What Is SP Betting On The Grand National?
SP betting is a phrase that gets used quite a lot in the world of horse racing. If you’re a newcomer to the sport and want to place a bet on the Grand National, you’re probably struggling to work out exactly what it means.
In this guide, we’re going to answer that very question. Including how and where to place an SP bet, whether that be at the races or online.
What Does SP Mean?
Simply put, SP stands for ‘starting price’ and refers to the odds of a horse when the race starts.
Often when you are at the races, you will see the bookmakers changing the odds all the time. However, if you choose to place your bet with the SP odds, you will get the odds of your selection when the race went off, and not what it might have been when you actually placed the bet.
How Are The SP Odds Determined?
This is where it gets a bit more technical. The SP odds are determined by an appointed panel and are based on the fluctuations of odds on the racecourse.
When they are working this out, the horse racing officials at a particular racecourse will look into the odds data and then make an official starting price.
They will then send the starting price to the bookmakers who will use it to settle bets and markets.
Should You Take The SP Odds?
Betting on horse racing can be done in many different ways, so why would you take the SP?
The truth is, that it’s almost a gamble within a gamble, because you are hoping that the SP will be better than the price when you place the bet.
As an example, if you want to back a horse that is currently available at 10/1, the bookie might ask you if you want to take the starting price or take the SP. This is something you will see a lot when betting on the Grand National, see more on that below.
If you decide to back your selection at 10/1, you will have potential winnings of £100 from a £10 stake. However, if you choose to take the SP, you’re hoping that it will be higher than 10/1. Obviously, if the SP odds end up being 8/1, you’ll potentially win less money for the same £10 stake.
What Is Best Odds Guaranteed?
Although SP betting is still widely available with bookmakers both racecourses, betting shops and online, it is possible to take away the gamble within a gamble.
That comes in the shape of ‘Best Odds Guaranteed’ and has been born out of the online betting boom. Best Odds Guaranteed or BOG, as it is often referred, is where your bookie will give you either the odds that your selection was when you placed your bet or the SP – whichever is bigger.
For example, if you place your bet at 10/1 and the SP returns at 12/1, your bookmaker will pay you out at odds of 12/1. If the SP returns at 8/1, your bookie will still pay you out at 10/1.
It’s the ideal situation for a punter, especially if you back the winner.
SP Betting on the Grand National
Most of the bookies that are listed in the freebets.com Grand National betting guide will be offering free bets and bonuses on the big race, especially if you sign up with them as a first time customer. As we’ve mentioned already, a time where you might hear SP betting more than most is around the Grand National.
With so many one-time punters around for the big race, often with little understanding of betting, bookmakers will often give the SP as standard, unless you ask for the price.
This is particularly the case in betting shops, where personalised Grand National slips will be available, often resembling a lottery ticket. There will be the option to take the price. If you leave that box unmarked, you’ll likely get the SP, which often ends up being a lot less on big races like the Grand National.
If in doubt, speak with the cashier at your betting shop before placing your bet. Equally, you could place your bet online where they usually give you the odds of your selection when you placed your bet, rather than the SP.