Sale. Discount. Money back. Huge savings. Super boosts.
Let’s face it: we can all succumb to the language used by retailers and other businesses to attract our attention – punters are no exception to the rule.
But has that item you bought in a sale really been sold at a discount price? Is that money back deal worth it when you consider the price of the same item elsewhere? Are those boosted odds really, well, boosted?
The bookies are no strangers to using seductive language to lure customers in to a particular bet, and those that are unwilling to think about the bigger picture might just take the ‘boosted’ odds offered and think they’re getting a value bet on.
But what if the odds have been boosted from a poor value starting point? What if better prices are available at other bookmakers even after your firm has boosted their odds? And do the boosted odds represent value anyway based upon the likelihood of the event actually occurring?
These are just some of the considerations we have to ponder when looking at whether bet boosts are truly worth it.
Bagging a Bargain
There really is a close connection between bet boosts and the analogy of shopping – and specifically shopping in the sales.
How many times have we heard people boast ‘I got this in the sale….20% off!’ and those around them feign wonderment. The item may have enjoyed a 20% price cut, but the shopper still has to pay the 80% at the checkout – if they don’t really want the item or aren’t convinced they’re going to wear it, have they really bagged a bargain at all?
That’s why you really have to be mindful when backing a bet boost. Forget about the odds increase, do you really want to back the selection at all?
One major bookmaking firm publicised an odds boost on their homepage that saw the price on Jonny Bairstow hitting the most sixes in an Ashes test rise from 4/1 to 9/2. Great, you might think. But is a number seven batsman really likely to hit the most sixes? And how would you even go about modelling this market in a test match anyway?
As we’ve already alluded to, not all sales – and not all bet boosts – are worth your money even after the discount/odds increase has been added.
However, some bet boosts evidently are worth it. If a bookie boosted the odds of Erling Haaland to be the Premier League top goalscorer from 8/11 to even money, that really would be an offer worth considering. It’s unlikely that you will find such a boost though unless the bookmaker really does want to increase their engagement and customer pool – they usually only boost bets in markets where their margin is high and their liability is low.
There’s another issue to ponder if you are a high stakes punter: most bet boosts come with lower limits than standard bets. So, if you find a boost that really does represent value and try to bet a sizable sum on it, you may find that you are limited to less than normal – a source of much frustration for a small percentage of the betting community.
So the next time you’re perusing the sale rack in your favourite clothing store or the bet boosts on offer on your chosen betting app, ask yourself this: discount/boost aside, do you really want to buy that hat or bet on that team/player anyway?
The Pursuit of Value
Regular readers of these pages will know that we have often spoken of value bets, and how to find them, by considering betting odds as implied probabilities.
This mindset can also help you to identify the best value bet boosts too, by considering the original odds and the boosted price to calculate the increase in implied probability that you would be receiving.
Let’s say that a horse we’ve shortlisted in a race is available at boosted odds – from 11/4 to 3/1. We can translate those prices into implied probabilities (there’s plenty of calculators online that will do the math for you):
- 11/4 -> 26.7%
- 3/1 -> 25%
So by taking the 3/1 over the 11/4 originally offered, we’re adding 1.7% of value to our bet if we believe the horse in question will win or place.
By working the numbers, you can see how much value would be added by taking the boosted odds – sometimes the extra percentage is so marginal that you’re not gaining a great deal anyway, whereas other times the boost is sizable enough to turn a bet into a value proposition when before it perhaps wasn’t.
A shift from even money to 11/10 is a gain of 2.4% for punters, whereas a boost from 4/1 to 9/2 is just 1.8%. Try it for yourself next time you’re betting by tapping the original odds and the boosted price into an implied probability calculator – it will help you to unravel when bet boosts are adding value and when they are simply window-dressing.
Sometimes, a bookmaker will present an odds boost as an all-singing, all-dancing slice of value that you simply cannot ignore.
But did you know that, often, those same boosted odds will be available with another bookmaker already?
Bet boosts are one way that a bookmaker with tight margins can artificially make themselves appear to be a ‘softer’ book with prices that appeal to their customers – even when they are woefully priced in other sports or markets.
Our preference is to use an odds comparison service to examine a betting market before taking a boost – if the same price is already available at another bookmaker, they are perhaps a better long-term option if they are routinely offering better odds than the boosted bookie.
If you don’t have an account with the better-priced firm, then you can sign up and claim a welcome bonus anyway… meaning you stand to gain more than by taking the odds boost with your current bookie.
Whether it’s an online betting site or a clothes shop, the language and tactics used to entice customers into ‘buying’ something are the same – who doesn’t want to feel like they’re on the right side of a bargain?
But not all bargains are built equally, and so doing your homework to determine when a bet boost is good value and when it can be passed over without a second glance is vital to the profitability of your long-term betting.