February 25, 2024

Sports Enthusiast

Professional Sports Purveyors

Horse Racing Strategy for Using Public Handicappers and Angles

We’ve all seen the public handicappers and the consensus. The question is, can they really help your handicapping? The handicappers each choose a hierarchy of three horses and the higher on the list, the higher the score for the horse. For instance, a horse chosen as the top horse gets five points. If it’s chosen as that handicapper’s best bet of the day, it may get seven points. After the panel of handicappers chose their picks for the day each horse gets a score.

What usually then happens is that the horses with higher scores go to post at very low odds. In some races that are more difficult to handicap there may be five or six horses that find their way into the hierarchies. While in races where the fields are short or there aren’t many contenders there may be just three horses that are chosen.

I always advocate thinking for yourself, but it doesn’t hurt to read the comments that the public handicappers make because some of them do offer good insight and sometimes will mention something you’ve missed. The problem for the erstwhile prognosticator who reads those opinions and the attached consensus is that if you do wager on a horse that gets high marks you won’t get a very good price, but if you take a flyer on a horse that isn’t on the public handicapper’s radar, you’ll be going out on a limb for a long shot.

So what is the best play when looking for value? Usually it pays to make your own choices, but if you must rely on the picks of others I suggest looking for a horse that is low on pints but has a good angle that the handicapper picked up on. If only one horse picker chose that one it probably means that he or she is trying to score a big one that will give him or her bragging rights and increase media presence and credibility. Following such a handicapper may lead to more good bets as well.

If he or she only picks that one for third place it could mean that it’s only thrown in there in case it wins. But if the prognosticator actually picks it for first place on the panel, that’s a very good sign. If three handicappers are going with the same horse and your longshot picker goes with another horse, that horse may very well be a live longshot and worth a very long second look, but as I said earlier, think for yourself. Look the horse over carefully.