Publishing Dick Mitchell's old company.

That was a good book. I got if for a lot less than it's going for nowadays!

He also wrote Value Handicapping about making an odds line.

Frankie D

03-26-2018, 11:21 PM

Don't bother with probability estimates; something like this is not only impossible but also even if you had a magic way to estimate the "real" win probabilities it would have been useless for betting purposes as the market offered odds are not known until the end of the race.

So, the end result of placing bets on overlays is still the goal. What do you suggest?

The way I see it you have a few choices:

- add in the takeout and a inaccuracy cushion/margin, and live with the results and come out in the long run?

- do extensive research to see the relative strengths of the various factors you use to select main contenders, and live with the slightly more refined odds line?

- set arbitrarily high estimates with a chance to get skilled at it?

What do you think?

The level of accuracy that MAY BE ATTAINED depends heavily on the accuracy of your selection process and establishing relative strength down the program/card...

DeltaLover

03-27-2018, 09:59 AM

So, the end result of placing bets on overlays is still the goal.

Placing bets on overlays is a property of a betting strategy; a bettor begins with the conjecture that his approach possesses it and tries to refute it by placing bets.

- add in the takeout and a inaccuracy cushion/margin, and live with the results and come out in the long run?

This seems like what some people claim to do. After they realize that trying to match estimated against offered prices does not work, they come up with ad-hoc modifications of their theories (like for example projecting final price). Doing so only, restates the problem adding a new challenge, the same will be repeated later after falsification with a new target an so on.

This reality that horse bettors refuse to accept, is that the game, as it has become in Northern America, can very well be impossible to beat in a consistent fashion.

Data analysis ignorance,combined with wishful thinking and gambling addiction are the main factors that keep the fallacious hopes of horse bettors alive while rejecting the factual data that point to the other direction.

Frankie D

03-27-2018, 11:33 AM

This seems like what some people claim to do. After they realize that trying to match estimated against offered prices does not work, they come up with ad-hoc modifications of their theories (like for example projecting final price). Doing so only, restates the problem adding a new challenge, the same will be repeated later after falsification with a new target an so on.

this glosses over my point of learning true contender selection and relative ranking of effective factors.

This reality that horse bettors refuse to accept, is that the game, as it has become in Northern America, can very well be impossible to beat in a consistent fashion.

Data analysis ignorance,combined with wishful thinking and gambling addiction are the main factors that keep the fallacious hopes of horse bettors alive while rejecting the factual data that point to the other direction.

The list of unicorn fallacies does not necessarily apply in my experience. I have always considered that an answer to finding true and predictable overlays can be found.

Some percentage of players, and it obviously a small number, does rise past wishful thinking and self told lies to the discipline required to discover an individual framework that can become successful. That possibility is from where I pose these odds line questions.

I think your first sentence gives a hint of the solution. Simply presume finding that "property" and incorporate it.

"Placing bets on overlays is a property of a betting strategy; a bettor begins with the conjecture that his approach possesses it and tries to refute it by placing bets"

acorn54

03-27-2018, 12:10 PM

in todays reality at n.a. racetracks it is more the norm than the exception that on any day, (with most exceptions, in larger, competitive fields on weekends in fair weather), you get a parade of chalk, or low-end payouts, below 9/2. what isn't factored into a capper's attempt at fair price is dime breakage, which at longer priced payoffs can more or less be written off, however at the typical payoffs of today can easily turn a player from a winner to a loser.

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