Through the years, I have gotten many inquiries about fair odds lines — mainly, how can a horseplayer go about making one and exactly what are they good for?
Let us kick off the conversation with the last query — after all, what is the use in creating something without knowing what it does? (I’ve seen enough science fiction movies to know this is a bad idea.) In other words, a fair odds line provides gamblers with a means of earning logical wagering decisions.
As an instance, most players understand that betting to win on a horse that’s 2-5 or less does not make a great deal of sense. To earn any money on such steeds, a gambler would have to cash at 71 percent of the time, which is very unlikely (and of course how the place and show payoffs will likely be just as high or even higher than the win yield sometimes, creating a win bet look that a lot more absurd ).
However very few punters take the upcoming logical step and delegate specific minimum betting odds to all (or even some) of their race contenders.
This is the point where a fair odds line comes from.
A fair chances line tries to measure a handicapper’s feelings about a particular race and provide a frame for improved money management decisions. Statements like”I knew I must have used that horse” are, theoretically at least, foreign to one who employs a fair odds line on a regular basis.
This is because bets are made — or not made — based on if the horse in question is an overlay (post-time chances higher than its fair odds) or even underlay (post-time odds significantly less than its fair odds). As a result, the angst of deciding whether or not to include a horse in one’s wagers is, in consequence, made from the betting public.
So, without further ado, let’s move on to the primary course — constructing the line:
A) For each horse, assign chances which you think are fair. If it helps, use the dawn line for a guide.
B) Convert these chances to some proportion.
C) Insert all of the individual proportions together to get the total line percentage. If this amount is exactly 100 percent (plus or minus a couple of tenths of a point due to rounding discrepancies), you have what is known as a”true” line, which is exactly what I personally strive for.
However, lots of value handicappers like to mirror the bag board and comprise takeout and breakage in the equation. In this case, a total line proportion of up to 125 percent is OK. Beyond that, though, I’d suggest re-calculating or massaging your reasonable chances. Maybe the horse you listed at 2-1 ought to be 5-2 instead. Perhaps a couple of the horses that you tabbed at 15-1 should be 20-1. Continue making adjustments such as this before the total line percentage meets your goal.Of course, I am mindful of the fact that this can be easier said than done and will almost surely require practice and a reasonable amount of patience. Underlays you tossed will win — sometimes at or above their fair odds, as a result of an influx of late money to the swimming pool; overlays you wagered on will magically transform into underlays for the identical reason.
But don’t stop trying. Remember, most gamblers lose because they gamble too many underlays. The legendary punter George E. Smith (“Pittsburg Phil”) said it best when he mentioned:”You cannot be a successful horse player if you are going to get the worst of this price all the time.”
Fair odds make certain you don’t.
Now, before I leave this subject there are two major things to consider as you move across the path toward becoming a worth bettor:
1) A horse isn’t an overlay or underlay just since your fair odds say it’s. After all, your lineup could be — and in most cases is wrong.
Do not get too cocky and dismiss the audience’s opinion entirely. If a horse that you believe should be 5-2 is 20-1 on the board, ask yourself why. Is there something you missed, a element that you weighted too heavily or too softly? In other words, start looking for mistakes in your calculations before you rush to the windows to bet your life savings.
Furthermore, make sure to check your fair odds. They ought to win in the speed you state they do. What is more, they ought to keep winning at the rate (or very near it) since the real odds change. If your 2-1 shots acquire a third of the time total, but just 1 percent of the time once the horse is a designed overlay, you’ve definitely got an issue.
2) In respect to your fair odds line itself, it pays to keep in mind something that gambling guru Dick Mitchell heard in the class of his honest odds studies. After years of looking for a line that adequately reflected the performance of the best three wagering choices (again, contrary to that which racetrack charlatans proclaim, the gambling pools are generally efficient), Mitchell heard a tv commentator discuss the”80/20 rule”
First advanced by company consultant Joseph M. Juran, the 80/20 principle, or Pareto Principle, is the notion that 80 percent of all consequences stem from only 20% of all causes. 20 percent of the world’s population control 80 percent of its own sources, 20 percent of those people on Earth have 80 percent of their talent (not necessarily the exact same 20 percent, mind you) and so forth and so on.
From a betting standpoint, Mitchell understood that a reasonable odds line must reflect the exact same fundamental truth. Hence, he began assigning 80 percent of his evaluations to his top contenders and the rest 20 percent to the rest of the area — with great success.
I bring this up as many rookie line manufacturers will realize that their honest odds are too similar — a lot of 3-1, 4-1 and 6-1 chances — and not very reflective of real-life gambling tendencies (which should always be among the goals). By reassigning 80 percent (or thereabouts) of the probabilities to the best options, this can be prevented.
Hopefully this helps aspiring value bettors become proficient at their craft and, being Pittsburg Phil said, avoid becoming the”worst of the price all the time.”

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