Most people who love horse racing would be thrilled just to win a little more and lose a little less on their trips to the track.. It must follow, therefore, that if we bet the best horse that has started at least twice, we stand an excellent chance of beating the takeout, particularly in races that have several first and second time starters.

However, just because systems won’t make you rich doesn’t mean there’s no place for them at all in a horseplayer’s arsenal. Let me let you in on a little secret about these “magic formulas”.

In fact, pedigree does not generally offer wager value with one curious exception: well bred horses do surprisingly well in maiden claiming races. I was able to replicate this result in my own study of nearly 100,000 races conducted a decade later.

Second, the very nature of the parimutuel system itself means that any profits to be made from following a particular set of rules will quickly be arbitraged away as the followers of that system drive down the odds of horses chosen by the system.

How do we identify the best pedigree, then? If you’re using the DRF past performances, use the stud fee as a proxy for quality, and the Tomlinson figure to judge suitability for the distance and surface. The horse with the best combination of the two is the play.

For instance, many speed figure handicappers reported making horse racing profits in the 60’s and 70’s simply by betting horses with the best last race speed figure. Few bother to even look at the comment line for the race, let alone take the trouble to seek out and watch the replay of the race. This system takes advantage of one of the few glaring inefficiencies in the parimutuel pools, namely that first and second time starters are badly over-bet.

Horse Racing System #4 – Bet low-priced favorites to place. My computer studies of pedigree, based on nearly 100,000 races, suggest that using pedigree in that manner offers no advantage to the player.

The horse with the best last race speed figure (whether Beyer, BRIS, or Equibase) may not be the best horse in the race, but he’s probably not far off, so we can use that as a proxy for selection purposes.

In the first place, the parimutuel takeout in horse racing is large (over 15%) and the mutuel pools are relatively efficient, so that even systems with a strong basis in reality can’t overcome the size of the takeout.

Nunamaker reported that the inside post in dirt route races won at a 20% greater than expected rate, and lost only 10 cents on the dollar, much better than the track take. My study suggests that’s not the case.

Horse Racing System #3 – In maiden claiming races, bet the horse with the best pedigree. To the extent that most handicappers use pedigree at all, it’s usually to identify horses that may improve when switched to the turf, or those who may be expected to win as first time starters. Just don’t expect to quit your day job.

Horse Racing System #1 – In maiden races, bet the horse with the best last race speed figure that has had at least two career starts. Thanks for reading, and see you in the winner’s circle.

Instead of blindly betting all horses breaking from the inside, you might use this to supplement your handicapping, paying particular attention to the inside horse, and betting it when you like the horse on other handicapping grounds. In most case the public seems to take a horse’s last running line at face value. This is somewhat counter-intuitive since you’d expect that horses with good pedigrees that end up in the maiden claiming ranks probably can’t run at all. This is another mistake that bettors make: in a race with a clear standout, many people give up on the win pool and bet their choice to place, thinking that they’ll get paid even if the favorite wins.

Horse Racing System #5 – Bet Horses breaking from the inside post in route races. It should go without saying that you should actually like the favorite’s chances after evaluating the race with your own handicapping.

Looking for a dead simple horse racing system that will allow you to quit your job and make a living betting the horses in just 10 minutes a day? Good luck with that!

For as long as humans have bet on horse racing there have been system sellers trying to con the gullible into parting with their hard earned money with the lure of easy profits to be made on the sport of kings. The inside post in turf routes actually showed a small profit, but this was based on a small sample size and cannot be relied upon. The inside post combined with early speed is a particularly potent combination, since the horse will not have to exert himself as much to gain his preferred position at the front of the pack.

Look for comment lines like “bled”, “lost rider”, “clipped heels”, “stumbled”, “steadied”, “between horses”, “rank”, and “jumped shadows” that suggest that a horse’s last race was not indicative of its true ability. None of them work.

Horse Racing System #2 – Bet horses that have an excuse for a poor performance in their last race. I’ve identified some of the most useful handicapping factors that have a proven history of doing much better than the track takeout and put them together with some simple rules that should make your trips to the racetrack more fun and profitable. With the BRIS pp’s you can use the Sire Production Factor in concert with the pedigree rating. If the tote board suggests that the public is overlooking these mitigating circumstances, make your play.

