Sunday, December 16, 2018

How the Odds Can Signal the kind of Bet You Should Make

I have found that horse players have a tendency to place the same kind of bet over and over no matter what the conditions of a race are.  It usually is their favorite kind of bet that they have been successful making in the past.  This kind of bet may or may not be suited to a particular race but they make it anyway.  The wrong bet leads to lost money in their bankroll.

There are many kinds of bets that can be made today as compared to 30 or 40 years ago when the win, place and show bets were about it.  You have today not only win, place and show bets but exactas, trifectas, superfectas, doubles, pick3's, pick4's, pick5's and pick6's.  Every day for every track there are morning line (ML) odds on every race.  If you watch the tote board then you can record the tote odds and see how they change as you get closer and closer to post time.  Both the ML odds and the tote odds can give you a clue as to the kind of bet that may be best for this race.  A few examples may illustrate this.

Example 1
Initially by looking at the ML odds you can make a first assessment.  If you see a heavy favorite, say

                   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

The rest of the horses are 3/1 or larger.  A win bet on the 4 horse makes sense, except for the fact that the payoff may be very small for the amount bet.  A way to increase the size of the payoff would be to bet the exacta.  Bet the 4 horse on top to win and any of the other horses to come in second.  Note that the greater the tote odds for the second horse that places the higher the exacta payoff will be.

Example 2
Another example of using the ML or the actual tote odds to set up a bet that fits the odds again with say 8 horses might look like this.

                      1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8
                        1/1           6/5

Here we have two horses the 2 horse and the 6 horse that are co-heavy favorites.  The rest of the horses have odds of 3/1 and larger.  The 2 and 6 horses will most likely be competing for the lead in the early part of the race at least.  Again you could place win bets on both the 2 and 6 horses but the payoff may not be large enough to cover the cost of both win bets.  Let's go to the exacta again to increase the size of the payoff.  In this case the exacta bet would be.


We could expand the size of the payoff by going to a trifecta that might look like this


Note that the 2 and 6 horses would be in the win and place positions.  If either the 2 wins and the 6 places or the 6 wins and the 2 places then the bet pays off.  A hedge bet that I like is


This will take into account a higher odd horse slipping in and taking the place position which I have found often occurs.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Movie 50/1

If you love horse racing you'll love this movie.  My wife and I happened to be in Louisville the first Saturday in May 2009 for the Kentucky Derby.  We witnessed 'Mine that Bird' coming along the rail from last to first being ridden by Calvin Borel (he's sometimes referred to as Calvin Bo-rail).  Calvin is a fantastic rider at Churchill Downs and rides the rail with many of his mounts. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times in four consecutive years.

The story behind 'Mine that Byrd' is just remarkable.  He was transported by horse van from New Mexico to Louisville just days before the Kentucky Derby.  They made fun of the 'cowboys' who trained and owned him.  He turned the tables on them in one of the most exciting Kentucky Derbys ever.

Now each Kentucky Derby day I watch the movie Again! I never get tired of watching 50/1.