Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morning Line Oddsmakers - Best & Worst

Courtesy my pal Ray, here are the ML stats for harness tracks across North America (thoroughbred below as well). The higher the rating, the better the morning line.

Track........Horses........Rating

BMLP.........14041.........0.730
DD...........12801.........0.707
CALX.........9396..........0.690
BigM.........12988.........0.686
FRD..........7121..........0.680
MR...........15594.........0.678
MOH..........10281.........0.678
WDB..........10867.........0.678
NFLD.........21351.........0.674
MAY..........8245..........0.674
YR...........17103.........0.661
HAR..........11070.........0.649
FHLD.........9871..........0.638
HOP..........8765..........0.634
STGA.........14323.........0.630
BR...........8272..........0.629
INDY.........7902..........0.619
PCD..........14692.........0.612
HP...........5247..........0.604
PPK..........7428..........0.601
ROCK.........3789..........0.600
WR...........7605..........0.588
Aces.........2540..........0.586
CHST.........13725.........0.565
SCD..........5408..........0.564
TGDN.........4277..........0.561
MEA..........18960.........0.554
OD...........2612..........0.552
BANG.........2852..........0.552
VD...........6115..........0.546
LEX..........2394..........0.537
BTVA.........5480..........0.526
LON..........9014..........0.522
NP...........2164..........0.513
LEB..........4667..........0.511
PRC..........5722..........0.510
GEOD.........7442..........0.507
GRVR.........4622..........0.497
CNL..........2535..........0.487
RIDC.........15166.........0.479
SCAR.........7125..........0.475
NOR..........5608..........0.472
FLMD.........16306.........0.459
RP...........5542..........0.439
KD...........7369..........0.428

Knowing which morning lines are good, and which are not can help us gain an edge. In fact, morning line faves are generally a couple of points worse in ROI from the second choice for example. So, if we know a line is generally poor, we can possibly up our ROI by a few points - and as many serious players know - a few points is a monster edge in this business. A caveat of course is that ML is a strong predictor of wins and losses. Betting against every ML fave takes away about one third of the winners. If you are a player who needs to cash tickets, it is a fade angle that might not be for you.

The results of the above are true to form I think, but there are a couple of points that stick out. The formful, tight horse population tracks have fairly good ML's. Tracks like Balmoral, Woodbine/Mohawk, Fraser and Cal Expo have similar horses racing week to week, with a minimum of shippers. On the other hand, tracks like the Red Mile, Georgian and others who have horses coming from all over are generally worse.

I was somewhat shocked at the performance of the ML at Flamboro. This is a track that should hold true to form, however it seems it does not. Is it the oddsmaker or the track? Of note, if you are looking to exploit this at Flammy by fading ML chalk, the takeout is quite high, making it very difficult. As well, the morning line at London (WFR) was a bit of a surprise. That track is very flat and very speed favoring. One would think making a line there would be easy. Takeouts at WFR in the win pool are not horrible, so adding a fade move to the ML chalk in your betting there might be an idea.

Grand River, with plenty of shippers and not being a track that is super-speed favoring, offers some horseplayer value with a fade move as well.

Anyhow, congrats to the very good linemaker at Balmoral Park. 0.73 blows away the competition, and it is a full-field joint. