Starting Price Betting

What Does Starting Price (SP) Mean in Betting?

In betting, the odds for a particular event can change leading up to the event’s start. The starting price (SP), popular in horse racing, is the final odds set by bookmakers right before the event begins. It decides payouts for bettors who take the final price just before a race begins.

This article dives into the basics of starting price betting, covering the following key points:

  • What is SP betting?
  • Examples of SP betting
  • How is the starting price calculated?
  • What makes the odds shift?

What Is SP Betting?

The starting price refers to the exact odds of an event just before it begins. These odds are determined based on betting patterns and experts’ opinions, among other factors. The concept is commonly associated with horse and greyhound racing events.

Specifically SP meaning in horse racing involves placing bets based on the odds set by bookmakers at the start of a horse race. It differs from fixed odds betting, where the odds are set when placing the bet and remain fixed regardless of any changes in the market. When placing wagers, bettors can take the SP or opt for the current fixed odds.

SP Betting Example

Let’s assume the odds for a horse to win a race were 5.0. However, just before the race starts, the odds for the horse to win drift to 7.0. In this case, the SP betting odds for a win option is 7.0, which determines the payout for bettors that took the starting price.

Placing your wager at 5.0 odds means you’ve bet at lesser odds than the SP. However, if you had selected the selling price option while placing your bet, you would have ended up with the 7.0 selling price, potentially yielding more return.

However, it is essential to note that the selling price could drift to lower odds, leading to a lower return. Essentially, opting for starting price bets carries a degree of uncertainty because the final odds may differ significantly from the odds available when placing the bet.

How the Starting Price Is Calculated

In the past, the starting price (SP) for horse racing bets was primarily determined by the odds set by bookmakers present at the racecourse. However, today’s digital age of online betting is characterized by the increasing number of horse racing events and declining attendance at racecourses. Hence, the influence of on-course bookmakers has diminished, and the impact of betting exchanges on SP has increased.

To ensure the fairness of the SP, a method that involves a consensus of the odds offered by a panel of BOG bookmakers is used. A list containing different prices or odds offered by different bookmakers is compiled. At least three to six and a maximum of 24 different prices can be considered.

This price/odds list is then arranged from highest to lowest. To determine the odds for sp bets, the list is split in half, and the shortest odds from the half that contains the longer odds are considered the official selling price.

What Makes the Odds Shift

Traditionally, bookmakers set odds for each horse based on certain factors and metrics. These metrics can include the horse’s past performance, recent form, previous race results, and speed figures. It may also include jockey and trainer records, track conditions, distance preferences, and any recent changes in circumstances that directly affect the race.

However, as the race nears commencement, bookmakers adjust these odds to set a betting starting price based on changes in the above-listed factors. Let’s examine some examples below.

  • Track conditions: Changes in track conditions, such as weather or track surface, can affect how bettors perceive a horse and thus influence the odds.
  • Withdrawal of a horse: If a horse is withdrawn from the race, it can cause the odds of the remaining participants to adjust accordingly.
  • Betting trend: Bookmakers can also adjust odds due to betting trends. That is, the betting activity on a particular horse at a particular time. For example, bookmakers running a sp betting site can shorten odds when a significant amount of money is placed on a particular horse shortly before the race.
  • Jockey changes: Last-minute changes in jockeys or other factors related to the horse’s preparation can also impact the odds.
  • Sentiment: A sudden change in perception about a horse’s chances of winning, maybe because of its physical state, can shift the odds.

Betting Sites that Offer SP Betting

Each betting site has its own SP betting terms and features. Hence, it becomes vital for bettors to consider essential factors when choosing a platform that offers SP betting. These include license, variety of markets, SP guarantee, user experience, mobile compatibility, customer support, and promotions.

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Below are our top picks for SP betting sites:

  • William Hill: William Hill is a reputable bookmaker offering SP betting across various sports, including horse racing. The platform provides comprehensive coverage of races and competitive SP odds.
  • bet365: bet365 is another widely used site offering SP betting. They also cover other peculiar bets like the each-way bets, which allow bettors to place both win and place bets. They offer competitive odds, often in line with or better than those other bookmakers offer.
  • Betfair: Betfair is a leading betting exchange platform that allows users to bet against each other rather than against the bookmaker. They offer SP betting on horse racing and greyhound racing, various other betting options and innovative features.
  • BetVictor: BetVictor is another reputable and reliable option for SP and horse racing betting generally. They provide a variety of markets and options for races globally. With BetVictor, bettors are always spoilt for choices regarding options to include in their sp betting slip or any other bets.

Should You Take the Starting Price?

Whether to take the starting price or not ultimately depends on various factors, including your betting strategy, risk tolerance, and the specific circumstances of the race. Taking the Starting Price can sometimes offer better value, especially if the odds drift in your favor before the race starts. However, it also comes with the risk of missing out on higher odds if they drop before the event.

Overall, as discussed in this article, understanding what SP in betting means, how it works, and deciding whether to take it are essential considerations for any bettor looking to maximize their chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does SP mean in betting?
    Starting Price (SP) is the official odds determined at the start of a race, commonly in horse or greyhound racing. It reflects the odds offered by on-course bookmakers or a consensus of bookmakers just before the event begins. Bettors can choose to bet at SP or fixed odds. For players that take them, these prices determine the payout for winning bets.
  • How is the SP worked out?
    The SP is typically determined by on-course bookmakers in the final moments before the event starts. They consider factors such as current betting trends, horse form, track conditions, and any late changes in the field to determine the final price.
  • Why would I bet using the SP instead of fixed odds?
    Betting using the SP offers flexibility and the potential for better odds, especially if the odds drift in your favor before the event starts. It is advantageous if you’re uncertain about the direction of the odds and want to wait until closer to the start time to place your bet.
  • How does the SP differ from the BSP or Betfair SP?
    Betfair is a betting exchange platform where users can bet against each other rather than against the bookmaker. Therefore, the Betfair selling price may differ slightly from the traditional SP bookmakers’ offer. Unlike regular betting sites, the SP is calculated using bets from bettors backing and laying a horse.
  • What does SP mean in horse racing betting?
    In horse racing betting, SP also means the Starting Price, which is the odds set by bookmakers at the start of the horse race. It is a standard way to determine the payout for winning bets before the race begins.
  • Who dictates the Starting Price?
    Bookmakers, whether on-course or online, dictate the starting price for an event. They set the odds based on factors such as betting trends, horse form, track conditions, and late changes in the field. The aim is to offer fair and competitive odds and attract betting action.
  • How do you beat the closing odds starting price?
    The closing odds starting price also means the odds bookmakers offer in the final moments before the event begins. To beat it, consider and analyze essential factors like form, track conditions, jockey performance, and betting trends to identify value bets with higher expected returns than the closing SP.
  • What does SP mean on bet365?
    Like most other betting sites, SP stands for the starting price on bet365. It refers to the odds set by bookmakers at the start of an event, particularly in horse racing betting. These odds determine the payout for winning bets placed before the race begins.
  • What does SP mean on William Hill betting?
    On William Hill betting, SP also stands for the starting price, representing the odds the bookmaker sets at the start of a race or event. It also means the same thing on other betting sites.
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    Tim E
    Betting Guru

    Tim is our betting guru. Every gaming site needs one, and Tim’s our guy. He has plenty of experience in betting online and is quite successful at it. Tim’s favorite sports are hockey, baseball, and Esports. Tim believes the latter to be the future of betting.

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