I love longshots. There’s nothing better than seeing a dog cross the wire first when he’s at long odds and you have a bet on him. It’s not just the money. It’s knowing that you figured out something that most of the crowd didn’t. Spot plays, whether they’re longshots or not, are nice to find too. Sometimes you can use them with the favorite in a quiniela or tri and really make some money.
There’s something about longshots and spot plays that you have to know though, or you can lose your shirt trying to find them and play them. The most important thing to know about them is that you won’t find one in every race on the program. Obvious, maybe, but it’s something to think about if you’re a longshot player or someone who likes to find dogs in a certain “spot” that means that it’s likely to come in.
It took me too long to realize that trying too hard to find longshots that are worth a bet is a bad idea. I think anyone who hits a high-priced dog for the first time has the same problem. It’s exciting and you want to turn the page to the next race and find another longshot to bet on. After a while, you’ll be talking yourself into playing every longshot on the board, because if just one of them comes in, you’ll cash in big.
But the problem with that is that longshots, by their very nature, don’t usually come in. That’s why they’re at the long odds. And spot plays, although they can pay well too, just don’t appear in that many races on a program. So, if you want to play longshots and make money at it, be choosy. Have a very good reason for playing them and be suspicious of your judgment if you start seeing likely looking longshots in every race.
If you want to play every race, then stick with shorter priced dogs that are more likely to come in and just bet them to win and place for two bucks. You can get a lot of bang for four bucks a race and not blow too much money. But if you want to play longshots and spot plays, plan on sitting out a lot of races while you wait for the right dog in the right situation to come along.