Where is the ValueWritten by Jon Stettin
I always thought the great equalizer between sports betting and horse racing was value. With horses, you can go after wagers that return multiple times on the dollar. In sports, you are usually looking at close to even money unless you go after underdog money lines which coincidentally is my preference.
Lately, it is becoming more and more difficult to find value in horse racing. You are lucky to get over the parlay on multi-race wagers when it used to be a given. Three or four times the parlay was the norm. That made those bets worthwhile. Today, between the syndicates, sharks, and low denominations you are up against it. It’s a lousy feeling hitting a pick 4 or 5 that should pay 4K and it comes back $950. We see this more and more and it is not likely to change soon.
Adjusting and adapting is absolutely a prerequisite to beating this game or at the least surviving it. I have been reverting back to some basics. The often-overlooked win bet. I don’t exactly bet win like most people do. I’ll bet win, and also put my win horse on top of one or two exactas without reversing, boxing or anything like that. I go for the kill.
The past post odds changes are always frustrating but not quite as dramatic as the multi-race bet you sweat out over several races only to get one-quarter of what you should. The other day at Gulfstream I bet a horse off the Saffie Joseph claim at 5-2 going in the gate in a 6 horse field. I was happy with the play and pretty confident the horse would win. By the time they hit the first turn the horse was co favored at even money. I’d have probably passed the race at that price. I had no such option now. Fortunately, the horse won.
Even with that the win and kill shot exacta is a nice way to go in today’s game. You have a good idea of the win price and the exacta price. Sure, you may get cannibalized at times, but you have two shots to escape it. The win and the exacta. If you stay off the syndicate horses and obvious overlays, and any sheet standouts (which are rare today) you have a fighting chance.
Cashing fewer tickets but risking less money and showing bigger profits is the formula I prefer in today’s racing market. ADW’s and racing shows and so-called pundits push the multi-race wagers. Who knows or even cares why at this point. You have to adapt to what gives you an edge and your best shot. Those bets are not it today. They once were, but that was then this is now.
I look at it as getting back to basics. Sure it is not gonna yield those six-figure scores we all love and live for. But those opportunities will come along and approaching things this way just may put you in a better position to capitalize on them when they do.
The bottom line is coming out ahead. You have to find what works for you and stay with that. Then you need to adjust as the game changes and evolves. I went from primarily a pick 6 bettor to whatever works today. The pick 6 is all but extinct.
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The players and the playing field has changed. We have to as well.