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Negative BSP - But Positive VBP

When viewing the comparison tables it can sometimes appear confusing if a service is showing a loss based upon Betfair SP, but showing a profit based upon Variable Bet Profit (VBP). There's actually a really simple reason for this. BSP Profit is based on level stakes (i.e. the same sized bet is placed on each selection no matter what it's odds are) where for VBP the bet size varies depending upon the odds of the selection (i.e. larger amounts are staked on shorter odds selections and smaller amounts are staked when the odds are bigger).

To explain this in more detail let's look at the 12 month comparison table for the period 3rd November 2015 to 2nd November 2016 below. In the table we see that Pace Tips recorded a loss of -292.88 points based upon 1 point staked on each selection at BSP, yet based upon VBP they received a +ve rating of 3101 points.

Given the big difference between the two it looks as though their lower odds selections have been performing well, which have created a profit when larger stakes have been used and the bigger odds selection have not performed as well, which has less influence on the overall profit, when they're backed with lower stakes.

To verify that's actually the case we can look at the individual results for Pace Tips and use the filter options to break down their selections into price bands.

Pace Tips have proofed a mixture of Win & Place bets, so first of all I'll look at each separately using the Win/EW/Place Filter.

Results for Win Only Bets

Results for Place Only Bets

We can then break the results down into price bands, starting with selections with a BSP of 2/1 (3.0) or less.

The following tables shows the results broken down into different bands based upon BSP, for both Win only and Place only bets.

Win Only No of Selections BSP Profit/Loss
<= 3.0 351 +22.04
3.01 - 4.0 549 -31.01
4.01 - 5.0 681 +105.72
5.01 - 6.0 728 +31.92
6.01 - 7.0 673 -5.38
7.01 - 8.0 567 -14.77
8.01 - 9.0 569 -47.19
9.01 - 10.0 526 +60.30
10.01 - 11.0 401 +34.93
11.01 - 13.0 680 +39.51
13.01 - 15.0 499 +36.46
15.01 - 18.0 539 -36.57
18.01 - 21.0 379 -87.01
21.01 - 26.0 354 -21.91
26.01 - 34.0 383 +37.68
34.01 - 51.0 337 -266.23
> 51.0 351 -244.74
Place Only No of Selections BSP Profit/Loss
<= 3.0 1131 +41.38
3.01 - 4.0 1115 +36.11
4.01 - 5.0 700 +37.06
5.01 - 7.0 763 -92.72
7.01 - 11.0 467 +29.35
> 11.0 290 -1.42

The results breakdown confirms the thoughts that shorter priced selections would be where the profits were. In the Win only breakdown, selections with a BSP > 33/1 (34.0) alone produced a loss of -510.97 points and those in the odds range 15.01 - 34.0 produced more than 100 points additional loss. Selections with odds of 14/1 (15.0) or less made a profit of over 250 points.

With the Place only results, selections with odds of 4/1 (5.0) or less made a profit of +115 points, while those higher than 5.0 made a loss of -64 points.

So with both the Win only and Place only bets, the shorter odds selections are those that have made the profit. With VBP those are the selections that are backed with bigger stakes, which is why, even though they're showing a loss based upon level stakes, they show a good profit with variable sized bets.

* Note when adding up the totals of the results broken down into odds bands, it differs slightly from that when viewing them all grouped together. This is because Pace Tips often proof more than one horse in a race, which reduces the amount of commission paid (as losers offset against winners in the same race when working out commission). When they get broken down into odds bands horses will often fall into a different band, so the commission doesn't get offset.