Profitable Bets Over Last Four Breeders' Cups

Profitable Bets Over Last Four Breeders' Cups

During each Breeders’ Cup there are two betting story lines I always monitor even though I never have the bankroll to play them: would betting $2 to win on every horse be profitable, and would betting every combination in each daily double be profitable?

Here are the last four years of that data. During those years that betting strategy would have been profitable twice, and a loser twice but would have been profitable overall. I’ll get to my observations later.

First though is a brief explanation of how I arrived at the number for # Dbl Bets. I based the bets on a $2 to be commensurate with the $2 payouts as they are shown. So it was the number of horses in that race X the # of horses in the previous race (# of Bets) X 2$.

sheet1 sheet2

Total bet over 4 years on all wins and all doubles: $9,544.

Total won: $13,788

Profit: $4,244


A Few of my Observations

1. It’s all a function of how often the favorites win. In the profitable years only one favorite has one each time. In the losing years there were 3 and 5 favorites winning.

Betting implications: If there are few strong favorites on a Breeders’ Cup card, these bets may be the best way to cover it. But if you think 3 or more favorites are likely winners, then maybe it’s better to stick to win bets and exactas.

2. One big long shot makes for two nice doubles and two consecutive long shots make for VERY nice doubles. In races with a positive Double ROI (in black) it looks the odds of the winners of that race and the previous race add up to about 20/1 or greater (in general. there are exceptions).

Betting Implications: If you find 2, 3 or 4 races in a row without a legit favorite this is a wiser bet. But if you expect a favorite to win every other race it’s less wise.

3. I thought that maybe you could hedge your bet by betting $3 on the favorites in both the win and double pools, but that would do remarkably little.

4. This looks pretty tempting.


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  • interesting...thanks for crunching through and posting those numbers! tempting, indeed...especially after this year, and those long shots like Take Charge Brandi, Karakontie, and Illinois's own Work All Week.

    usually i'm pretty happy to be a low-rolling horse bettor...but days like the Breeders' Cup, when the pools are huge and really good horses get lost in the shuffle, it makes me wish i had more nerve about making larger bets. there's a lot of profit to be made from even a few good opinions. alas, i'm not there, or not there yet.

  • In reply to Nicolle Neulist:

    Thanks for reading! We will have to pool our funds for BC 2015.

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