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24/10/2003 edition

Betting "Unders" in Big Fields

"You've got big fields with many chances. You're not going to get too many unders there."

We were most surprised when we heard someone say that on air last week. The size of the field is absolutely irrelevant to the prospects of getting "overs" or "value". What is important are:

1. An assessment of a horse's true winning chances.
2. The overall betting market percentage, not the fact that in bigger fields more horses will be around double figure odds.

You can work out the market percentage very simply. Divide 100 by the odds of a horse. Do this for each horse and add the total. For example if a horse is $2.00, then that price accounts for 50%.

The more the market is over 100% the less the chances of getting overs or value on an individual bet. The closer the market is to 100% the greater the chances of getting overs or value on an individual bet.

Whether there are five runners or 20 runners is absolutely irrelevant. You do not automatically get plenty of unders in small fields, nor do you automatically get plenty of overs in big fields.


"It's easier making money backing horses at 10/1 than backing shorter priced horses"

The argument goes along the line that if you get a 40% strike rate and back four even money favourites in 10 bets you will still be showing a 20% loss over those 10 bets. So instead, all you have to do is pick one winner at 10/1 ($11.00) in your ten bets and you will show a profit.

It sounds easy enough. It sounds simple enough. It sounds logical. But that is where it ends. All the betting statistics show that when punters back horses at the shorter end of the price range they are at a significantly smaller disadvantage than when backing horses at double figure odds.

There can also be substantial losing runs backing horses at double figure odds, losing runs that would most likely not occur with bets on carefully selected horses at the shorter end of the price range.

Your best chances of making a profit lies in backing carefully selected horses at the shorter end of the price range, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney Saturday racing. Then you need to ensure you get decent odds about those horses, which will usually be top fluctuation bookmaker prices. If you go to the Melbourne and Sydney metropolitan meetings you even stand a chance of getting better than the TF odds.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Caulfield Cup Day/Melbourne Cup betting tips
Gai Waterhouse and Caulfield Cup Day
Betting tips and gambling strategy
Spring Carnival horses - good runs, good betting odds
Betting favourites in small fields
Money talks - Randwick, Caulfield betting tips from the track
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 17/10/2003
Punt to Win index


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