Horse racing odds are calculated by odds compilers and traders but are also greatly affected by the input of experts, including trainers, gallops watchers, and other people connected to the industry. Still, you can isolate the jockey, the horse, and both of their track records as the most important variables that go into calculating horse racing odds. Movement occurs if a horse underperforms during gallops, or if it changes trainers. Pay attention to things like curses, but you can also give betting exchanges a chance if you’re looking for something new.
When it comes to sports with a humongous historical significance, horse racing doesn’t get nearly enough props. We’ve come a long way since chariot races in Roman times, as spending time at the tracks has become a favourite pastime of many bettors across all the Commonwealth countries. As online betting became more prominent, punters started paying attention to the science of horse racing odds and how do they impact the process of placing a bet.
Even though educational resources are plentiful nowadays, there is still a thick layer of confusion covering the subject of horse racing odds. That’s precisely what we want to change by creating this guide. To help you understand how horse racing odds are being calculated , moved, and observed, we’ve compiled all the essential information and given it to our team of experts to dissect, inspect, and ultimately, present. Once you’re done reading, all your dilemmas will be resolved, and all your questions will be answered.
Horse racing odds are the work of professional oddsmakers. These people are integral to the whole sports betting industry, as they are the ones tasked with following every single race, event, horse, and jockey, all as a means to calculate horse racing odds in the most precise way possible. Remember, their job doesn’t require them to be Nostradamus or anything of the sorts. Instead, they just need to determine the realm of probability for a certain outcome, which is exemplified in the horse racing odds themselves.
A lot of work goes into every single race, and the bulk of it goes into isolating the key variables that go into calculating horse racing odds. That’s why horse racing odds comparison tools exist - different oddsmakers have different opinions on what’s going to happen. Even though these may be minute differences, we at Betting.com care about helping you get the best bang for your buck.
Our team was involved in some heated debates in the days preceding the publication of this crash course, but we were able to come to a consensus on what affects the creation of horse racing odds. At the end of the day, it comes down to the following variables:
The jockey. Racing horses are born and bred to be as fast as possible. However, that’s no reason to diminish the effect jockeys have on horse racing odds. These brave men and women invest countless hours into getting the most out of their horse. If a race features a famous jockey riding a less-coveted horse, the horse racing odds posted by bookmakers might still be in their favor. This is especially true if the jockey has had previous success in situations where their horse isn’t the clear-cut favorite.
The track itself. One might think that the surface is the same on every track, and you might be right. However, some tracks fit some horses and jockeys much better than others. Before horse racing odds are calculated, it’s important to see the track record of each jockey or horse on said track or similar tracks, if they’re making their debut. Nevertheless, location is and always will be a big part of horse racing odds.
Previous results. Horse racing odds are greatly affected by the way oddsmakers perceive previous accomplishments for both horses and jockeys. Even if there is a better candidate for winning the race, horse racing odds can still be affected by a particularly hot streak from a certain horse. This is a sport unlike any other, so previous results are a good way of determining horse racing odds for every event. The on-track variables are minimal, which gives this particular factor a boost in terms of importance.
Horse racing odds are always determined using the same basic principles, regardless of the bet format you’re aiming for. Exotic bets have always been more volatile because there are so many variables in play, especially when you’re dealing with an exacta or wheel betting. If you’re interested in the classic win/place/show format, it’s much easier to determine the viability of certain horse racing odds.
Of course, there are fewer tangible factors that affect horse racing odds, but the ones we mentioned above are the basis of all others. They hold the most weight, whether you’re looking for today’s horse racing odds or the best horse racing odds for future use. However, to truly understand the process of calculation, it’s essential that you grasp the concept of movement.
In the world of horse racing odds, a movement is best defined as a change in the odds. These changes are applied by the same oddsmakers that calculated the horse racing odds in the first place and are most often the result of changes in key factors that can alter the outcome of any particular race. As all horse racing odds are monitored from the moment they are posted, all changes happen very fast.
Because high odds often become lower, it’s important to know how to predict movements in horse racing odds. While there is no single method or approach that can help you on this mission, our team at Betting.com determined that the following factors are key when it comes to the movement of horse racing odds:
A change of trainers. Most great horses have achieved high status because they have the right trainers behind them. Horse racing odds often move because there are changes in the training staff, especially if a particularly reputable trainer leaves the team. Also, you have to keep in mind that different trainers have a different approach. Even the biggest favourite can take some time getting used to a novel approach, which can affect horse racing odds for the whole race.
Gallops watchers’ input. Since most races take place on fixed dates, there are ample amounts of excitement before the big day. Gallops watchers flock to see the best horses train and what’s their current status. Because these experts have so much power in the industry, their opinion can make or break horse racing odds. Even potential clear-cut winners can become underdogs if negative comments from watchers result in the horse racing odds going down. The same thing happens if an underdog surprised everyone - horse racing odds rise rapidly, and punters can quickly change their game plan.
Copycat bookmakers. Believe it or not, not every betting site has its own oddsmaker for horse racing odds. Instead, most sports betting sites ‘borrow’ horse racing odds from bookies that post them early. This can have a calamitous effect in terms of the odds moving, as copying early odds, which are mostly inaccurate, can lead to punters favouring a certain horse and offsetting the market with their bets. Bookies observe which horse racing odds are targeted by their customers, allowing them to readjust their initial offers.
The importance of the market itself is more pronounced in the world of horse racing odds than anywhere else in the industry. Experts, pundits, and trainers can sway everything with a single comment or opinion. Whether or not this is good is up for debate. Regardless, horse racing odds require much more observation than what other sports require.
To be able to take winning punts, you need to follow the news pertaining to a race you’re gunning for, while also comparing those comments with the current horse racing odds. If you see any inconsistencies or if you feel like a certain horse might suddenly emerge as a favourite, act on it. Horse racing odds are volatile and require instant action.
In the world of horse racing odds, it’s important to gather as much information as you can. We felt like all existing guides on horse racing betting odds are insufficiently filled with useful data and pointers. For this reason, we’ve tasked our team to draw parallels between various occurrences and give you pointers on how to approach horse racing odds the right way. Now, some of these pointers might seem unorthodox, but that’s mostly because they are borderline intangible:
Curses. Horse racing odds are inherently connected to various bouts of superstition. Because it’s so difficult to pinpoint a clear-cut favourite in each race, fans of the sport have become enamoured with curses. No curse has affected horse racing odds more than the Apollo Curse. This strange phenomenon came to be when Apollo won the 1882 Kentucky Derby by crushing the 4-5 favourite, Runnymede. Since that fateful day, no horse has won the race after not being granted the starting position as a two-year-old. Justify broke the curse in 2018, though.
Weather conditions. The effect of weather conditions on horse racing odds is a subject that’s unjustifiably shunned to the side. Even a slight change in the wind direction can lead to the horse underperforming. Punters are fans of this particular variable because it’s unpredictable. Follow the weather report before the race, just to see how horse racing odds will behave in this situation.
Betting exchanges. If you’re not a fan of using traditional horse racing odds as pointers, you can join a betting exchange. There, the odds and potential payouts are determined by the amount of money that’s been pooled by everyone who decided to bet on this particular race or market. However, we advise you only to do this once you’re really adept at analysing horse racing odds.