What is Betfair SP (BSP)?
Betfair SP stands for Betfair Starting Price. It is an aggregated figure for all odds being offered just before a horse race starts, on a certain horse, by the bookmakers on course. It was set up in 2007 by Betfair.
It is a highly convenient betting product for horse racing fans who either don’t have the patience to get the market at the right time, or who aren’t available to do so. The Betfair Starting Price is generated by Betfair layers and backers, rather than high street bookies who are seeking out extra routes to profitable margins. It’s worth noting that, compared to the official industry starting price, the Betfair SP is around 40% higher. Of course, this figure will be skewed by the odd big winner, but you can find real value on your daily favourites too.
How Can I Bet On UK Horse Racing With Betfair SP?
You’ll note that this market is shown within the regular horse racing markets, for both place and win. One of the most attractive aspects is that you can choose whether to lay or back. To see the columns within your online market view, simply tick the Betfair SP box that is shown above the market.
Then, in order to place a bet, simply select either a lay or back box. When you place a bet through Betfair SP, you will be asking for a bet to be placed as the race begins, at the close of the market – rather than taking on a price. This is the point at which the SP is calculated.
So what happens when a horse is being punted heavily at a late stage of betting? You might, for example, feel that the horse represents a good punt at 6.0, but that it has no value if it reaches under 5.0. You can use the limit feature at this point. For back bets, use the minimum price option for your bet. If the Betfair SP returns under your minimum price option, the bet will be automatically cancelled.
If you want to place a lay bet, do this by placing the liability, rather than the backer’s stake. Remember, the lay bet is how much you want to risk, rather than how much you are looking to win.
Again, you can set a maximum price for a lay bet. If the bet price drifts upwards to a price point that you are comfortable in laying, the bet will be cancelled.
It’s important to note that for Betfair SP bets, a price limit isn’t the default setting, so you need to select the ‘set SP odd limit’ box, before you place your bet. Make sure you are aware that, once the bet is placed, you cannot cancel it.
You’ll find Betfair SP betting on horse races in GB, Ireland, Australia and Dubai.
How Does The Commission Structure Work?
With Betfair SP, the commission is usually 5% as standard. Bookmakers will make attractive margins by laying, but it is very difficult to do the same with the Betfair SP. Due to the competitive nature of the market, margins will be almost 100% for returned percentages, and it sometimes even dips underneath that level.
Of course, if you are able to watch the markets all day, you are likely to be able to make a better return that BSP. However, for most people this simply isn’t viable, so the Betfair SP offers a useful alternative option that is convenient and easy to use.