Horse Betting Odds Basics

Horse betting odds can be quite confusing to the novice bettor. With the proliferation of online horse racing sites, it is easier than ever for new players to join in the fun of betting on the horses. However, in order to make money on your wagers, you need to know the odds and how they can affect your potential payout. Along with the odds themselves, you must also consider the chances your horse has of actually placing in this particular race. By combining these two factors, you can analyze whether your bet will be profitable and, if so, how much money should wagered on the horse. This article will give you a basic guide to understanding horse betting odds.

The horse betting odds for any one race are influenced by the amount of money wagered on each horse, so they are constantly in flux as bets are being placed. The opening odds are issued at the start of the betting period, with the odds shifting until wagering is cut off at the end of the period. It is easy to pick a winner from the odds-on favorites, since most of them are listed at 3:1 odds. This means that the horse is expected to win about 33% of the time. Unfortunately, the payout for wagering on the favorites is too low to make a decent profit this way. The key is to find horse betting odds that are being overlooked by the majority of gamblers.

There are three stages in setting the horse betting odds for a certain race. The morning line makers generally work for newspaper handicappers, racing offices, or horse betting public relations. Their job is to try to predict how much will be bet on each horse in the 48 hours prior to each race. The morning line will not include any late changes, workouts, or late scratches that may happen at the track in those last 48 hours. These changes will affect the horse betting odds for that race and may turn an unprofitable wager into a profitable one or vice versa.

The morning line can sometimes influence the public handicappers’ lines that appear in newspapers and horse racing magazines. This can cause a problem with compounding the changes in the odds because the public handicappers will rely on the knowledge of the morning line makers, when the morning line is intended only to be a rough estimate of betting activity. Some public handicappers also include inside information or personal favorites in their horse betting odds predictions, which further biases them and makes their picks inaccurate.

The public may look at the horse betting odds posted by the morning line makers, read the public handicappers articles, and decide that a certain horse looks like a favorable proposition. Unfortunately, if those two are already wrong about the odds, the wagers being placed on that horse further skew the odds in the wrong direction. This can lead to a compounding effect where the horse betting odds are affected in far greater ways than would be expected just by the betting amounts along.