Some ‘Number-Crunching’ Basics that All Horseplayers Need to Know

Horse racing article at Knup Sports

Joseph Tuttle joins Knup Sports as a contributor to bring us some “Horse Sense”. Today he looks at ‘Number-Crunching’ basics that all horse bettors need!

Joseph J. Tuttle is a well known sports betting author and handicapper that is going to be contributing here at Knup Sports over the next several months. We are excited to have him on board. He will be bringing a series we like to call “Horse Sense” where he will look at a number of different topics to help you win at horse racing betting. You can find more about Mr. Tuttle and what he offers over at

The Off Odds and What They Truly Mean: A Little Secret from a Pro

If a horse is going off at 6-1 odds, do you know what that means? Answer: 1/7 = 14.29%, or an estimated 14% chance of winning. So, the most obvious question that many of you reading this might have is: How can I find out whether my selection(s) odds of winning are true?

Let’s say, the horse you like is 4-1 in the ML (Morning Line), but winds-up as the 2-1 favorite. Well, if said horse has 5 wins from 25 starts, then, we know the horse wins 20% of the time.

Formula: 1/5 = 20 (from the 4-1ML) + 1/3 = 33 (the odds at post) + 20 (overall Win%) = 73/3 = 24.33, or an estimated 24%.

If there’s $100,000.00 in the total win pool, and this mythical selection of yours has less than $24,000.00 bet to win on it – the horse would then be deemed an ‘Underlay’ or ‘Not being Bet Right’ (at least not by the ‘Sharpies’). If said horse is at 2-1 odds, but has more than 24% (over $24k) of the win pool, at this point the horse would be considered an ‘Overlay’ – and definitely a horse worth thinking about betting on.

If you’re going to use the above-mentioned formula, I’d recommend doing for all of the horses in the race, and not just the one or two horses you feel have the best chance of winning. In doing this, you are adding a layer of objectivity that you may not typically incorporate into your handicapping methodologies – and it could actually lead down a different path/horse to wager on – one that may simply hold a lot better betting value!

Example: Say there’s an 8-1 shot in the race that has a lifetime win percentage of 33% (we’ll say 12 of 36), for its career. And, even though the horse is stepping up in class (hence the 8-1ML), its off odds at post time end up at 4-1. Let’s see what the formula reveals, shall we?!

1/9 = 11 + 1/5 = 20 + 33 = 64/3 = 21%, or a minimum of $21,000.00 should be bet on this horse. Well, I can already tell all of you reading this, from experience, that this type of horse will most likely have a tad more than 21k wagered on it – and the horse would most definitely be worth a wager!

Finally, if you were to like more of the intangible/discretionary facets associated with this 4-1er; as compared to the 2-1er, then, the choice is clear: you’d bet the 4-1 shot until you’re blue in the face!

Horse betting is mostly about being a grinder, and it’s the ‘Grinders’ that go on to become professionals. I have been straddled with the moniker of ‘The HedgeMasterGeneral’ on more than one occasion, and that’s fine by me – as it should be for all of you! Remember the true ‘Golden Rule’ of any type of betting versus others…..“Check your ego at the door”!

In my next installment, I plan on discussing the wonderful world of Predictive Analytics, or PS (Predictive Scoring) – as in, PSM’s (Predictive Scoring Models), and their usefulness in betting the ponies!

The above was a guest post by Joseph J. Tuttle

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