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Sports Betting Articles
Compiled by Virginia Harlow
THE FOUR LEGS OF HORSE RACING BETTING
While team sports such as football and basketball basically restrict the sports betting fan to winning
about as much as he bets, horse racing betting offers the opportunity for a life-changing
experience. That said, turning $20 into $20,000 in a single afternoon (yes, it's been done) not only
requires overcoming vigorish of more than 20 percent on multi-horse wagers but a measure of skill,
discipline, and, of course, luck.
There are dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of factors that go into analyzing and wagering on a
horse race but professional gamblers usually concentrate on the four legs that comprise the basic
handicapping and betting table. Let's look at those legs:
Speed: "It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the
way to bet," wrote Damon Runyon. Yes, clearly, the horse on which you bet must be fast enough to
win the race. How do you know if he's fast enough? Years ago, when there were no such things as
Speed Figures, bettors "class handicapped," choosing horses who they thought were of a greater
quality. But quality largely is determined by speed so when a horse displayed his "quality" by being
faster than his opponents, it usually was too late for a bettor to reap those rewards.
Then came the "sheets," a reliable but expensive way to chronicle a horse's speed. Finally, in the
early 1970s, Washington Post writer and thoroughbred racing author Andrew Beyer developed the
Beyer Speed Figures, which now are available in Daily Racing Form, the indispensable "bible" for
horse racing betting enthusiasts. The Beyer Speed Figures provide a "fig" of how fast a horse ran,
relative to track conditions (more about that later).
The horse you bet doesn't have to have the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the race but his
numbers should at least be comparable to the top figures in the race. Savvy bettors also look for a
pattern of improving or, at least, consistent Beyer Speed Figures. Remember, your horse doesn't
have to be the3 fastest horse in the race, he just has to be the fastest horse in the race that day.
Pace: Since most horses aren't superior enough to win irrespective of tactics, how a race is run
often determines the outcome. Look at the quarter times for two separate mile races below:
Although the final times (1:36) are the same, the races were run quite differently. In the first
example, it was an evenly run race and the winner likely was near the front of the moderate pace.
In the second example, the first half of the race was far faster than the second half-mile and the
winner probably came from off the pace to catch the tiring front-runners.
This is where handicapping is essential. Bettors should try to determine how the race will be run
and which horses will benefit most from that scenario.
Track bias: There are two types of track biases, tactical and positional. A tactical bias means that
the racetrack is favoring a particular running style, such as on the lead or coming from behind. A
positional bias provides an advantage to a horse based on his location on the track, either inside or
outside. Often, the two biases work in tandem such as "inside speed" or "rallying wide." Most often,
track biases are caused by a series of atmospheric conditions, not the least of which is moisture in
the track surface.
Clearly, if you've been able to identify a bias—and they can change from day to day—it's wise to
try to bet a horse who meets those conditions. So, if a track is favoring speed, look to horses who
have shown a fondness for going to the lead, etc.
Value: Professional bettors understand that betting the race's most likely winner is not as important
as making a good bet. So value, the price of a horse in comparison to his chances of winning, is a
crucial factor. A horse who has a 50/50 chance of winning is a horrible bet at odds of 1/2 while a
horse who has a one in three chance of winning is a much more appetizing wager at odds of 5/1.
For long term success, don't try to pick the winner; make a bet that has value.
For horse racing betting fans, speed, pace, track bias and value are the four legs of a successful
------------------------------------This article was written by Luken Karel for http://www.thegreek.com. The Greek Sportsbook & Casino is host to one of
the top online sportsbooks offering college football betting and sports betting on NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and all other
major sports. The Greek is a must have sports betting and entertainment portal with one of the largest wagering menus
available online. Article reproductions must include a link pointing to http://www.thegreek.com
SPORTS BETTING'S FUNNY SIDE
Although it's fun and occasionally profitable, sports betting can be an unapologetic and unrelenting pursuit, filled with
doubt and uncertainty and with far more failure than success.
Gratefully, we have a seemingly non-ending stream of humorous quotes from athletes, journalists, sports executives
and just plain ordinary folks to help entertain us when the ball doesn't always bounce our way.
See for yourself:
"We could not believe it. He was generally pretty useless at picking winners but he liked to put a bet on."
--Pat Shea, after learning that her husband Danny, who had died five month earlier from kidney cancer, had left her a
future book ticket, worth $30,000, on 100/1 longshot Mom Mome, the winner of England's Grand National
"The roots of wife-carrying go back to the early 19th century but it has been run as an official sporting event in Finland
since 1992. The men must run a grueling race (273 yards) over obstacles and a water jump with their wives on their
back. It should be noted that a 15-second penalty is incurred should a man drop his wife during the course of the race.
But the penalty is probably far worse when he gets home."
--Brian Vaszily, founder of intenseexperiences.com, explaining the "sport" of wife-carrying
Two points: 1) The winner gets his wife's weight in beer and 2) What, no betting on the event?
