Many experts consider playing a horse to win to be the best bet in horse racing. If you bet on a horse to win, your horse must finish first.
The reasoning behind betting to win stems from the fact that you can see what your horse’s odds are by looking at the tote board before the race runs. You can then determine whether your horse’s odds represent good value based on your own judgment. This is extremely important.
Why? Because the real key to making a profitbetting on horseracing is finding horses which represent goodvalue - whose chances of winning are better than the odds displayedon the tote board (which are made by the public) - and bettingenough of those horses to produce a profit. Successful horseplayerswin by taking advantage of mistakes in judgment made by the public.
For example, the public determines the post-timefavorite in every race. These favorites win approximately 31-33percent of the time at a flat bet loss of between $0.08-$0.15for every dollar wagered, depending on which study you care tolook at. This is a universal maxim in horse racing proven by theanalysis of hundreds of thousands of races – yet still arguedover by inexperienced horseplayers.
What you really need to understand is the factthat if you bet only public favorites to win, many of which representpoor value - you will lose. Also consider the fact that the publicis wrong 66 percent of the time. To win betting on horse racingyou must take advantage of the public’s errors in judgment.
If your handicapping tells you that the horseyou like has a 2-1 chance of winning and the odds displayed onthe tote board say the horse is paying off at 5-1, you have foundyourself an overlay – and good value. If your handicapping tellsyou that a horse you like should be 12-1 and the tote board saysthe horse is paying off at 2-1, this represents an underlay -and poor value. While favorites do represent good value on occasion,horseplayers looking to make a profit when betting to win shouldtake note of the following percentages.
To make a 20 percent profit on each dollarwagered you must:
· Win 50 percent of your bets at average oddsnot lower than 7/5
· Win 40 percent of your bets at average odds of 2-1
· Win 30 percent of your bets at average odds of 3-1
To make a profit of 40 percent on each dollarwagered you must:
· Win 50 percent of your bets at average oddsof 9-5
· Win 40 percent of your bets at average odds of 5/2
· Win 30 percent of your bets at average odds of 7/2 or better
Solid handicapping and the discipline to waitfor good value plays make the above percentages achievable.
Betting to Place and Show
If you bet on a horse to place, your horse mustfinish first or second. If you bet on a horse to show, your horsemust finish first, second or third. Betting to place or show offersyou a better chance to cash more tickets, but the payoffs arelower due to the fact that the pool of money must be divided amongmore bettors.
In the case of betting to place, payoffs aremade to those who bet the winner of the race to place, and tothose who bet the second place finisher to place. In the caseof show wagers, the payoffs must be divided even further, amongthree groups of bettors – those who bet the winner to show, thosewho bet the second place finisher to show, and those who bet thethird place finisher to show.
If you do choose to bet to place or show, youare probably better off playing the lower-priced horses. Horseswith higher odds tend to be underlays in the place and/or showpools, and produce better value when bet to win. Horses with lowerodds, particularly favorites, tend to be overlays in the placeand/or show pools.
Straight bets to place on public favorites willproduce an average loss of between 8-12 percent. Knowing thatthe payoffs for place and show are lower, handicappers who bethorses to finish in these positions generally try to overcomethe lower payoffs by picking a higher percentage of winners.
That being said, if you can pick a higher percentageof winners, you can probably make a better profit betting on horseracing - by betting to win.
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