Originally written for SportsBookReview.com
Nineteen horses are competing next Saturday during the celebrated Betfred Sprint Cup horse racing, taking place at Haydock Park, Merseyside, England. Among the group of horses to be lined up on the track, but hardly two of the anticipated first finals, are Magical Memory and Belardo. The newcomers, announced recently, are ranked long after the favorites Adaay, Danzeno and Gordon Lord Byron, according to the betting odds published by the gaming operators. Pretty much as expected, the odds on these horses are still… plummeting.
The dive on the odds in respect to favorites is a well-known fact on these bets.
The huge amount of cash, which is concentrated on these betting markets thanks to the popularity of these horseracing events, leaves no doubt about the gamblers’ tendencies. Players are accustomed to entrust their money on two or three odds-on favorites. As a consequence, the odds are dropping up until the day of the race, unless something extraordinary occurs.
This is also the case on Betfred Sprint Cup. The odds on Adaay (8.0), placed as the first probable winner of the race, tumbled from approximately 20.0 soon after the bookmakers accepted the first bets.
The same trend occurs as far as concerns the second top-pick, Danzeno. The decline seems smoother, but a bunch of sharp bettors took the opportunity early and placed their bets when the odds hovered around 30.0. At the time these lines are written, the most you can take on Danzeno is 9.0.
Meanwhile, the third top seed, Gordon Lord Byron, seemed to attract less attention since only a handful of betting firms had announced their forecasts in July. As it appeared gamblers had a different opinion in early August though, when several bookmakers began accepting wagers at 15.0. Nevertheless, in just a few days, the odds plunged deeper to about 10.0, where they are resting right now.
A brief glimpse on the outsiders
Meanwhile, last year’s winner, G Force, is also recording a declining odds trend. Despite the drop from the initial 17.0, G Force is placed at the seventh place (13.0).
G Force is not the only underdog that a similar trend is evolving concerning bettors’ behavior. For example, the odds for Watchable slumped from 35-40 to a good 17.0 (William Hill)! Even though Watchable is still one of the black horses on Sprint Cup, I wouldn’t mind if I’d have been quick enough to lay some of my money at 40.0, given the circumstances.
Even the second longshot on the race, Strath Burn, now offered at 34.0 by bookmakers, enjoyed some popularity among certain players. They considered the horse a promising stake and bet on odds as high as 70.0, crossing their fingers!
How to take full advantage of the available hard data when betting
First of all, the gamblers’ tendency to place their bets in favor of the big favorites during big events is once again confirmed. Either this is football, basketball, tennis, or the well-known horse racing event of Sprint Cup, the odds for the favorites are falling compared to the initial quotes.
Mind you, comparable trends are not recorded only in sports. For instance, take a look at the betting trend regarding Hillary Clinton and the event of her winning the US Presidential election next year!
Based of the above, a simple strategy seems to be betting the front runners right from the beginning, as soon as these bets are available to players. In particular, if we are allowed to do some trading or the recently introduced cash-out option is available, we could exploit the anticipated odds’ decline. The risk is low because losses could be limited if the expected scenario proves wrong. Apart from the case, of course, something really extraordinary happens which may have a disastrous impact on our strategy.
But how could we take full advantage of the available information NOW? A choice, which I agree with, would be to follow the current trend, as usually trend-following strategies are among the safest. Still, some may decide to bet against the trend and avoid the favorites. In this case, I would prefer to put my money on longshots, whose odds are declining instead of another weak horse whose odds are looking steady. Still, that would be a likely choice of high-risk takers, who may anticipate an upcoming drop, much like what’s happening with favorites. Remember, though, that there’s a balance between shortening and drifting odds and you may catch yourself betting on climbing odds!
Your money, your choices: It’s up to you now!
Images courtesy of Oddschecker