How to Make Win Bets Focal Point of Breeders’ Cup Strategy

A runner offering fair odds, like Tepin above in the 2015 Breeders Cup Mile, can offer a significant return on investment with a simple win bet. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Breeders’ Cup is a paradise for experienced handicappers.

It’s two days of full fields, big prices and one grand exotic wager after another.

If you’re a relative newcomer to the game, all of that talk about Pick 4s and superfectas can be a bit confusing. Yet even without understanding what a 3x4x2 Pick 3 ticket means, there is a way to have an enjoyable and profitable day or two at the races during the Breeders’ Cup.

Last week, we discussed win bets at the Breeders’ Cup and now let’s take it forward one step.

While win bets are a simple way to play the races, using them in the same manner in all 13 races- say making a $5 win bet on each race - only adds to the degree in difficulty in turning a profit.

What would work better is to structure your bets so that you wager more on the horses you like most. Let them be the focal points of your wagering so that you are not swamped by a sea of losing tickets in the other races.

Rather than bet $5 on 13 horses for a $65 investment, consider betting $20 to win on one horse, $10 on another and spread the remaining $35 across the rest of the day. This way, if your top pick wins at a 5-2 price ($7 to win) you’ll be guaranteed of a small profit even if you go 0-for-12 in the rest of the races.

Another idea would be to parlay a few win bets. This means betting on a horse to win and if he’s victorious you invest all of your winnings on another horse. Then if that horse wins, you will walk away with a handsome profit – even if you picked favorites.

Runhappy winning the Breeders' Cup Sprint. (Eclipse Sportswire)

To explain, let’s look at last year’s Breeders’ Cup, and suppose that you liked Runhappy in the Sprint and American Pharoah in the Classic, two logical favorites who were victorious.

If you started with a $20 win bet on Runhappy, who paid $5.20, you then had $52. By betting that $52 on American Pharaoh, who paid $3.40 to win, your $20 investment turned into 88.40.

What you just did was take 3-2 and 3-5 favorites and turn them into a 3-1 play.

Up the risk a bit and numbers will grow quite nicely.

Let’s say you liked Tepin ($11.80) and Nyquist ($11.40). The $20 parlay on those horses would return $672.20, not bad for a $20 wager on two well-regarded horses.

So if you’re new to wagering, don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the Breeders’ Cup.

Even with something as simple as a win bet, you can head home from the Breeders’ Cup with a smile on your face and some extra dollars in your wallet.

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