- Series: Drf Handicapping Library
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Daily Racing Form (October 8, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0970014708
- ISBN-13: 978-0970014702
- Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bet With the Best: Expert Strategies from America's Leading Handicappers (Drf Handicapping Library) Hardcover – October 8, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Steven Crist's chapter "Crist on Value" was the most interesting chapter in the book. He makes the obvious point, but in a compelling way, that picking winners is not enough, but that picking winners at the right price should be the long-term objective. Thus, if after a careful analysis the handicapper estimates a horse's probability of winning at 33%, but the betting pool gives the odds of 1-1 (50% of the money is bet on that horse, ignoring the takeout), then the horse is an "underlay" and shouldn't be bet. However, if the odds are 3-1, then the horse is an "overlay" and worth betting. Crist's strategy is to find overlays, and not necessarily the horse most likely to win, and thus requires not betting on races where overlays cannot be identified. In the long-term Crist's strategy makes sense, and to this former investment analyst it's closely analogous to selecting value stocks, or good companies with underpriced P/E ratios. Another intriguing part of his chapter discusses the nature of parimutual wagering. Similar to "noise traders" in the stock market who distort prices from intrinsic value, "as long as the volume of ill-informed money [Crist maintains] exceeds the takeout, there can be positive expectations" at the track. Since you're competing against your fellow patrons and not the track, the question is whether the prevalence of casino gambling and mindless slots has removed much of Crist's "ill-informed money" from the betting pools at the track leaving the remaining betting competition tougher and making overlays rare, or whether a sufficient number of day-trippers and name-bettors exist to provide opportunities for serious handicappers.
My final comment on Crist's chapter is his assertion, and numerical example, that although multiple bets, e.g., exactas, daily doubles, have the burden of higher takeouts, they enable the player to spread the effect of the takeout over several races "so that he is actually facing a smaller bite per race than if he played them separately." I've gone through his numerical example several times and can't find a readily identifiable flaw, but my intuition still suggests that he's mismatching the win pools with the exacta / daily double pools.
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