Monday, August 22, 2011

The Counter Intuitive Nature Of Handicapping Superfectas

There are many great thoroughbred handicappers out there. Heck, I don't even claim to be a good handicapper.

There is also obvious value in picking winners. By this I mean the horse that finishes 1st in a race. With many carryovers on horizontal bets, there is added value in capping the pick 4-5-6 type wagers.

However, I'm in my own little 10 cent superfecta world. Playing this vertical wager has made me money, but it takes a completely different view to be successful.

I find the average field in races I bet is 8 selections. If I'm looking to cash a superfecta, I'm not looking to pick a winner, but instead picking the top half of the field.

I'll admit my methods are rudimentary. I rank the horses on several metrics, and the top four become my choices. Sometimes it's easier to eliminate the "also rans" than it is to make that 4th selection.

I also like to pick my horses without influence of the morning line or the betting pool. If public money goes against my choices, that's OK - it will pay that much sweeter if it comes in.

Now just because you picked the best 4 horses in the field, that doesn't mean they will finish 1-4. You hope the cream rises to the top and none of your horses quit down the stretch.

Superfectas are high variance and you can go quite awhile between cashes. If you are hitting 3 of the 4 regularly, then you're probably doing something right. Just be patient and the big winners will happen.

Aside from a carryover situation, I don't think there's a better value at the track than the superfecta. You could play a ten race card for $24, which a legitimate shot to make a few hundred dollars. Just about anybody can afford that action.

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