The Wisdom of Crowds

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shakeshuck
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:12 pm

The Wisdom of Crowds

Postby shakeshuck » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:26 pm

The Wisdom of Crowds, in case anyone has not come across the term, is a theory that suggests that combined guesswork by a number of people is more accurate that an individual's view.
A recent example I saw had twenty or so people guessing the number of gumballs in a gumball machine (an American programme). The average of all the guesses was quite close to the actual number.

I can't help thinking that we could use some similar logic with horse racing (or any betting for that matter), but am lost as to how (or where) to collect such data.
Coral's site has a "where's the money going?" box that I've tried to use with little success.
I have also tried the Tote information with mixed results.

Unless horse racing is truly random - and the more analysis I do, the more I'm starting to believe it is - there must be a way of using this to our advantage.

Any ideas?

martinkil
Posts: 1220
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:55 am

Re: The Wisdom of Crowds

Postby martinkil » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:31 pm

Isn't this the Betfair Starting Price

shakeshuck
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:12 pm

Re: The Wisdom of Crowds

Postby shakeshuck » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:52 pm

It should be - and there are a few folk out there that say the Betfair prices are about right on the whole - but there are also articles that say there is profit to be made by backing the drifters (as the early prices are perhaps more accurate than the BSP).
You could argue that as the start time approaches, the traders on Betfair lose any sense of value and just push the price back and forth for a profit (as happens in the financial markets).

Also, if the BSP IS fair value, there's no edge to be gained - and where's the fun in that? :lol:

It would of course be better if we had an idea of these values before we got to the start time...

shakeshuck
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:12 pm

Re: The Wisdom of Crowds

Postby shakeshuck » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:49 pm

Another tinpot theory I have is that the racing fraternity generally play fair, and allow each other a win when it's their turn.
If this was true, it would mean that results would look random but actually wouldn't be. I know The Gambler's Fallacy says you can't look at previous results as a guide to the future (as far as averages is concerned, for example), but I find events often turn out quite close to average.

As an example, how many times have you bet against a losing jockey only for him to have a winning streak? This could be fluke, good fortune, or it could be that there is some friendly 'averaging' going on that we don't know about. If that was the case, then the fallacy would no longer be a fallacy and could be played accordingly.

Yours,
Conspiracies 'R' Us :lol:

shakeshuck
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:12 pm

Re: The Wisdom of Crowds

Postby shakeshuck » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:18 pm

martinkil wrote:Isn't this the Betfair Starting Price


Following on from this, I have been wondering recently if the BSP is as good a guide as it is generally believed; we know some horses are overbet, etc.

After remembering that Martin has price movement cards available, I would like to know if the Betfair pricing for a winner is more accurate at a specific point before the expected start time. For example, if we were to look at the prices and work them into winning % chances, would the percentages be closer to reality at (say) 5 mins, 10mins, 30mins before the off?

If it was found that BF prices were closer to real expectations at a point earlier than BSP, there would be an opportunity for value hunting.


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