"I hit it so short now I can hear the ball land."
"If there's a golf course in heaven, I hope it's like Augusta National. I just don't want an early tee time."
--Gary Player, at his 52nd and last Masters in April
"For four years they've been cheering for foul tips."
--Jacqui Sheftz, coach of fast pitch softball pitcher Rachele Fico, whose career record at Masuk High School in
Monroe, Connecticut is 90-2 with an ERA of 0.006 that includes 43 no-hitters and 23 perfect games
"Option 1: Two tickets to Tuesday night, June 30, Mariners at Yanks, cost for just the tickets, $5,000.
Option 2: Two round-trip airline tickets to Seattle, Friday, Aug. 14, return Sunday the 16th, rental car for three days,
two-night double-occupancy stay in four-star hotel, two top tickets to both the Saturday and Sunday Yanks-Mariners
games, two best-restaurant-in-town dinners for two. Total cost, $2,800. Plus frequent flyer miles."
Gary Cicio, a New York podiatrist, on why it might be better to foot the bill for baseball in Seattle than New York
"Less than four tickets to a Yankees game."
--Phil Mushnick, New York Post, putting the original $9,500 purchase price of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in
"They met in 2007 when Roddick saw her picture in Sports Illustrated and—-here's the really romantic part—-had his
agent contact hers."
--Bob Molinaro, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on the how tennis player Andy Roddick met his future wife, swimsuit model
"Not that Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios, 47, is getting a bit long in the tooth or anything but his playoff beard this year
is a comb-over."
--Dwight Perry, Seattle Times
"You didn't see Pete Best go out to try to sign with the Monkees after the Beatles decided to march with a different
--Mike Hart, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, not buying into the theory that Brett Favre wants to play again so he can
exact revenge on the Packers
"Manny Pacquiao has made money in more weight classes than Oprah."
--Mark Kriegel, FoxSports.com
"There hasn't been anybody this tough at home since Macaulay Culkin."
--Gary Loewen, Toronto Sun, on the Cavaliers' terrific record at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland
"I'm no chemist so I don't know exactly how HCG works but I think it's important that we keep Manny Ramirez away
"Michael Phelps, just now getting back to serious training, lost nearly 20 pounds over the last two months. That's good
because I thought Phelps looked really flabby in Beijing."
"Allen Iverson denies reports that he's been banned from two Philadelphia casinos. But he hasn't denied reports that
when he loses at blackjack, he throws cards and chips at the dealer or other players. His teammates are shocked. AI
--Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle
Yes, Virginia, there really is a humorous side to sports and sports betting.
This article was written by Luken Karel for http://www.thegreek.com. The Greek Sportsbook & Casino is host to one of
the top online sportsbooks offering sports betting on NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and all other major sports. The Greek is a
must have sports betting and entertainment portal with one of the largest wagering menus available online. Article
reproductions must include a link pointing to http://www.thegreek.com
PLAYING THE PARLAY GAUGING RISKS AND POTENTIAL GAINS
Probably the most familiar type of wager in sports betting is the straight or side bet. The term "straight" is a good way
to describe it - winning is determined by one basic factor and the payoff is clearly stated. If a bettor puts money on a
team and they win or beat the spread, if a spread is involved, the person placing the wager collects on that one bet.
In your trips to your favorite online sportsbook, you may have noticed that you could opt to play a parlay. It may have
intrigued you, but you were unsure of exactly what it entailed and what risk factors were involved.
Note that some bettors won't go near the parlay, due to the risk factors inherent in this type of wager. With a parlay,
which in England is known as an accumulator, you make a series of bets all of which you must win in order to collect. If
you lose any of the wagers, you lose the entire bet.
If this sounds risky, it is. One incorrect wager means you've lost the entire bet. What attracts bettors to the parlay is the
payoff. The standard Vegas two-bet parlay pays 2.6 to 1. Put down $100 and if your parlay comes in you realize $260.
A parlay with three wagers pays 6 to 1, which translates into a $600 payoff on a $100 wager.
Let's say you wagered on a 3-game football parlay and won $600. How much would you win on three individual bets
where you put $110 on each team? You'd realize $100 per wager. Because you're placing money on three separate
teams, the straight bets cost $330, whereas a three-team parlay would involve only $100. In a best case scenario with
the straight wagers, $300 will get you an additional $330. The parlay results in a $500 net on $100 wagered. That's the
benefit; you get a much better return on your money from the parlay.
The greater risk in our parlay example comes from the fact that you must win all three wagers to make any money - it
is all or nothing. Here are some tips on lowering your risk if you're new to the parlay and want to try it.
Many online sportsbooks will offer parlay tickets that feature numerous combinations of sports. You may see a ticket
with four football games, three baseball games, and three hockey games. Stay away from that type of ticket, or if you
play it bet on only one sport. Why?
Although mixing sports can be attractive, it's tough to do for the beginner. Football, baseball and hockey are all very
different animals and unless you're an expert handicapper in each, which is rare, stay with the sport you know best.
