Greyhound Handicapping With Quick Picks for 12/4/2013

Eb Netr

December 4th, 2013

One of my favorite spot plays is something I call the Quick Pick. It doesn't happen on every program, but when it does, and when the other bettors don't realize it, you can really cash some nice win tickets. Here's how to "spot" this spot play.

Let's take a Grade B sprint as our example. As you handicap this race, you notice that most of the dogs are solid B dogs, or are moving up from C. There are only two dogs dropping down from a race in Grade A. You could just consider them the class dogs of the race and box them in a quiniela, or even play them both to win.

Chances are though, that one or both of them will be the favorite. Well, let's say the the 2 dog and the 3 dog are both dropping down and the 2 dog is the favorite at 3-1 and the 3 dog is the third favorite at 9-2. There's a hot shot puppy moving up from C where he won by four lengths after winning his maiden race the first time out. He looks good and you wonder if you should play him - at 7/2 - with the 2 in a quiniela.

Maybe, but maybe not. For one thing, it won't pay very well. Not with the favorite and the second favorite coming in first and second. And for another thing, in this hypothetical race, let's say you look further into the dogs' races and notice that, in its last race, the 3 got bumped in the stretch, after running second all the way around the track.

Let's also say that you notice that the 3 was the favorite in its last race and went off at very low odds. But now, today, it's at 9-2 and while you're noticing this, actually goes up to 5-1, while the two favorites go down to even odds and 5-2. A quiniela with these two dogs isn't going to pay diddly.

If I were going to bet on this race, I'd do two things. I'd make sure that the other dog that was dropping down, the 2, didn't have trouble in its last race to excuse its performance in that race. And I'd make sure that it wasn't the beaten favorite in its last race. If it wasn't either of these things, then I'd play the 3, the other class dog, to win.

My rules for this spot play are simple. There must be no more than two dogs dropping down. One must have been a beaten favorite in its last race. And that same dog must have had trouble that made it lose its last race. This is the dog I bet on. This works just as well when there's only one class dog in the race, dropping down from the next grade up, but it's harder to get good odds on it.