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When to use the win bet on a horse race

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These days there’s no shortage of ways to wager on a horse race. One that should never be overlooked is perhaps the oldest.

While the payoff on a win bet might be dwarfed by a trifecta or superfecta, its simplicity and effectiveness can help ensure turning a profit on your wagers.

Of course, putting it into play is not as easy as it might seem. If you simply bet $2 to win on all nine of your selections on a card, turning a profit on a regular basis could become challenging. What’s needed is some sound judgment so that you can take advantage of the best opportunities.

To start, you should feel no obligation to make a win bet on every race, especially if the odds are low.

It’s best to analyze the entire card and pick out the horses you like the best. Then let your interest in them and the tote board guide you in constructing your wagers.

In theory, you should make your biggest win bet on the horse you like best throughout the entire day. Yet if that horse turns out to be an odds-on favorite, say a 3-5 shot, getting $16 back for a $10 wager might not be worth the risk.

Conversely, it makes sense to set a level where you should automatically make a win bet. In most cases, 6-1 is a nice starting point. You can still make exacta or triple or Pick 3 wagers to capitalize on those ideas, but you should also make at least a small win wager so that you can collect a nice return even if you screw up the exotics.

Below odds of 6-1, use your discretion, keeping in mind that before launching into exotics you should make sure you have a relatively good feeling about the horses you’ll use in those wagers. If, for example, you like a 3-1 favorite, but find the rest of the horses in the field to be evenly matched, you can either use it with some of the longshots in the exacta or simply focus on a win bet to avoid losing tickets and maximize profits.

Conversely, with a 3-5 shot, a win bet offers such a small amount of profit and the exacta payoffs will most likely be so meager that there’s a reduced margin for error in playing the exotics. You’re best to focus on a few combinations rather than spread your wagers on numerous combinations, which would be a more appropriate strategy for wagering on a longshot.

Win bets can also be affected by sequence or horizontal wagers. While it’s always best to link your pick with the races in which you have the most confidence, if your double or Pick 3 wager can culminate with your main pick, it makes your wagering on that race much more concise.

Knowing you have a live ticket worth $15 or $150 linked to your pick – or none at all – allows you to decide if a win bet is needed or how much you will need to bet to guarantee a certain profit. A large enough will-pay can even give a handicapper enough flexibility to make win bets on other horses in the race as saver wagers or to cover some exacta or triple wagers on the race.

In either event, while a win bet might not offer the enticing odds of an exotic wager, it should not be ignored. It could be the key to a winning day at the races.

Verlander injury shuffles Astros’ MLB futures odds

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MLB betting got a shake-up Sunday afternoon, specifically on World Series odds and AL pennant odds, with news that Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander could miss the rest of the season – or at least a significant chunk of it – with an arm injury.

Initial reports suggested Verlander had an elbow ailment, but both he and manager Dusty Baker quickly denied that. Baker called it a forearm strain and said that Verlander would be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.” The reigning AL Cy Young winner pitched a solid six innings in an 8-2 Opening Day rout of the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

Verlander’s injury led oddsmakers to shuffle futures book odds on the defending AL champions. Covers checked in on the MLB odds moves with a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ World Series odds?

At CG Technology books, risk analyst Rich Zanco said the Astros quickly moved from +1,200 to +1,800 in World Series futures. The SuperBook at Westgate also had Houston pegged +1,200 prior to Sunday’s news and initially went to +1,600, then dialed it a little further to +1,800.

However, there were apparently buyers on the Astros at that point, prompting the SuperBook to reel the price in to +1,400.

How does Verlander’s injury affect Astros’ American League odds?

In AL pennant futures, the Astros initially moved from +600 to +800 at The SuperBook, then ticked back to +700.

World Series odds

Team Odds to win
Los Angeles Dodgers +350
New York Yankees +350
Houston Astros +600
Atlanta Braves +1,600
Minnesota Twins +1,600
Tampa Bay Rays +1,800
Washington Nationals +2,000
Cleveland Indians +2,000
New York Mets +2,000
Chicago Cubs +2,000
Oakland Athletics +2,000
St. Louis Cardinals +2,500
Cincinnati Reds +2,500
San Diego Padres +2,500
Philadelphia Phillies +3,000
Chicago White Sox +3,000
Los Angeles Angels +3,000
Milwaukee Brewers +4,000
Boston Red Sox +5,000
Arizona Diamondbacks +6,000
Colorado Rockies +8,000
Toronto Blue Jays +10,000
Texas Rangers +10,000
Pittsburgh Pirates +20,000
Detroit Tigers +20,000
San Francisco Giants +30,000
Seattle Mariners +30,000
Miami Marlins +30,000
Baltimore Orioles +30,000
Kansas City Royals +30,000

Odds courtesy The SuperBook

MLB picks and predictions for Opening Day

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It was a long and scary road, but we finally get MLB betting back on Thursday, July 23. Opening Day of the pandemic-shortened 60-game baseball schedule is headlined by a pair of matchups, with the New York Yankees visiting the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers rekindling their rivalry with the San Francisco Giants.

Like we do each MLB season (COVID-19 or not), we’ll be taking a swing at today’s baseball odds and giving our best MLB picks and predictions. Up first: Opening Day 2020.

MLB picks for today

New York Yankees vs Washington Nationals

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was supposed to miss the start of the season back in the spring, but the delay to the 2020 campaign allowed the outfielder to heal up from broken ribs and return to his longball-launching self.

Judge looked great in New York’s warmup games, albeit for a limited number of at-bats. He went 3-for-7 with all three hits leaving the ballpark. And he wasn’t alone, with the Yankees’ other power bats providing plenty of pop around him in the order. He’ll get a chance to go yard again on Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Aaron Judge home run (+210)

San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

The Giants are no strangers to Clayton Kershaw, who has long dominated the Dodgers’ divisional foes. In 49 career appearances against San Francisco, The Claw is 23-12 with a 1.74 ERA and has allowed just 0.71 hits per innings pitched in those starts.

The Giants don’t pose much of an offensive threat, averaging 8.22 hits per game in 2019. San Francisco has managed 45 total hits in its last eight starts against Kershaw – an average of 0.86 hits per inning faced. Given the Dodgers’ ace looked ready for work in his tune-up efforts, we could see him go seven innings or more on Thursday, panning out to a little over six hits for San Fran.

PREDICTION: Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)

Mookie Betts has reportedly landed a whale of a contract extension with the Dodgers after joining the ballclub this offseason via a trade with the Boston Red Sox. And what better way to lock down that deal than an impressive effort on Opening Day.

Betts recorded 313 total bases in 2019 (30th) and 353 in 2018 (fourth). He’s been swinging well in training sessions this offseason: in 27 at-bats during the spring/summer schedule, he has 13 total bases, including two doubles and a home run, while hitting leadoff during Summer Camp. We like that to continue into Opening Day.

PREDICTION: Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)

Top MLB consensus for today

Want to know who today’s biggest MLB betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top MLB consensus picks.

Opening Day betting card

  • Aaron Judge home run (+210)
  • Giants between 6-7 total hits (+235)
  • Mookie Betts two or more total bases (-182)