If you ever want to drive yourself crazy, go on Twitter and seek out conversations among horseplayers centering around takeout and breakage. If you winced reading those terms, you’re not alone. These conversations will leave you with headaches if you’re not careful.
There are very few things worse on horse racing Twitter than people who complain about takeout and then don’t play sequences with low takeout. This is why I feel it important to remind you that Sam Houston Race Park just started its 2020 season. In addition to its announcer’s booth housing good friend Chris Griffin, its wagering menu boasts an ultra-low takeout of 12% on multi-race exotics (such as the Pick Five and Pick Four).
If these pools are robust, other tracks are going to notice, and it could create a much-improved environment for horseplayers. Canterbury Park tried drastically-reduced takeouts once, and that didn’t take, for whatever reason. I’m going to be looking at these races and taking shots when I have some confidence. If you’re a takeout hawk, and you’re serious about putting your money where your mouth is, you should, too.
Oh, and Saturday night went pretty well for me, too.
SATURDAY’S RESULT: Villanova and Georgetown made me sweat the total a bit. However, while Villanova’s offense looked rejuvenated in the win, the Hoyas struggled just enough to bring the total to 146, which meant my “under 147.5” play was a winner.
SUNDAY’S PLAY: It’s back to the NFL for me, and I’ll focus on the first game in Sunday’s playoff doubleheader. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans and are favored by 9.5 points. That’s not a small spread, but I think Houston’s playing with house money at this point. Add in that the Chiefs are at home and have enjoyed a week of rest, and I think they’re going to be very tough to stop. I’ll give the points with KC and hope it doesn’t come back to bite me.
As you may have read yesterday, a friend challenged me to handicap a two-day Pick Five carryover at Turf Paradise Saturday. I did just that, came up with a $60 ticket, and promptly ripped it up as my opening-leg single finished off the board as a heavy favorite.
That’s not really the story, though. Those who were alive to #4 Ficety Lady in the finale saw her come up the rail, engulf tiring pace-setter #10 Baby Rose, and get nailed at the wire by #2 Faith in Excess, who went off at 32-1 and, for my money, should’ve been double that.
Those horseplayers were nosed out of $16,000 and some change on a 50-cent bet. If you’re one of them and you feel like quitting gambling, I can’t say I blame you. On the other hand, if anyone out there fits this description and wants to talk about it, by all means shoot me a tweet or an email.
SATURDAY’S RESULT: The Texans and Bills made me sweat by going to overtime, but when Ka’imi Fairbairn’s chip shot field goal split the uprights to make it a 22-19 final, the number snuck in under the 43.5-point total.
SUNDAY’S PLAY: Oddsmakers who installed the Eagles as three-point favorites over the Seahawks last week have to be sweating. Money has poured in on Seattle, and the spread has shifted so much that the Seahawks are now a one-point favorite. Philadelphia’s a great story considering how many Eagles have gotten banged up this year, but I think the ride ends here. I’ll take Seattle giving a point.
For all the horse racing folks out there, in addition to strong cards at Gulfstream and Santa Anita, there’s also a really nice Pick Five carryover at Turf Paradise. There’s nearly $80,000 in the pool ahead of Saturday’s sequence, which starts in the fourth race (scheduled for 2:10 pm Mountain time) and can be played for as little as 50 cents. There’s no special jackpot provision, either, so if you hit it, you’re going to be rewarded handsomely.
I’ve taken a look at the sequence, and I’ll have a ticket up on Twitter once scratches and changes are posted. In a bit of a plot twist, though, I may not be alone. I was alerted to the carryover by a friend of mine who challenged me to a good-natured competition. I’ll have his ticket, too, and we’ll see if one or both of us can take this down.
FRIDAY’S RESULT: Remember that Delaware offense I said could put up points in a hurry? Well, the Blue Hens only managed 20 in the first half against Drexel and lost outright as one-point favorites.
SATURDAY’S PLAY: As tempting as it is to take the Titans getting five against New England, there’s another wager I’m leaning to a bit harder. The Buffalo/Houston over-under has gone up to 43.5 as of this writing, and I don’t trust either offense to put up many points. This hits me as a 21-17 kind of game, and as a result, I want the under.