Bookmakers overround figures skyrocket for the 2019 Grand National

Bookmakers overround figures skyrocket for the 2019 Grand National

Racecourse bookmaker director, Robin Grossmith has defended bookies overround figures for Saturday’s Grand National despite them being the second highest in 10 years for the race at 162.6%.

Many bookmakers claimed they took a big hit when short-priced favourite Tiger Roll went on to win his 2nd consecutive Grand National at odds of just 4/1 on Saturday afternoon. A reported quarter of a billion pounds was paid out to punters for the winner although some bookmakers such as William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair said they avoided a disaster with many punters refusing to take the low odds on the favourite and opting for bets on other horses.

The bookmakers’ high margin on Saturday’s race attracted the concerns of The Horseracing Bettors Forum, expressing that the shortening of prices in the on-course markets reflects poorly on the ring.

Chair Matt Bisogno said:

“In an increasingly competitive marketplace, many on-course bookmakers continue to seemingly do little to foster a sustainable business. While that’s naturally up to them, HBF encourages bettors to shop around for better value.”

Matt Grossmith defended the prices stating that despite being the highest since 2015, the overround was under the national average.

“The national average a race is 1.79 per cent per runner, and, given there were 40 runners, the National was 1.58 per cent – which is well under the average.

One thing people don’t seem take account of in this discussion is how colossally expensive it is to bet at Aintree. The cost of putting on the show is so much more than other meetings and quite simply if you are betting there you have to factor it in to make the whole thing viable.

Bookmakers have to have a margin, this isn’t a hobby for us, it’s a business, and you’re not guaranteed to win, so we have to build in a margin and I don’t think it was that bad for the public.”

Bookies Grand National Overround Figures

  • 2019 162.6%
  • 2018 152.7%
  • 2017 154.3%
  • 2016 148.7%
  • 2015 164.9%
  • 2014 150.8%
  • 2013 147.8%
  • 2012 152.2%
  • 2011 154.7%
  • 2010 155.4%

What is the bookies overround?

The overround is a way bookmakers price markets in their favour. In a perfect and fair scenario, if the implied probability of all outcomes of an event were totalled, they should equal 100%.

For example, the flip of a coin has two outcomes, heads and tails. Each of these outcomes has odds of evens (2.0) or a probability of 50% of occurring which totals 100%.

If a bookmaker was taking bets on the flip of a coin, they wouldn’t offer odds of 2.0. Instead, they may offer odds of just 1.95 meaning that each outcome has a probability of 51.3%. Therefore, the overround is 102.6%, giving the bookies a margin of 2.6%.

In matched betting, this is often the reason why we incur qualifying losses as the bookmakers back odds are generally lower than the lay odds on the exchange. Betting exchanges do not apply an overround as they make a profit from charging a commission from bets. Therefore, exchange prices are often more competitive than bookmakers’. The best way to find close matches between bookmakers back odds and the exchanges lay odds is to use an odds matcher tool such as the one available on This tool will automatically compare the odds and display the closest matches with the most value.

By Matchedbets Experts


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