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Bet-Down as a Handicapping
When a horse gets bet down below the morning line, that�s a good thing, right? It means the "smart money" got down on this horse, often at the last minute, and he�s got a better chance to win, right?
I always thought so. While not one of those guys that stood near the monitor and tracked the ebb and flow of money into the betting pools, I did believe that horses that got more money bet on them than was generally expected were more likely to win.
Wrong! While final odds are a good predictor of a horse�s chances, its morning line odds have no effect on whether it will win or not. Sports Stat did a study that makes this clear:
Not Bet-Down Horses
If you look at the table, the ROI figures are virtually identical for bet-down vs. not-bet-down horses. (The one exception might be the .75 ROI for less-than-even-money horses that are not bet down, but the sample of 83 is too small to be dependable.)
What turns out to be predictive are final odds. Look at the win% columns and notice how, as the odds get higher, the win percentage gets lower. It doesn�t matter if a 2/1 final odds horse had a morning line of 6/5 or 6/1. It�ll still win at the rate of a 2/1 horse.
So next time someone tries to sell you on morning line bet-downs as a handicapping factor, you�ll know better. It�s just part of the noise that experienced handicappers must learn to ignore. NC
Correction: In last week's newsletter, I listed a number of low-ROI situations that can be used as tentative eliminations. A few of these were taken from Sports Stat's Thoroughbred Consistency booklet. The mistake that I made on these particular stats was that I thought they applied to all horses. In actuality, they applied only to horses running in a claiming race today. The stats should read as follows:
� Claiming race today,
horse coming off 45+ day layoff (.56 ROI).
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