Also, you'll see greater benefit from learning even more about football, if that's your strong suit, than trying to figure out
Once you have some experience betting your favorite sport in a parlay situation, start testing the water of the multisport parlay.
Limit the Number of Teams
Wow, that six-team parlay looks so attractive with its 40 to 1 payout! Wow, that six-team parlay is so much tougher to
hit than that three-team parlay that pays 6 to1! Of course a six is more unlikely to payoff - it is 40 to 1 after all.
Limit parlays to no more than three bets. This gives you a greater chance of winning (add another team and your risk
goes up) while providing an attractive return. Would I like to put down $100 and get back $4,000 on a six-team parlay?
However, hitting that number of teams on one ticket is extremely difficult. Is it impossible? No, it's not. But you have a
much better chance with a three-team wager.
Along with combining different sports, you can often mix various types of wagers, including point spreads, win/loss,
over/unders, money lines, and more. Once again, simplify your process and play your strength as a handicapper and
the strength of the teams on which you're wagering.
If you're more adept at predicting the over/under than you are at playing the spread, go with the over/under and vice
versa. Look at it logically and realistically. How many times have you been right about the over/under and the win/loss
in the same game? The answer is probably not very often.
Better yet, try a few mock parlays. Scan the latest offerings and put together some parlay tickets you might bet, mixing
up the types of wagers. Be sure to do this over numerous betting sequences, for football at least three weeks or with
baseball, basketball or hockey a week or two of games.
Remember - it doesn't matter in the parlay if you only lost one game, or you didn't know a particular player would
change the outcome by performing poorly or a team won on a freak play. If you were incorrect on even one wager, no
matter what the circumstances, you lost that parlay.
There are no Mulligans in sports betting and parlays are especially unforgiving. Play to your strength after you've done
your research. Hunches are normally bad bets anyway; they are anathema in the parlay.
The Strongest Selection
One way to increase your chances of winning involves betting on numerous parlay tickets and including the same
strong selection on each ticket, while varying the other teams.
As an example, the Chicago Bears are playing the Arizona Cardinals at home. Chicago looks very good in this contest,
an almost sure thing if there were one in the world of handicapping. You decide you'd like to play 4 separate threeteam parlays at $25 each (you're still risking $100). In this scenario, you'd include Chicago on each ticket and then a
combination of different teams on each of the four.
One parlay might be Chicago over Arizona, Dallas over San Francisco and Pittsburgh over Atlanta. The next parlay
would still include Chicago over Arizona, while picking the New York Giants over Philadelphia and Seattle over
Oakland. The third parlay continues with Chicago over Arizona but now has New England over Buffalo and Denver
over St. Louis. Your fourth ticket would be Chicago over Arizona and could include Pittsburgh over Atlanta and Seattle
over Oakland - a combination of teams from two of your other parlay tickets.
TICKET 1: Chicago over Arizona, Dallas over San Francisco and Pittsburgh over Atlanta.
TICKET 2: Chicago over Arizona, the New York Giants over Philadelphia and Seattle over Oakland.
TICKET 3: Chicago over Arizona, New England over Buffalo and Denver over St. Louis.
TICKET 4: Chicago over Arizona, Pittsburgh over Atlanta and Seattle over Oakland.
Theoretically, all of these games could end in your favor. If that happened, you'd be kicking yourself because you
missed a 7-team parlay that would have paid 75 to 1 or $7,500 on a one hundred dollar bet. Making each a 3-team
parlay with $25 on each ticket would result in a return of $600 at the standard 6 to 1 odds if all teams won. But chances
are that won't happen.
More likely than not you may hit one or, perhaps even two of these parlays. One winning ticket would result in a total
return of $125, while 2 would get you $250. Either way, you're ahead.
The important thing to remember about playing parlays, as it is with any form of wagering, is that trying to win big by
taking high risks rarely results in success. You're looking to win 55 to 60% of your wagers, which is what most experts
do over the course of time. In the world of gambling, quick, high-risk bets can be exciting and occasionally lucrative,
but wagers with a bit more certainty that are spread out tend to provide better results in the long run.
As with any form of wagering to which you're new, be sure to do your homework, start slowly, and consider sound
betting strategies when playing a parlay. You'll still have a chance of winning more than you would with a straight bet,
while staying in the game longer.
This article was written by Paul Mroczka for http://www.thegreek.com. The Greek Sportsbook & Casino, winner of
Gambling Online Magazine's Top Payouts Sportsbook two years in a row, is host to one of the top online sportsbooks.
The Greek is a must have sports betting and entertainment portal with one of the largest wagering menus available
online. Reproductions of this article are encouraged but must include a link pointing to http://www.thegreek.com.
For more information on sportsbetting, and to improve your game, betonsports.vventures.net has just the ticket for you
with Sportsbettingprofessor. Take your game to the next level! Are you ready?