Caption: Runners on the way to the boxes and some punters will already be taking their own steps to avoid the on-air media selections. (Photo: BlueStream Pictures)

Betting analyst MATT McCANN offers advice on successfully navigating Puntersland

I have a few mates within the industry who rightly consider themselves to be knowledgeable about the greyhound game, but it always makes me laugh to hear about some of the measures they take to avoid the rapid-fire assessments from media personalities on television as the dogs approach the start.

I suppose they deem this extra service to the punting public as basically interference to their own evaluations.

Standard methods such as muting the sound to avoid ‘mocking’ have been bested in recent times by one gentleman who employed the additional drastic step of blocking the displayed selections from a certain commentator, in the bottom left corner of the screen, with cardboard and electrical tape!

I can understand at least some of the apprehension regarding trackside touting if the ‘air-time’ tip happens to be the same dog that you have already invested your ‘hard earned’ on, because the influence that these in-house tipping experts have on established books is simply astounding and ultimately leaves you well and truly at the mercy of the ‘overs’ god, a scenario that rarely ends with good fortune!

The poor old on-track pundit cannot gain favor even if they manage to go around the runner that my mates have selected because the same late push for a dog ‘on the air’, regardless of the wisdom behind the actual selection, will still crush fixed odds betting and it can then work the other way, sending the price of rival runners back out the gate and sometimes rendering any early shopping as useless. A situation that my friends find very difficult to accept and holding only one individual as accountable.  

It is often a case of ‘damned if they do, damned if they don’t’ for the public tipster!

If the truth be told, with plenty of retail money active on a high-profile meeting, it is not uncommon for a runner, heavily spruiked within media circles, to bend a book completely out of shape with price sensitivity a forgotten factor.

Amazingly, I have also noticed that on-air commentary, right on jump time, can also sway activity on betting exchanges; an incredible reaction given that the core philosophy of these platforms is mass opinion gradually converting into a solid, reliable price point, yet we have a situation in which a singular theory can alter, or at the very least, dent the structure of respected sites that many corporate bookies regard as a gospel reference.   

Instead of chastising the work or accuracy of broadcasting people within the greyhound racing industry, I prefer to see them for what they are; a select group tasked with driving turnover.

Depending on who is in the chair, their tips can often be succinct while at other times there is no doubt that their leads lack substance and worse still, any form of market advantage for followers. That said, they are asked to find the winner of every race so the upside for greyhound punters can be found by looking outside the square; daring to predict what the scribes are most likely themselves to predict and finding an angle from a form perspective with far greater depth than one to two sentences as the dogs enter the boxes.