Each-way betting is an extremely popular option for the Grand National, and this article explains what that means, which bookmakers offer the best options and where the value lies for 2019.
<p>The Grand National is the biggest race of the year and punters are expected to wager more than £250 million on the result. It transcends the sport of horse racing and attracts all manner of armchair fans that only bet on this one race each year. They are captivated by the epic trip of 4 miles and 514 yards and the brutal nature of the contest, which sees the hopefuls trying to clear 30 daunting fences, including Becher’s Brook and The Chair.</p><p>Yet picking the winner is notoriously difficult as there are 40 runners in total and many of them fall. Your selection can be running a perfectly good race, only to be wiped out by a loose horse over the 25<sup>th</sup> fence. For that reason, many punters prefer to back several different runners to increase their chances of success. The width of the field means you can always find plenty of long shots. That means you can back lots of different horses and still make a considerable profit if one of them comes in. When you add each-way betting into the equation, it becomes all the more exciting.</p><h2>Each-way betting explained</h2><p>For the uninitiated, an each-way bet sees half of your stake go on the horse to win the race, and half go on the horse to place. In a race without many runners, placing typically means the horse either finishes second or third. But in the Grand National, it covers you if your horse finishes fourth, and some bookmakers even pay out if it finishes fifth or sixth.</p><p>Let’s say you place a £10 each-way bet on a horse at odds of 9/1, and the betting site is paying out a fifth of the odds if it places (bookmakers will pay out either a quarter or a fifth of the odds on the place). A £10 each-way bet means you lay down £20 - £10 on it winning and £10 on it placing. If it wins you will make a profit of £108. This is because you get £10 at odds of 9/1 on the win, earning you £90, and £10 at 9/5 (a fifth of 9/1) on the place, earning you £28. You get your stake back too, returning you £128 in total.</p><p>If the horse finishes third, your £10 bet on the win loses, but your £10 bet on the place pays out. That means you get a profit of £28. You also get back the £10 you staked on the place, leaving you with a return of £38. If a bookmaker is paying out a fifth of the odds on the place, look for horses with odds higher than 5/1. If you go each-way and they place, you still make a profit. Horses with odds shorter than 5/1 typically are not worth an each-way bet, as you incur a loss even if they place.</p><h2>Each-way options among bookmakers</h2><p>Because there are so many runners competing in the Grand National, some betting sites can afford to pay out on the place if your horses finishes fourth, fifth or sixth. For this year’s Grand National, you are presented with two compelling options. <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07" target="_blank" title="Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a>, Coral, Betfair, Paddy Power and Bet Victor will pay out a fifth of the odds on the top six runners when placing an each-way bet. So if your horse finishes back in sixth place and is priced at greater than 5/1, you will still make a profit on an each-way bet. The higher the odds, the greater the profit. If you bet £10 each-way at 100/1 and the horse places, you get £10 at 100/5, equivalent to 20/1, leaving you with a £200 profit.</p><p>An alternative is to go to <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank">Bet365</a>. It only pays out on the first five runners, so if your horse finishes sixth you will be out of luck. However, it pays a quarter of the odds rather than a fifth. Sticking with that £10 each-way at 100/1 example, you would end up with £10 at 100/4 if it places, resulting in a profit of £250 instead of £200. When a bookmaker pays a quarter of the odds on the place, you can back a horse at odds of 4/1 and still break even if it places. Anything greater than 4/1 will result in a profit.</p><h2>Each-way value in the 2019 Grand National</h2><p>One of our resident horse racing experts, “Flash” Gordon Watson, is a big fan of Warrior’s Tale, priced at 66/1 with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" target="_blank" title="William Hill">William Hill</a>, 888 Sport and Sky Bet. He was pulled up before two out in last year’s race, but travelled well before that. “Last year, at four or five fences out, Warrior’s Tale looked like the winner,” he said. “It’s 33/1 in some places and 66/1 in others, so why would you not go each-way on Warrior’s Tale? I think he was unlucky last year, because the ground was a bit too tacky. If the ground is better this year, or the soft side of good, Warrior’s Tale might just give you a run for your money.”</p><p>A £1 each-way bet at 66/1 on Warrior’s Tale would net you a profit of £79.20 if he won and £12.20 if he placed (if the bookmaker pays a fifth of the odds on the place). You can even look at a runner like Anibale Fly, who is near the front of the betting, but still 14/1 with William Hill and Betfair. He is a popular and versatile horse and he finished fourth last year, before taking second place at the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month. An £1 each-way bet at 14/1 gives you a £16.80 profit if he wins and £1.80 if he places.</p>