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Racing Ahead! The Leading Cheltenham Betting Odds for 2024

Latest Cheltenham Odds For Today

Last Updated on 12/04/2024
Fact checked by: Mike McKean

We're positive that you'll find this guide to Cheltenham betting odds will help you make the most of your 2023 Cheltenham Festival experience. Here you'll get an insightful heads-up on all odds-related matters and some great tips for finding even better value for your Cheltenham wagers.

As well as offering you competitive odds and intriguing Cheltenham betting markets, our recommended bookies are also famously generous with their Cheltenham festival betting offers too. With this year's fun just a few short days away, now is the time to get the Cheltenham party started!

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Why it's important to understand odds

You may think it’s irrelevant how a bookie determines the odds on offer for Cheltenham, but it’s actually quite valuable for you to have a basic understanding in order to make more informed bets.

At one time, the odds were calculated by a human ‘oddsmaker’ but these days, it’s mostly the premise of computers, which are usually far more accurate. The algorithm is calculated using a number of different factors relating to each runner: previous form, the weight it will carry, distance and going.

Let’s look at The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Race, which runs on 17 March. There will be around 20 runners in this race and each bookmaker will have to decide on the odds it will offer for each horse. It’s by no means a simple process, but in essence it’s all about calculating the probability of each horse’s chance of winning the race. The shorter (smaller) the odds, the greater probability of the horse winning.

Prices also change as a result of various influences, which include non-runners being announced, a change in the going, or the amount of money that is being wagered on a certain runner. For example, odds for the current Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite, Galopin Des Champs, are 15/8 on average and Honeysuckle is currently priced at 4/1 to win the Mares’ Hurdle, but in the approach to those races, both prices will shorten or drift multiple times, the betting market is fluid, not static.

Why bookmakers calculate probability

Trying to explain how the odds for most of the Cheltenham Festival races are calculated would take an article all of its own, as there are many runners and a lot of pre-Cheltenham race form to assess. However, when deciding how to price each horse in a race, bookmakers are effectively calculating probability, that is, the chance each horse has of winning.

Below is a quick example using a a six-runner Class 4 Handicap Hurdle race, which took place in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival.  The runners were priced as follows:

Rewired 7/4

Swinging London 5/2

Denable 5/1

Enthused 8/1

Doukarov 17/2

Ginistrelli 25/1

When comparing recent form and the weight allotted to each runner, it might appear that Denable, with form of 1-1-2 and carrying a lower weight, has a better chance than Rewired 2-2-2, but Denable has not been raced for 6 months and has run over longer distances previously. Rewired has previously won at this course and his last race was just over a month previous.

The outsider, Ginistrelli, has raced mainly on the Flat and has very recently changed yards to one that is a little out of form, hence the 25/1 price. Swinging London at 5/2 may not appear that great with recent form of P-6-3, but both of his last two races were two classes higher than this race and the horses who beat him have gone on to do well. Enthused P-2-6 and Dukarov P-P-6 have little to choose between them.

Bookies only paid out for two places for this race, but this was the result:

1st Rewired, 2nd Swinging London, 3rd Enthused, 4th Denable, 5th Ginistrelli, PU Doukarov

The outcome shows that the oddsmaker's calculations were fairly accurate when assessing the probability of the winner and second-placed horses and there was only half a length separating them. Denable, who came in third, was 34 lengths further back.

As you can see, the level of research needed for even a small field race is quite extensive and for 28 races over 4 days, it is an immense task to try and ‘beat the bookie’ unless you have plenty of time on your hands.

An experienced punter can often seek out anomalies and take advantage of them, but for the average casual bettor, generally speaking the bookies are not too far off when assessing a runners chance of winning.

Betting markets and patterns

It is always a good idea to keep a close eye on the Cheltenham betting markets, especially as the big event gets closer. Things can change very quickly and ideally you need to check your betting positions several times a day. That's where horse betting apps come in very handy, there are very few bookies that don't offer one these days and you can use them almost anywhere.

