Horse Racing Tips Using the Morning Line System to Find Good Bets

One of the most overlooked tools to find good bets in horse racing is the morning line. The morning line is supposed to be a general guide as to what the track’s handicapper thinks the horse’s odds will be at post time. Depending upon the skill and effort of the handicapper it can be a rough guide or a very useful gauge.

Some handicappers stick to the guidelines and do give you the odds that they think the horses will go off at when the gate opens, while others get involved in the handicapping so much they lose sight of their objective and actually give you what they think the horse’s chances of winning are in the form of odds. Whichever method or system they use, the main thing is to check them out and find out how accurate they are.

Once you know how accurate they track’s handicapper is and how much credence you can place on his or her line, the next thing to do is to compare the morning line to the actual odds. I like to do this early, as soon as the odds are posted for the race, and then 5 minutes before the race and then 2 minutes before the race. Getting an idea of how the runners are being bet and then seeing the final result can help you to spot good bets in the future.

The morning line can also help you to spot good bets that have been overlooked by the crowd. If the track’s handicapper is good and has knowledge of the local trainers and backside information, then he or she may know something about a horse that the crowd will overlook. Let’s say the morning line on a maiden runner is 7-2 but you see the horse going off at 10-1, you have to ask yourself, “What did the track handicapper see that the crowd missed, or what did the handicapper miss that the crowd is seeing?”

Those are very important questions. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and the handicapper will give comments on each race and may mention why he or she had so much confidence in that horse. Then there are other times when you will have to dig a little. Either way, if you see a big discrepancy in the odds, you should be doing some fast detective work because you may have a good bet sitting under your nose.

You don’t always have to wait for the actual odds, though. Sometimes, after you have handicapped the races, it is good to look at the morning line and then look at your own comments and opinions of the horses. Have you overlooked something?

While just using the morning line alone as a horse racing system is a poor way to make money betting on horses, it is helpful because it is another set of eyes looking over the entries and offering an opinion that is often based on a thorough knowledge of the local trainers and riders. This is particularly helpful if you are playing simulcast tracks outside your usual area. When playing in handicapping contests, it should be one of your tools to check your own opinions before filling out your betting slip.