This is an article from the Greyhound Handicapping Series Books 1-6 available in paperback or on Kindle. You can read all 6 books for free with Kindle Unlimited and each book has 3 bonus mini systems.
I’m a longshot player. I admit it. I hardly ever play a dog that’s at less than 5-1 anymore, because I just can’t put up with grinding out a little profit on every program. I know that favorites only win about 1 out of 3 races, which means that – for me at least – they’re not a very good bet.
How do I find longshots? I look for favorites. Not any favorites. I look for favorites that have a reason for being at longer odds than they’re at. For instance, if I see a dog in A who has never won a race in A, at 3-5, I ask myself what the crowd is thinking. Sure, there’s a chance that the dog will win in A today, but no way should it be at really low odds, no matter how well it’s done in the lower grades.
If I see a race with this kind of favorite, or a favorite that has another weakness, I look for a dog that has already won at this level and, preferably, in its last 6 races, and I give it a closer look. Does it have a better post position than it’s had in its last few races? Is there something else that tells me that it has even a small chance of coming in at long odds? Is there one dog that is at high odds that has any reason to make me believe that it might come in if the favorite fails to win?
That’s the key to playing winning longshots. First, find a favorite at low odds that shouldn’t be as big a favorite. Then, find a dog at longer odds that has won at this level before within its last 6 races. Sometimes, I even go with a dog that has won at this level more than 6 races ago, if it was close to the leader in the stretch or finished within two lengths of the winner in its last couple of races. It’s a judgment call, of course, so use your judgment and your common sense.
And, also of course, don’t expect that every race will have a longshot winner or that the favorite will lose every race. Remember that they win – on average – a third of the time. And even when they don’t win, the winner isn’t always at long odds. Most of the time, the winner is within the top four dogs in the morning line odds. Keep that in mind as you handicap, but look for those false favorites and then find the dog that can beat them and pay off at long odds.
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