Betting markets are not static and will change for a number of different reasons, including betting patterns. If a certain horse was suddenly backed heavily, then this would usually cause the price to shorten within minutes. A good example of this was when Frankie Dettori famously rode seven winners at one meeting. The price of his seventh ride shortened dramatically, due to the sheer amount of money that was riding on it in multiple bets with huge odds.

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Different types of bets

There is a whole array of different bet types you can make use of over the course of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. Some you are sure to have heard of, while others are specific to horse racing and have some rather exotic names. However, they fall into three different categories:

Singles

As you might suspect, singles are bets placed on one selection. You can either back a horse to win, or you can opt to back it each way. This type of betting is the most popular for the majority of horse racing bettors at Cheltenham.

Each way

Each way bets are really just an extension of singles, but as Cheltenham generally has plenty of runners in each race, UK horse racing bookmakers will typically add extra places to attract more punters.  So, it's possible to place an each way bet that can potentially pay out more for a horse that doesn't win, than for a win bet on a short-priced Favourite. More on this later.

Multiples and accumulators

Punters often make use of multiple bets for horses that are priced too short to have EW value for a single bet. That is especially true if you’re planning to back Favourites, which you are more than likely to want to do. That’s where you’ll find multiple bets may be the better option. Two selections is called a Double, three selections is a Treble and four or more is known as an accumulator. The more selections you add, the greater the odds for the bet.

Prop/side/special bets

There is no accounting for the inventiveness of our UK bookmakers when it comes to offering exotic side bets for the Cheltenham Festival. If you’re at a loss as to which runners to go for, then you can still have a lot of fun by checking through the options your bookie puts up for individual races, or for the entire Cheltenham Festival.

Betting terminology

Like most sports, horse racing has its own unique and complex language, but for punters, there are three important terms to know about.

NRNB (Non Runner No Bet)

Exactly what it says on the tin for this acronym – if the horse you’ve backed doesn’t run, the bet becomes void and your original stake will be refunded. There is just one circumstance where not all bookies will ‘do the right thing’ where non-runners are concerned. In a situation where a horse is lined up at the start, but subsequently refuses to race, a good bookie will still honour NRNB, but not all do.

BOG (Best Odds Guaranteed)

This is potentially the most important aspect of horse racing betting to consider, because the way that BOG works is always in your favour. For example, let's say you have backed a horse at 10/1 with a bookie that offers BOG. If the price were to drift out to 20/1 and the horse wins or places, you’ll get paid out at the bigger price. Conversely, if the price were to shorten to 2/1, your payout would still reflect your original stake price of 10/1.

  • Not all bookies offer BOG on every race or meeting
  • The times BOG becomes available varies between bookies
  • You may not get BOG where there are extra places on offer

Cash Out

Not all bookies offers a cash out option for every bet you place, but when it is available, knowing when to use it is an important part of your horse racing betting strategy.

Let’s say you’ve backed a horse at 6/1 on the day before the race. On the morning of the race, the odds have drifted to 12/1. That means that your selection is now far less likely to win, or to place in the race, so now is a good time to cash out your bet and use your stake money elsewhere.

A different scenario is where you’ve backed an outsider, let’s say at 25/1. On the day of the race, the odds have shortened dramatically on your selection to 5/1. If you check your betting account, it’s highly likely that the cashout amount for your bet is now worth more than when you placed it. NB. This will only happen if you placed a bet with BOG.

You’ll need to be on the ball for this cashout option. So, you’ve placed a four-selection accumulator bet at odds of 200/1. Your first three selections all win and the final runner is highly likely to do the same. Rather than risking having to hand over a substantial sum, your bookie is likely to offer you a decent cashout offer before the final race starts.

Why it's worth looking at ante post markets for Cheltenham

The long build-up to the Cheltenham Festival means that plenty of potentially lucrative ante post betting is on offer. It can add value to your Cheltenham races betting, including the availability of much bigger odds. By signing up with a UK horse racing bookie that is offering a decent welcome bonus at the right time, you can secure a value price with no risk to your bankroll.

