Friday, 4 March 2011

To BOG, or not to BOG...

Is Best Odds Guaranteed about to become a thing of the past? Certainly the signs are not good. As I am sure you are aware, Coral this week introduced their own slant on BOG offerings which, when all is said and done, means that the punter has to accept a lower price on a horse if wishing to utilise their BOG. It was not so long ago that Stan James removed completely from their book the offer of taking BOG. Of the remaining bookmakers that do provide the service, there remains only Bet365, BetInternet, Paddy Power, Chandler, Ladbrokes and William Hill. I know BetFred and Boyles nominally offer BOG, but has anyone here been able to use it recently? No? Mmm...thought not.

So what are the consequences to us, the gambler? Well, my biggest concern is that if determined to utilise BOG for all horse racing bets, it is becoming harder to spread the bets around between the bookmakers, simply because the size of the pool offering BOG is diminishing. Assuming that over time, your bets are spread equally across the range of BOG bookies, the remaining six are having to pick up the slack that is a result of no longer being able to use Coral and Stan James. In other words, more money is going to be placed with the remaining BOG bookies, which in turn will shorten the the time it will take before restrictions and account closures will rear their collective ugly heads.

Is this necessarily the problem it appears to be though? Is taking BOG the be all and end all that we, as investors always seeking to maximise every possible edge, make it? It's an interesting one. Let's try and look at things a little differently. Would we be worried about a service we were following if the SP was frequently longer than the "advised" odds? I would be. I would be wondering where the value lay in the service's tips. So, assuming (admittedly, always a dangerous thing to do) that the majority of bets we strike shorten in price, is it really a disaster if we take the longest price available in the morning markets, regardless of whether the bookie offering that price were BOG or not? Yes, there will undoubtedly be times when we back drifters that win and if not backed with a BOG bookmaker, we will resent the fact. But how many times is this likely to happen? Not too many should drift and then of the ones that do, not many more than 20% of these few will win (15 - 20% tends to be the rough average win percentage across the services used). In fact, I am sure the figure will be much less than 20%, as if a horse drifts significantly, there is often a reason for it doing so and that reason usually means that something is amiss and the horse unlikely to win.

At the end of all this theorising, and that is all this is (!), it all boils down to this... Are we prepared to accept the odd winning drifter on which we miss out on a little extra profit if it means that we protect our under threat accounts by spreading our bets more thinly across more books, some of which are non-BOG? Answers on a postcard...

Today's Action

Well, Winning Racing Tips are in a fine bit of form at the moment. They were the only service today to produce a profit, but it was large enough to give another winning day overall. They went for two selections in the 2.20 at Newbury (Omaruru - 10/1 and Two Kisses - 5/1). Omaruru won, Two Kisses was second! Pretty good tipping in my book. Just as an aside though, I do believe that Omaruru was given by The Patient Speculation blog - go take a look.

Elsewhere, ProBandit found a winner (Estonia - Lingfield - 9/4) but results elsewhere meant a small loss on the day. PJA NH found one to place from two and Chasemaster found two that finished in the frame from three. On The Nose drew a blank from two selections.

PJA NH: Staked 1.5pts, -0.65pts.
On The Nose: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
ProBandit: Staked 3pts, -0.687pts.
Winning Racing Tips: Staked 1.4pts, +2.4pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 1pt, -0.35pts.
Financial profit on the racing of £62.50.

Friday 4th March: Staked £314, +£62.50.
Week to date: Staked £1,395, +£170.52.
Month to date: Staked £1,265, +£149.52, roi 11.81%.

Finally, before I go for the weekend, I would like to draw your attention to Mr.X. Readers from the early days will know that Mr.X is a friend of mine who gives football tips. Well, I can reveal a little more now - you can find him at (there's also a permanent link to the right and up a bit). Go take a look - fascinating reading and good footie tips. I shall also reveal a little more about him next week.

I'll be back tomorrow night to post up the results. Have a great weekend.


  1. Hi Rowan

    Thinking about how to decide whether to use a BOG bookmaker or not, I think a very useful tool to help in your decision making process would be your betting records.

    If you record the price you took the bet on at and the SP price for each of the entries in your records you will be able to see exactly how many selections do take advantage of the BOG.

    Only a thought but it is something I am going to do in future for as you say it is worth protecting accounts with some of the better bookmakers.


  2. Hi Mark,

    It's a good idea to record the difference but ultimately if you veer away every now and then from the BOG bookie, you have to accept that there will come a time when it bites you on the bum.

    Is it worth it to help protect accounts? I think only each individual can decide that.

    All the best,