Betting on the Breeders’ Cup is very hard. Anyone who makes a profit on those two days should be very proud because they have really overcome some sharp betting odds. In order to make a profit you not only have to make some good picks and have lots of luck, but you also need to avoid as many costly mistakes as you possibly can. Here are six common Breeders’ Cup betting mistakes that handicappers will want to avoid:
Ignoring surface differences – Horses come from across the country and around the world to run in the Breeders’ Cup. That means that they run on all sorts of different tracks on a regular basis. It’s crucial that bettors consider what they normally run on and how well they have performed on the type of surface they will be running on on the big day. Horses that thrive on synthetic surfaces, for example, often struggle on dirt. That means you need to make sure that they have had experience and success on their less comfortable surface, or at least that they are bred to handle it well. The size and shape of the track matters, too. Horses that typically run on small tracks might thrive on tight turns, so could be less effective if the Cup is on a big track with wide turns.
Getting impatient – Even the best horse bettors are going to lose bets on Breeders’ Cup day. A lot of them. The bettors that are ultimately going to be successful, though, are the ones who come up with a good plan before the event starts and stick to that plan. Bettors who get frustrated with a loss and try a different approach for the next race are giving themselves far less of a chance of success. You need to find a strategy you can be comfortable with and stick to it.
Listening to the experts – Everyone has an opinion on the Breeders’ Cup, and experts are everywhere to tell you who is going to win. The problem is that a lot of these so-called experts only show up to offer their opinions on the biggest days in racing. From day to day they don’t put in the work to really have a sense of what is going to happen. If you listen to too many experts you are going to hear all sorts of conflicting opinions and absorb tons of bad advice. Winning at the Breeders’ Cup is tough and no one has all the answers, so the best person to listen to on the day is often yourself. If you can find good advice that you trust then that could be worth listening to, but for the most part you are better off doing the work and forming the opinions yourself.
Relying on reputation – The biggest names are at the Breeders’ Cup – the star trainers, the best jockeys, and the horses that have won the biggest races. If you don’t follow the sport closely from day to day it can be easy to be drawn to the horses or connections with the biggest names and the best reputations. Reputation doesn’t matter once the horses are in the starting gate though. What matters is what the horse is going to be able to do on that day. It’s important to make your betting decisions based on what the past performances say about form and ability, not what the names tell you.
Blindly betting chalk – There are times when you are going to want to bet favorites in the Breeders’ Cup, and there will definitely be favorites that will win. When the fields are so big and so tough, though, it is especially tough for favorites to come through. That means that the odds on the favorites rarely reflect the true risk involved in betting on them. Making bets with no value is a bad way to make a profit in the long term, so bettors are very well served to think carefully about whether a bet on a favorite makes sense before they make it.
Betting more than you can win – There is no better way for a handicapper to feel stupid than to cash a nice ticket, collect your winnings, and realize that you won less on the race than you bet on it. That can easily happen in a number of ways – if you bet several horses to win, for example, or if you include too many horses in your exotic boxes and wheels. Before you make any bets you want to make a very rough estimate of what the payout will be to make sure that the investment is worthwhile. One common mistake like this that people will make is keying a favorite on top of a trifecta or superfecta. If they include several different horses in the second third and fourth positions then it can be easy to build a pretty expensive tickets. You might find that you could actually get a better potential return just by betting the favorite to win, and the risk is significantly less.