Greyhound Handicapping Shortcuts for the New Year

Eb Netr

January 2nd, 2013

While we all know that it's a good idea to take your time when you handicap a program, we can't always do that. Time is at a premium today. If we only played the races when we had hours to handicap the program, most of us wouldn't play them at all. So, here are a few shortcuts that you can try when you're pressed for time, but still want to play the greyhound races.

In Grade M races, just look for the dog with the fastest time in its last race. (Schooling races don't count.) That's it. If it's the favorite, and it probably will be, play it in a quiniela box with the two dogs with the second and third fastest times.

In the top grades, look for dogs that were the beaten favorite, in that grade, in their last race. You'll be surprised how often they go off at higher odds and come in. The crowd is quick to lose confidence in dogs that don't come in at very low odds. They find another dog that's coming off a win or has a fast time and forget all about the dog that they bet down to less than even odds last time out.

In routes, find a race where only one dog is switching from running sprints in all of its last six races. If it's in a favorable post position for routes at that track, it's worth risking a couple of bucks on it. Make sure that you know which boxes are best for the different distances at your track. I keep a "cheat sheet" on my phone's notepad app.

Play a Double-Double, as I call it. Play the first and second Morning Line favorites in the first race with the first and second Morning Line favorites in the second race. Especially on Saturday and holidays, this bet very often comes in. And if the second favorite wins either race, it can pay pretty well too.

Find a dog that led for two calls in its last race and then finished within two lengths of the winner. For instance, a dog breaks out of the box second, gets the lead, leads at the third call and then is passed by another dog and just gets nipped at the wire. Many times, this dog will win on his next time out. Just make sure that the dog isn't a perpetual fader. Check to see that it wins more than it places.

None of these shortcuts is a replacement for in-depth handicapping, but they can help when you really want to play the dogs, but don't have time to go over a program with a fine tooth comb. Just stay within your budget and don't bet more than you can afford to. Remember that these tips are just for fun. And good luck in 2013.