Transcript of Podcast: Dave & Derek discuss some common traps handicappers fall into.
To Destroy Your Chances of Winning Try the Following:
- Do you think that all favorites are bad bets?
- Do you feel the need to get on the soap box?
- Do you get invested in a popular horse?
- Do you spend so much time handicapping that you must play the race?
- Do you fish for giant payoffs that are beyond your bankroll?
Dave: Hey this is Dave Schwartz and I am here with Derek Simon and we are just going to chat about racing. Just to be clear this is not really my podcast, it is Derek’s. We designed it to go on the US racing website.
In case you do not know who we are, I am Dave Schwartz and I have got a website called pacemakestherace.com. I have been involved in the race racing game for twenty – six years, since 1990 as a full time business. Tell them about yourself Derek.
Derek: My name is Derek Simon and I am at usracing.com, you can get there at www.usracing.com. I am the chief editor there, I do some handicapping and we have all kinds of stuff on the website.
Dave: We started to call this show 10 Ways to Absolutely Destroy your Chances of Winning. But the truth is we do not have a shot at getting through all ten ways but we have got them prioritized and we are just going to call this Ways to Absolutely Destroy Your Chances of Winning
Derek: A lot of people might look at that and think why are you looking at ways to lose, I already know how to lose why not tell me ways to win? I think it is important when you look at things like this to recognize that maybe this is something I do and change those behaviors. I am not saying you need to do these things because we want you to absolutely destroy your chances of winning, we want you to learn from these things so you become a winner.
Derek: I hear this a lot. People talk about trying to beat the favorites. I have had people say the favorites are going to win 33%, 35% of the time, whatever the percentage may be and you are going to lose money therefore you have to bet against the favorites. Conversely there is something crazy in racing where people think if you play a favorite you really have not done anything because that is the favorite. No the idea is to always look for overlays, horses with their win greater than their odds would suggest.
When you are looking at favorites they are not always rated equally and I would argue too it does not matter what type of race it is, just because is a maiden claiming race does not necessarily make that favorite worse but there are things you can spot in past performances. You and I have talked about this before, when you are looking for bad favorites it is actually for a series of bad things as opposed to just one factor they fall short in.
Dave: I completely agree with that. It is funny, I think in one of the podcasts we did recently you spoke about someone, you handicapped several races and came up with low odds horses and you were criticized because all you did was pick the favorites, I could have done that. What they do not understand is that being able to tell the difference between a good bet favorite and a bad bet favorite and the majority of them are going to be in between, neither good bets not bad bets.
Derek: Absolutely. In fact I make a point about that, I just totaled up my stats for the last three months, October of course is not complete, my average odds, 6-5. The ROI, 21%, I will take that every day. In fact, I will make this comment that I made before about favorites, here are the positives in playing favorites. Even at a smaller track they have got the bulk of the money. Therefore your bet is less likely to alter the odds than let us say you are playing a 99-1 shot at Charleston on a Monday night, something like that you are probably going to alter the odds.
With favorites there is less of a chance. You also have a higher winning percentage, when you look at your advantage over the game and is composed of two things, your winning percentage and the average odds that you win at. Having that higher win percentage not only gives you a greater advantage over the game but in mean and practical terms it means there are less losing streaks which are the bane of many horse players. Those are just a couple of the positives in playing lower odds horses and I have got no problems playing lower odds horses.
The only horse I would say is horrible is betting a 1-9 shot to win, clearly if you are going to get 1-9 playing it to place or show, too. That is a terrible bet but we do not always know that if we are betting in advance.
Dave: You are probably going to get 1-20. I think it is also important, we do not want people to tune out from this because they have the mindset I do not play favorites. I think we are actually going with this, we are not actually saying go out and start looking for favorites, we are saying you need to be able to tell the difference between a good favorite and a not so good favorite.
Derek: Absolutely. You do not have to play the favorite and I do understand with people that are just going to the track casually betting even $20 on a horse that is 4-5, big deal you are not making a lot of money. I totally understand that mindset. That is part of what goes into any players decision about how to bet is what your goals are.
But it is just as fool hardy to look for a horse that is a strong favorite and I think I am going to bet against this horse just because I do not like favorites I think that is the point we are both driving at.
Dave: Exactly. I think you also have to look at the example you gave; what am I going to win if I bet $20 on this 4-5 shot? If you decide because the 4-5 shot is a not a bad bet and you keep your $20 in your pocket for the next race you probably have an extra $20.
Again, just to be clear, we are not saying you have to do it our way. But when a guy comes up and says I am doing 21% positive ROI on horses average odds of 6-5, I do not do that. My ROI is about 7 or 8% on horses at 3-1 and below before rebate. I know there is a segment of our audience that is going to say well Barry Meadows said you can only get 3%. You can believe us or not but we are doing better than that.
That concludes Part 1 of 5 Ways to Destroy Your Chances of Winning, check back for the rest of the series.
About Derek Simon:
I love numbers and analysis and have been able to parlay that into an exciting career writing about two of my greatest passions — business and sports.
In addition to working as a freelance financial writer for Newsmax, The Motley Fool, Investopedia/Forbes, Beacon Equity Research and Investor Concepts (among others), I was also the editor of Small Cap Insider, a monthly newsletter highlighting investment opportunities in the small cap sector.
Currently, I am the editorial director for US Racing where I contribute written, audio and video content and oversee a team of talented and passionate writers.
Check back often. Did you know that the best stuff goes directly to our email community? Be the first to hear about special offers, new products, and new material. Sign Up Today.
Join our private Talking Handicapping with Dave Schwartz Facebook Group.