Get to grips with the Betfair market view
We’ve highlighted some key things about reading Betfair odds, calculating payouts and profit-making opportunities in the back and lay betting chapters. But there is more information on hand that can help turn betting knowledge into action.
Let’s tap into the data you will find displayed on a typical Betfair exchange market.
Behind the desk: exchange market on desktop
The boxes shaded blue and pink represent the best odds available to back or lay at the time. The boxes in white – on either side – are the next best odds available. This is like a ‘depth chart’ and can reveal information about betting confidence on a selection.
Each box includes the current odds (top – in bold) and the money available to back or lay at those odds (also known as ‘liquidity’). This is important, because if there’s only a small portion of liquidity available at current best odds, your bet may not be fully matched. The ‘depth chart’ therefore becomes useful, as the next best odds may be easier to get on.
There are two percentages located above each market – on the back and lay bet side. They contain the sums of every selection in the market to happen. For example
- Runner A has back bet odds of $2.50 = 40% chance of happening
- Runner B has back bet odds of $5.00 = 20% chance of happening
And so on …
(Remember: in a back betting market, the smaller the odds, the bigger the percentage.)
Why does this all matter? Because you want to see those percentages as close to 100% as possible. When they get close to the 100% pin, the odds become extremely competitive, there’s more value and you get better bang for your betting buck.
Traditional bookmakers have a built-in margin on every market to ensure they can make a profit. Therefore, a bookmaker will set up their market to hit at around 110% or more at event start time. At Betfair, you will find racing markets often get close to 100% at start time, which means better odds and better value when you bet.
The market percentage on the back bet side will start at greater than 100% and gradually wind itself in as more bets are matched. The lay bet side happens in reverse; the market percentage will start at less than 100% and climb upwards over time.
And you would want it to be; the closer to 100%, the less liability is likely on your lay bet.
In the top right-hand corner of the market you’ll find the amount of money that’s been bet (matched) in the market. The more money you see here, the closer those percentages will get to 100%.
See the graph icons next to each selection? You can access fast, up-to-date betting data and information for every runner, every team and every outcome. Just click for more.
(Interested in what drives exchange market movements? There’s a How To article for this.)
You’ll also find the market rules and information, which details the Market Base Rate (our commission), plus details on in-play betting and deductions (should there be any race scratchings).
There are form comments available on Australian and New Zealand thoroughbred races plus Betfair SP data, which will appear on the desktop market at the event start time.
Get hands on: betting with the Betfair App
Have all the latest back and lay odds in your back pocket with the Betfair App for iPhone and Android. You’ll find the odds outlined in blue and pink, with percentages for back and lay markets above each odds column.
Tap into a wider range of odds available on each selection via the “Depth” button, or tap on “BSP” to get a projected Betfair SP price at the event start time. Plus you’ll find race analysis for Australian and New Zealand thoroughbred races by tapping on “Tips”.
The information icon is next to the event countdown and reveals the market rules.
If you tap on “About Betfair > The Hub” you can access Betfair’s premier wagering content, including expert tips across racing and sport, on the Betfair Hub. Find out more in the next article: Get to Know the Betfair Hub.