Formula One Betting Explained

How Bookies Set F1 Betting Odds

Formula One is by no means an easy sport for any punter to handicap. Nevertheless, it can be extremely profitable if you can learn how to handicap it correctly. To begin, head to head records, track details etc. can only give you a limited amount of information, as the sample sizes aren’t too big. To successfully beat the Formula One betting odds, you must dig deeper and unearth the minutest intricacies that may be invisible to other punters, and can be used as an advantage by you. You can easily book a profit by betting the openers if you do find an edge; profits can even be booked closer to the race time if you understand the market well and the bookmaker’s odds get changed.

How bookmakers go about setting the Formula One betting odds
In case there is anyone reading who bets on sports like baseball, basketball, cricket and American football, and has a good hold over mathematics, you’d be pretty surprised to know that there’s a fairly limited mathematics involved in successfully handicapping Formula One races. In majority of cases, the bookmakers determine the openers by employing a limited set of past Formula One races. Weightage is also given to the latest results and similar tracks. Thereafter, adjustments and tweaks are made to get at the ideal model and then simulations are run for getting the expected results. Please note that it isn’t important for a bookmaker to get the openers right because the bookie works with a huge percentage market, and can always make adjustments to the odds at a later time when the bets start flowing in.

The percentage markets on the Formula One winners normally run between 122% and 135%, specifically at the online sports books. Let’s list out the odds for a particular Grand Prix race in which the top eight favourites got the following prices:
5 / 6 (55.65%)
7 / 2 (23.25%)
9 / 2 (17.78%)
14 / 2 (12.12%)
15 / 2 (11.85%)
52 / 1 (1.75%)
62 / 1 (1.55%)
100 / 1 (0.98%)

The first column lists the odds for the top favourites, while the percentages next to them show the number of times the respective drivers would need to win for the people betting on them to break even in the long run. If you total-up these figures, the top eight favourites make a total percentage market of 124.93%. Please note that there are 16 more drivers in this race and their odds haven’t been included in this total figure.

So, essentially if there was no bookmaker advantage and the odds were absolutely fair, the percentage market would have stood at an absolute 100% for all the 24 drivers taking part.

What we’re trying to emphasise here is that a bookie doesn’t need to be precise at the time of creating openers since he has a big advantage he can work with. The bookmaker still makes a huge killing in the long run even if he’s 10% or 20% here and there in determination of the drivers’ chances.
However, don’t be disheartened as you can still overcome such odds no matter how big the bookmaker’s advantage may be. It may take some line shopping and work to get there, but it’s possible indeed.