You can barely turn the TV on these days without being bombarded by adverts from supermarkets and other retailers promising to match or beat the prices of their rivals. This is a key battleground for companies in competitive industries and particularly so in an age of price-sensitivity and a willingness, on the part of consumers, to shop around for the best deal.
Unsurprisingly, the betting sector is also very much price orientated, with many firms now offering some kind of ‘price promise’ as part of their suite of promotions. But if they already offer the Best Odds Guaranteed promo, what’s the different between that and a price promise? And which is the best option for punters? Let’s take a look at each in turn….
What is a Price Promise in Betting?
When a bookmaker offers some kind of price promise, they will usually state something grandiose in their marketing for it – ‘we will not be beaten on price for all UK and Irish racing’, for example, or ‘we will not be beaten on price for Premier League match betting’.
So what does that actually mean? Well, the firm will scan the odds of other bookmakers in specific markets, and if another operator is offering a better price then they will promise to match it.
So, if Honeysuckle was available at 10/11 with bet365 but 11/10 at Ladbrokes, bet365 might promise to give you an 11/10 price as well.
Usually, there are stipulations to these price promises, with only bets placed on certain markets and in specific timeframes eligible.
You’ll notice too that the bookmaker will usually mention by name the other firms that they are price comparing against – lo and behold, it’s the mainstream operators with the highest margin.
You won’t find a company offering a price promise against any of the softer overseas bookmakers who are, in many cases, better priced.
What is Best Odds Guaranteed?
Best Odds Guaranteed (BOG) is exactly as the name implies – if the horse you back goes off at a longer SP than the price you take, you’ll be paid out at the better odds if your selection prevails.
What’s interesting about BOG is that the most profitable punters are those that can secure closing line value (CLV) as often as possible – that is, the odds they take on a pick tumble towards the start time, as the flow of money into the market supports your prediction of who will win/place.
So in getting Best Odds Guaranteed, you are placing ‘unprofitable’ bets – e.g. the betting public, via the wisdom of the crowds, believe that the wager you have placed does not represent value… hence why the SP has drifted from your original price.
That can be bad luck – maybe your horse has acted up in the parade ring, or another trainer-jockey partnership has enjoyed more success earlier on the racecard.
Other times, the SP is longer than the odds you take simply because the selection is considered less appealing by the betting public. That’s not to say your pick won’t win or place, it’s just that the market feels it is less likely to do so based on the information gathered up to post.
So while Best Odds Guaranteed notionally feels like the bookies giving you a helping hand, if you find yourself being handed BOG at SP more often than you are securing value at the moment you place your bet, your selection criteria may need to be re-examined.
Which is Best?
The key thing to note here is that, with some bookmakers, a price promise and Best Odds Guaranteed actually work in conjunction with one another, i.e. you’ll get the best odds available on the market (outside of the soft books), no matter if that’s the price you take or the SP.
Typically, BOG is applied automatically to your qualifying bets, but some firms do still make punters choose whether they want the odds they take or to gamble on the SP instead.
In this scenario, you should always take your own price – trusting that your research processes will identify value bets. If the SP is longer, that’s often the indication of a horse whose performance isn’t going to live up to your initial expectations.
One of the most basic tenets of sensible betting strategy is to shop around for the best prices using an odds comparison site. That way, you can secure maximum value for your bets.
If you’re feeling lazy or only want to open accounts with one or two bookmakers, the price promise promotion is of course useful – but it’s worth reiterating that the baseline for this is other mainstream, high margin bookmakers, rather than softer books that are routinely better value.
So in the Best Odds Guaranteed v Price Promise debate, the answer is that both of these promos have their plus points – they maximise your return on winning bets, anyway. But are you leaving money on the table by not considering other ‘non major’ bookmakers for your wagers? And does taking BOG indicate a poor level of betting, given that a longer SP hints at a lack of market support for your selection?