Betfair Starting Price (BSP)

In 2016, the Betfair Starting Price (BSP or Betfair SP) was born. This revolutionary product allows back and lay punters to have their bets matched on The Exchange as a horse, harness or greyhound race starts and gives them the Best Odds. As you’ll see from the Betfair SP vs Best Tote Odds Comparison table below, the product provides exceptional value to all users.

For the latest Horse, Harness and Greyhound Results to compare the BSP with the Best Tote, head to our Results Page.


BSP v Best Tote Comparison

To illustrate the advantage of using the BSP we’ve taken a simple $1 back bet from all winners since September 2016 to calculate the BSP and Best Tote winnings.

Note: Based on ALL Australian thoroughbred metro & provincial races for that period. Price comparison removes Betfair commission charges.




How is the Betfair SP different to the Traditional SP?

Traditionally in Australia, the Starting Price for any horse in any race has been determined by the most common prevailing price available in the bookmakers ring at the meet in question. Betfair’s Starting Price is different.

It’s based on bets placed by both backers and layers in any market. At the start of an event it looks at the relationship between the amount of money requested at SP by opposing customers and any unmatched Exchange bets.

There’s no margin for profit built in – and that’s why we think it will give you much better value, even after taking account of commission paid on your net winnings.



Where can I bet on the Betfair SP?

Australia – Thoroughbred win markets and place markets for Sky 1 meetings. It’s also available on Australian Harness and Greyhound win markets except for full Sky 2 meetings.

New Zealand – Thoroughbred win markets.

International – Thoroughbred win markets across selected racing around the world.


How to place an SP Bet?

Firstly, you need to have the ‘Betfair Starting Price’ box ticked within Settings. This will bring up a new column in the market view allowing you to Back or Lay at SP.

Full SP Betting – you can place the full stake of your wager down on the SP by clicking on the Back or Lay SP button.

Unmatched SP Betting – you can take a price at the Back or Lay odds and if your bet is partially matched, you are prompted to ‘Take SP’ for the unmatched amount. By clicking ‘Take SP’ and updating your bet, when the event turns in-play, any unmatched amounts will automatically be matched at the SP price. This also applies to bets that may be fully unmatched when the event turns in-play – the SP provides convenience ensuring you get you stake matched.


Accuracy of BSP

Below is a plot to show how “accurate” the Betfair Starting Price (BSP).

The diagonal below is the ideal case. The BSP follows the diagonal for most cases, except where the sample size is small (> 85% BSP – horses priced >$1.175).

The sample below is the output using Australian Thoroughbred data collected from 1st Jan 2013 – 19th July 2017. Only considering races where the BSP overround is >= 95% and <= 110%, resulting in 75,650 races.

As demonstrated below, the Betfair SP is the most accurate predictor of probability. This graph implies that:

  • $2 shots (50%) – win at very close to 50% of the time.
  • $5 shots (20%) – win at very close to 20% of the time.


Have you got other questions about the Betfair Starting Price? Check out the Betfair SP FAQs page.


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