Here at Lap Of The Odds we occasionally like to lift the lid on the inner workings of our selection process. OK, sometimes this can be like the opening scenes of High Noon or Once Upon A Time In The West, a couple of guys sitting around bored, gazing into the misty horizon waiting endlessly for a train (of thought) to arrive. Today though we have an acute and immediate focus on the merits of each way betting in golf given the proximity of the game’s first major, the US Masters in Augusta.
A standard tour event will feature different each way offers from different bookies. Typically you can expect a best of around 1/5th the odds for around 6 places.
Our betting philosophy is that we are not in the each way game as insurance, but as a means to profit. Our rule of thumb for exercising that view is that no each way bet should be placed unless it can double our money on a market.
If we are betting one golfer each way, this is 2 bets (one win, one place), so the place needs to return at least 4 units. At 1/5th the odds that would mean 16/1 and upwards (16/5 plus stake > 4) merits each way value.
In events where we back two golfers (and for most events this is the advised approach) then the cut off for an each way bet doubles to around 33/1 (28/1 where the place fraction is 1/4). Any golfer below that price will not double our return if he alone places, and hence we stick to win bets for such golfers.
The value being offered by a competitive betting market for the high-profile US Masters cannot be underestimated.
Some bookmakers are offering up to 8 places for each way, with a 1/5th fraction for Paddy Power, Bet365 and William Hill, and a truly astonishing 1/4 fraction for SkyBet.
The value of paying down to 8th in a relatively thinly contested invitational field like the Masters is exceptional, and we feel dominates any small price edge from bookies offering less friendly each way terms.
We’ll be declaring our hand tomorrow, but this is a great week for an each way bet, and even under our double-your-money rules, you could reasonably build a portfolio of four golfers with Skybet at c66/1, (say Leishman, Schwartzel, Koepka and Reed – purely as examples) knowing than any one of those placing in the top eight would deliver the goods.
Stay tuned for our comprehensive US Masters Golf guide, and our selection for the outright and specialty markets, available from Wednesday 5th April.