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Early Money, Late Money?

Should you be swayed by the betting trends in races?

That's not an easy question to answer. Some players follow the tote board religiously, while others will advance wager so not to be swayed by odds trends. Both methods of wagering have validity.

Some people truly believe in odds trends. I definitely think that there is something to following odds trends. So here I am going to talk about some of the common odds trends that people look for.

Early Money: This one is pretty much what it states, bettors watch the odds board to see which horses are grabbing the early money. They usually look for trends that are in conflict with the morning line odds. Such as a 15-1 morning line horse opening at 4-1 say. These types of betting moves are usually thought to be more valid at larger tracks (as there is generally more money wagered early). Such bettors usually watch the odds in the minutes up till post to see if the horses odds rise or stay close to where they open. Many people feel a horse is a good bet if he is bet down early and remains bet down all the way till post. Example below.

Odds Chart Example

15mtp 10mtp 5mtp 3mtp 1mtp
9-2 6-1 5-1 9-2 4-1

Another example of a betting trend that people follow is a horse getting early money, then his odds climb and he is again hit with money right before the race. This is really a trend of early money and then a confirming trend of late money. Example Below

Odds Chart Example

15mtp 10mtp 5mtp 3mtp 1mtp
4-1 10-1 12-1 8-1 3-1

I think that betting moves are always more interesting when they are involved with a horse that may be a bit suspect or does not show obvious form. An example of a horse like this might be one stepping on the turf for the first time, a horse returning from a layoff or a first time starter in a maiden race. These kinds of horses are sometimes interesting when they are involved in some type of betting move. In situations like this it is your job to analyze the horse and see if there is some potential there or if someone has just thrown a lot of money down the tubes on a hunch bet.

Late Money:  Again, a pretty easy thing to understand. A horse is involved in a late betting plunge. There are some people that look for these types of moves and will lay money on horses that are subject to such betting moves. The idea is that the so called "smart money" is coming in late and backing a live runner. Sometimes these horses will win easily, other times they are trounced by double digits. Its the risk that these bettors take. Again late plunges in betting are usually thought to be more valid at the bigger tracks. As it takes a lot more late money to move a horses odds significantly there. Most people feel that if someone is wagering a large sum like that then they "must know something". Example of late betting plunge

Odds Chart Example

15mtp 10mtp 5mtp 3mtp 1mtp
10-1 8-1 9-1 8-1 5-2

As you can see such betting moves are quite interesting and sometimes do produce winners. Some savvy bettors will watch the board closely, sometimes to confirm suspicions of a horse's readiness.

- Kerry Zangara 01-30-'02

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