In that spirit. They will, however increase the chances of a profitable day at the races by ensuring that your wager dollars go where they have the best chance of success. Because speed figures have gained in popularity over the years, anyone following that system now would have trouble coming up with gas money for the ride home from the track.

This causes the favorite to be under bet in the place pool, leading to a profit opportunity for us to take advantage of by betting the favorite to place. My own studies have shown a similar advantage for the inside post in routes.

None of these systems will make you rich, or even guarantee that you will make a profit. One of the few anomalies turned up by Michael Nunamaker in his pioneering computer study “Modern Impact Values”, published in 1994, was that horses breaking from the inside post position in route races won more than their fair share of races, and were under-bet by the public. This offers opportunity to more diligent players.

First time starters return only about 60 cents on the dollar, and second time starters are only a little better, returning less than 70 cents on the dollar

“Thus, the bookies love and cherish the squares.”

So, how much are we gambling each football season?

And where does all that money go?

“The bookies fear and despise a tiny coterie of professional bettors known as ‘the sharps,'” Konik says. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from squares on favorites. He is not taken in by being involved in USC-Notre Dame just because it is the biggest watched game of the day. “If you listen to their advice, you are sure to lose. “Teams play inspired ball at home. “Squares usually bet later in the week and they tend to pick the favorites. “He is not jaded by teams and does not bet with his heart. “For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll for the season, you should generally bet no more than $50 a game.”

3. “As for me, the best bet in football is betting the point spread or over/under totals on individual games. Research Football Services – “Most sports services realize that most people who sign up with them are insecure,” Gordon warns. In fact, sports bettors must pick 52.4 percent winners just to break even.”

Another difference between squares and sharps is how they approach betting on game day.

“The talking heads on TV know nothing about sports betting,” says Sevransky. Bet at the Right Time – “The sharp bettors tend to bet underdogs, and they tend to bet them early,” Moseman says. If you want advice about sports betting, find someone who has a successful track record. “In trying to bamboozle potential customers, many services make claims about having scouts all over the country that give them inside information and promise 70 or even 80 percent winners, as if the bookmakers were the biggest suckers in the world. They use powerful computers that can process millions of bits of data and produce a more accurate point-spread line than the bookmakers.”

“A square or recreational player might have a vague plan, but after two Corona’s he will definitely run to the window and make a hasty decision on the USC-Notre Dame game because he wants to be involved in the party atmosphere,” Vaccaro says.

“The biggest mistake that amateur bettors make is they increase their bets when they are losing,” Sevransky says. On college you will be able to find different lines at different sports books. So underdogs tend to be slightly undervalued – except by the sharps.”

“A sharp or smart has a plan of what he wants to do,” says Vaccaro, the director of sports operations and public relations at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas. Shop For Numbers – “Another important aspect of betting on football is shopping for the best number,” Moseman explains. “Over the course of several seasons, the percentage of bettors who turn a profit is minuscule.”

6.

. Consider Underdogs – “In the long-run, it’s easier to win betting on the underdog,” Konik says.

However, Konik adds that there are some bettors who actually know how to beat the bookies. “Because alcohol clouds your judgment and usually helps you to make rash decisions you usually wouldn’t otherwise make.

Although exact figures are impossible to calculate, according to Jimmy Vaccaro, widely considered to be Las Vegas’ most influential bookmaker, Americans probably wager more than $50 billion a year on NFL and college football combined.

Also, it’s probably a good idea to disregard advice from the myriad of ex-players and football experts you see on television each week.

5. “The key to proper money management is to be sure not to bet more than you can afford to lose.”

8. These books change their numbers according to the betting patterns of their customers, so it is not entirely uncommon to find two or three point differences in the lines.”

“In an average season, fewer than one bettor in twelve turns a profit,” Gordon says. Money Management – “This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting on sports and possibly the most neglected,” says Morey “Doc” Moseman, a professional gambler and sports consultant with DocSports.com for nearly 40 years.

So, is it possible for the average square to become a little sharper in making football bets this season? According to professionals like Vacarro, Konik and Gordon, amateur bettors have the best chance to win if they demonstrate a little patience and follow the 10 basic tips below. Oakland comes to mind) seem like the Super Bowl. If North Texas is his best bet on a Saturday then that is his bet. Avoid Exotic Bets – “For very skilled handicappers, with a proven track record, there can, at least in theory, be value in betting parlays,” says Gordon on the type of bet that combines two or more individual wagers.

