All too often you hear about people complaining of late odds changes in North American racing. These late odds changes (in the shorter odds direction) can be quite annoying, but there are ways to give you a better guess on what the final odds of a horse will be in a race. Multi-race wager will pays can be translated into imputed win odds with some simple math.
At the end of this document, there is a link for a Google Sheet that does this work for your use, but for nerds like me the math behind creating these odds is below. You will need to compute this for the number of total entries in the race. Below it is notated as a, b, x – a is the first horse, b is the second horse, x is the last horse.
Three questions in regards to the above equations are what is the 0.84, what is the 1.05, and why is 1 subtracted at the end of the equations?
The 0.84 is an approximation of the average track win takeout. Equation for this is below.
1.05 is a normalization factor between converting from multi-race wagers to win odds. Multi-race wagers traditionally have a higher takeout compared to win bets. Using this normalization factor, the higher takeout will be negated and win odds will be more accurate. The percentages used in this equation is 16% for win and 20% for the multi-race wagers. If you want to edit these by the track you are working on, the best place to look for this is the HANA Track Ratings Website. This may not be 100% up to date, but it is the best grouping of information out there. The equation for this normalization factor is below.
The -1 at the end of the equation converts the odds from decimal odds to North American odds. An even money horse’s decimal odds are 2.0, but in North American odds the horse is 1-1.
You can use any multi-race wager you choose, but in my experience the double and pick 3 pools are good indicators of the win odds. Pros of the double pools include visibility in the race prior for advanced players to set the pool prior to the race. Cons of the double pool are that some tracks do not offer rolling doubles and pools are small at some tracks. A pro of using the pick 3 pool is that there is a common thought that people will hide big bets in the pick 3 pools as these are considered blind pools in regards to seeing probables. A con is that these pools are sometimes small. Pick 4 pools are one of the largest multi-race pools out there so there is some value there.
A tool has been created to expedite this process. This will open a Google Drive Excel form that can be saved to your computer. Link to document.
The tool is quite easy to use. All you need to do is copy the will pay data into the sheet to match the formatting. The sheet will do the rest for you. Below is an example from Gulfstream Race 10 on March 4, 2020 using the daily double will pays.
As shown above, the tool can be useful for identifying the final win odds for a horse, but it is not an exact science. It is a valuable tool as you can get multiple approximations of the final price. Please always remember that all of these pools are separate and are not 100% related in terms of odds.
Please bet safely and responsibly! If you are able to profit or make a good score using this tool, consider donating to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation!