Following on from my article above, if your strategy is not profitable then I suggest asking yourself whether there is positive value in the odds at which you are placing bets. In other words, are you placing bets at advantageous odds, on average over many such bets in the long run?
For example, imagine a punter decides to design a strategy that always submits a back bet on any horse that reaches odds of 1.05 during the race, because he hopes he will capture some profit by betting on every horse in the last moment just before it wins the race. This strategy will not work, unless it is discovered that horses reaching odds of 1.05 are found to have a better chance of winning on average than the probability implied by odds of 1.05.
At odds of 1.05, the implied probability of winning is 95.2% (1 divided by 1.05). So if the above strategy is to be successful, then the well informed punter would need to have discovered through some research that horses reaching odds of 1.05 do actually win more than 95.2% of the time. Discovering whether that is the case, would probably require analysing a large data set of historic odds. If such a data set is not readily available, then the punter might have to create the data by doing a lot of speculative bets with small amounts of real money over a long period of time. There is no shortcut.
Assuming we believe that markets are generally efficient (priced accurately), then when the odds are 1.05 these are probably the true odds (on average) so there is no point just always making bets at 1.05 because there is no value in it. However the punter has discovered through research that the market is not efficient (not priced accurately) when a horse is about to win a race and reaches market odds of 1.05, then this could actually be a profitable strategy. Otherwise the punter will simply always be betting at odds that are too close to the true probability of the outcome and thus not making a profit, because he will win 95.2% of the time but then hand back all of the profits by suffering big losses whenever his horses lose during the other 4.8% of the time. In practise this would probably be worse than break-even, if the punter is constantly taking the market prices because he will be losing the spread to the market makers, i.e. he keeps taking the back price of 1.05, even though the true odds might be halfway between the front back (1.05) and lay (1.06) prices. It gets even worse if the bets are placed through a commercial bookmaker instead of Betfair, because the bookmaker will be offering even worse odds to ensure that there is value (profit) in it for the bookmaker.
So in summary, if a punter did research and discovered that the market odds represent good value whenever they reach 1.05, then it makes sense to always back at that price on a regular basis. However, what if he then discovers that in practise the strategy is not profitable, contrary to his research. The natural thought process would be to make a new strategy that tries to do the opposite and always lays at 1.05. That might actually work, if the value in the odds is good enough to overcome any bet execution risks and to overcome the cost of always paying the spread by taking the best odds on the other side of the market (as mentioned earlier, the true odds might be midway between the front back and lay odds). So the punter might be more successful if he places unmatched lay bets in advance at 1.05 and thus hopes to earn the spread during his strategy, instead of always paying the spread, but there is no guarantee that he will earn the spread so close to the end of a volatile market.
An example of a strategy that seeks to discover betting opportunities based on 'value odds', is shown in the videos below and uses the Football Odds Predictor feature in Cymatic to estimate what the 'true' odds should be in each football market. Football is resuming tomorrow in the German Bundesliga and there should be plenty of opportunities to trade football tomorrow and hopefully find some 'value odds'.Football Odds Predictor - Part 1Football Odds Predictor - Part 2
There is further information on the football odds predictor tool in the user manual:User manual - Football Odds Predictor