Are You Too Stubborn to Win?
By Eb Netr
How many times have you kicked yourself for betting against the favorite, purely because you were in an oppositional mood? Does it irk you so much when everybody jumps on a favorite that you bet the second or third favorite – or the longest shot on the board – instead? If you find yourself doing this more than once in a while, you’re robbing yourself blind. Here’s what you can do about it.
First of all, stop beating yourself up for being oppositional. Some of us were just born this way. We’re skeptics. We don’t just blindly buy the party line. And what’s wrong with that? I bet you can think of more than one time when your stubborn refusal to join the crowd kept you from making a big mistake, can’t you? Well, I sure can.
Okay, sometimes, like when you bet longshots just because they’re longshots, it gets you into trouble, it’s true. So, this is what you need to work on. It’s not being stubborn that’s the problem. It’s betting on dogs you don’t really handicap that’s the problem. First of all, analyze the whole thing. If you don’t like the favorite, why not just lay off the race? If it’s that you really want to play every race, here’s what you can do. Why not use the favorite and another dog – one that you’ve handicapped for – in an exotic bet? That way, if the favorite comes in with your dog, you win.
Of course, it’s better to just pass the race, if you don’t feel strongly about any of the dogs, and spend the time handicapping other races instead. Get a coffee. Take a walk to the rest room or outside. Get away from the guys who are talking about the race and how the favorite can’t lose. That way, you won’t get sucked into arguing and having someone tell you to put your money where your mouth is, and end up betting on a loser.
Think about why it is that you don’t like favorites. Some dogs are favorites for a reason. They’re good dogs. They come in. They’re more likely to come in than other dogs, so what’s to hate? There will be other races where you can handicap for a longshot that pays more, so let the crowd have the chalks and you can look for higher priced odds in another race.
Think about it this way. While the crowd is making pennies on low-odds winners, you can be cherry-picking one or two spot plays that pay more than all of the chalks put together on that card. While they’re bragging about having that 6-5 winner, you can show them the ticket you have on the 9-1 shot that just hit the wire first. Just bide your time. Handicap with a good system. And don’t lose because you’re too stubborn to win.