A recent example for you is Marine Nationale, a horse that is destined for great things, having won all four of his UK races quite convincingly. After a notable 11 length victory towards the end of August, he was entered for the 2023 Supreme Novices' Hurdle with ante post odds of 25/1. Having had two successive wins since then, his price has now shortened to 4/1. Clear evidence that ante post betting has some value.

Ante post odds for every Festival race can be found on all of the best Cheltenham betting sites now, but the closer the 2023 Cheltenham Festival gets, the shorter those odds will be.

Odds formats

Most UK bookies traditionally show horse racing odds in a fractional format by default, but there’s usually an option to switch formats if you prefer to use decimal odds. For anyone who doesn’t understand how they work, here’s a quick example for you.

A runner is priced at 5/1. So, if you bet £1 and your selection wins, your total return would be £6, which is your winnings of £5 plus your original stake. The same odds in decimal format would be 6.0. For placing standard back bets with your bookie, fractional is fine, but if you intend using a betting exchange to place lay bets, you will need to get the hang of using decimal odds.

Hot betting tips

If you're ready to getting your Cheltenham races betting up and running, before you get too carried away, check out these tips. We can't promise you a profit, but using them will certainly enhance your Cheltenham betting experience. As you'll see, there’s more to picking a winner than picking a name.

Use a comparison site

The ideal way to get the best odds is to use a reliable odds comparison site. There are a number of online alternatives, but the most reliable and intuitive by far is Oddschecker. By using a site like this, which updates in real time, you can see odds prices for 20 or more bookmakers at the same time and there are plenty of ways to benefit from that information.

Look for Each Way value

Another good reason for using a comparison site is to look for anomalies. It's sometimes the case that a bookmaker has priced a horse incorrectly, or that it has not updated its odds as quickly as other sites. Spotting a horse with a price higher than its expected performance is a great time for an each way wager.

Watch Cheltenham previews

In the last few days before the Cheltenham Festival kicks off, every bookie, racing body and tipster is hosting preview events. If you watch just one and follow the tips, you’re likely to end up disappointed, because everyone has their own opinion or methodology for choosing their selections. However, watching a number of previews is a good way to get a more rounded overview, but it's no substitute for making your own informed choices.

Know your bookie’s T&Cs

Some bookies, like Bet365, post their odds earlier than others and they also offer BOG on every UK race. Some may offer extra places on certain races, but by accepting the extra place, BOG will no longer be applicable to your bet. For most ante post Cheltenham Festival betting markets there are only three places, but there are likely to be five or six on offer nearer the time.

Know your numbers

A 5/1 an each way bet is colloquially known as a ‘bet to nothing’. Backing a horse each way at those odds means that if it places, you’ll get your stake back, but zero profit. A placed horse backed each way at odds of less than 5/1 means a loss.

Are you ready to Roar?

We’re sure you are going to be glued to your screens for the entire four days of the Festival, where you will witness some superb horse racing, phenomenal victories and no doubt a few disappointments. But win or lose, you are most definitely going to witness the best National Hunt racing action available and have plenty of fun selecting your runners.

Why not get ahead of the game? Boost your bankroll with one of the generous Cheltenham festival betting offers currently on offer and make the most of Cheltenham 2023.

Cheltenham Festival betting FAQ

🐴 What are the odds for the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

The 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup is once again destined to provide you with a spectacle starring this season's elite Chasers. There will be plenty of betting offers available for this race and the betting market is already getting highly competitive. Current odds for this year's Favourite are already less than Evens, so don't delay, visit our best odds guides for more information.

🤔 Which Bookie has BOG for Cheltenham odds?

A lot of the bookmakers listed on our website will offer a Best Odds Guaranteed promotion for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. Using it ensures that you get the best value from your bets. Check out our Cheltenham guides, where we explain how BOG works and help you to understand how bookmakers determine the horse racing odds they offer.

🐎 What date is the Cheltenham Festival 2023?

Cheltenham 2021 runs from Tuesday 14 March until Friday 17 March. There are seven races on each of the four days where you're guaranteed the best quality National Hunt racing in the UK. With such competitive racing and big fields, you can also enjoy plenty of betting offers and great odds. Don't delay, check out our Cheltenham guides now - only at Betting.co.uk

 

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