Handicapping 101: Horse Racing Betting Tips

You’re here looking for some horse racing betting tips! Let’s get to it.

What is Sports Handicapping?

The term “handicapping’’ has widespread meaning when it comes to betting on sports. If you look up the word on a resource site like Wikipedia, you would find the following explanation:

 “The practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to contestants to equalize the chances of winning.”

For example, a sportsbook’s point spread for a football  game is simply a handicapping tool. The goal is to even out the game to help balance the money wagered on the favorite and the underdog.

Horse Racing Betting Tips

The term handicapping is commonly associated with betting on horse races. An expert or amateur uses their particular skills to determine which horse will win the race or finish second in the place position and third as the show bet.

When it comes to a horse race as big as the Kentucky Derby, handicapping this 20-horse field becomes the ultimate betting challenge.

You could talk to 10 different professional horse racing handicappers and end up with 10 different sets of tips for betting the races. While there would be quite a bit of consistency from one piece to the next. Every pro has fine-tuned their own individual process for picking winners at the track.

Buy Picks for the Derby

The easiest way to take advantage of this high level of insight would be to buy a Derby Day selection package. The entire race card at Churchill Downs is filed with major graded events on the first Saturday in May.

There are any number of horse racing industry pros that offer genuine value in any horse betting pick package they offer. The problem at hand is the unpredictable nature of this sport. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the level of competition, the higher the level of predictability.

A race like the Kentucky Derby is made up of best-in-class contenders.

The favorite is going to have a much higher chance to win than any of the longshots in the field.

However, anytime you stack up to 20 horses together in the starting gates across a race track, anything can happen.

Every track offering a live card prints out a comprehensive racing guide for that day’s events. The guide will break down everything you need to know about each of the entries in every race. As one of the most simple handicapping tips. A horse’s current racing form should jump off the page. Horse racing handicappers will have all this locked in.

More Horse Racing Betting Tips

A horse that has been able to finish in the money (first, second or third) in their recent racing efforts is more likely to continue this high level of success in their next outing. You still need to gauge the level of competition. As well as the total number of entries in the field. But winners tend to keep winning (or running well) in this sport.

Other important factors in the handicapping process are track conditions.

A fast track is associated with a dry track. Whereas a sloppy track is attributed to wet conditions.

Sloppy track at Churchill Downs

One horse’s past performance on a fast vs. sloppy track may offer some valuable insight into future results.

A horse’s trainer and jockey for the upcoming race need to be taken into consideration. This is especially true when it comes to major graded events such as the Kentucky Derby.

Finally, the most important handicapping tip for betting horses is to get a feel for the field.

Sometimes, one entry stands out from all the rest for one reason or another. Maybe this is tactical like a favorable starting position. Maybe that horse is simply wearing your favorite color or lucky number.

Are you ready for the most exciting event of the spring? The Stanley Cup Playoffs! Take a look at handicapping NHL Playoff hockey.