While these tips don’t guarantee you’re going to win, hopefully they can make you a little less square and a little more sharp in your picks this season. The only locks that exist are those that need keys to open them.”

So, how much should you bet a game?

10.

Michael Konik, a sports writer and best-selling author of The Smart Money (Simon & Schuster 2006), explains why it is so hard for the recreational gambler to win at betting on football. Not all games work according to this formula, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.”

Newspapers and popular sports sites routinely publish the lines or point spreads for games, and football insiders offer their picks to viewers each week on ESPN and other cable networks. “The sharps are usually members of a betting syndicate privy to the most up-to-date information on injuries, weather, game plans, and, most important, the real power of the teams involved. The only touts bettors should consider are the ones who talk about the long haul and realistic winning percentages, which are in the upper 50 percent to lower 60 percent range.”

7.

“A square is the average, unsophisticated gambler whose decision making is based on hunches, media manipulation, or spurious systems that cannot overcome the bookmaker’s inherent mathematical advantage,” Konik explains. And why not? We have unconditional love for the sport and betting $50 or $100 on a game adds an extra rush of adrenaline. Big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd.”

And remember, in the immortal words of “Fast” Eddie Felson, “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

Ted Sevransky, a well-known Las Vegas gambler and sports consultant with Sportsmemo.com, agrees.

Even Hollywood is not immune – think Two for the Money with Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey.

“The standard bet requires gamblers to lay $11 for every $10 they want to win with the extra $1 or 10 percent known as the juice,” Konik says. There is a wealth of information on the Internet; it is just up to you to find it and research it daily.”

Betting on football games; whether it’s through a local bookie, an offshore Internet site or a Nevada casino (still the only legal place in America to make football bets), most of us have done it or know of someone who has.

9.

But that doesn’t mean you have to bet like a “square” and throw away your hard-earned money.

4.

1. “When you’re in a good rhythm and winning, you want to increase your bets. To be a successful sports bettor you need to operate with a clear mind.”

2. “Most people prefer to bet on the ‘better’ team, the one that will probably win the game. “Common wisdom says that over the course of a long football season the average man or woman will pick approximately 50 percent winners. “There will be more discrepancy in the numbers at different sports books. Also, being “in action” can make a dull late-afternoon game (Buffalo vs. Drinking and Gambling Don’t Mix – “There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas supply you with free drinks while you are gambling,” Moseman says. Locks Don’t Exist – “Anyone who has watched sports for about a month realizes that the difference between winning and losing, especially against the spread, can be infinitesimally small,” Gordon says. He loses year after year, according to Dan Gordon, a top football handicapper and author of How to Beat the Sports Books (Cardoza Publishing 2005).

Moseman agrees and especially likes home underdogs. If you are going to go with a favorite, it is best to place your bet early in the week when the sharps are laying heavy money on the points. “In the NFL, a game will often be totally turned around by one or two plays, or even a single penalty. The payout is just the same as far as he is concerned. Slim underdogs regularly win outright. There are almost an infinite number of scenarios that can happen in a single football game. Chasing losses is the fastest way to the poor house.”

But even though the math says it’s virtually impossible to win on a consistent basis, Americans continue to bet on football. The NFL, for example, will have very similar numbers at most of the betting shops you visit. But, when you’re struggling, that’s when you want to reduce your bet size until you get out of your slump. Giving 11 to 10 odds is almost always the cheapest price you can give.”

“There is probably no better bet in sports than playing an underdog at home,” Moseman says. “If you become an expert on a smaller conference like the WAC, you have a good chance to beat the house because sports book operators do not have the time or resources to follow this conference the way you can.

“Most people with an understanding of football gambling bet between 3 percent and 5 percent of their bankroll, increasing when they win and reducing when they lose,” Vaccaro says. Focus on Conferences – “The best way to win money betting football is to develop a niche and follow it closely,” Moseman advises. Otherwise, you’re better off doing your own research.”

Certainly not back into the pockets of the average bettor. Avoid Chasing Bets – “Don’t do it! There is no worse way to mismanage your bankroll than to chase your bets after a losing day,” cautions Moseman on the dangerous practice of trying to immediately win back your losses. Thanks to the juice, the only one who profits in this scenario is the bookmaker

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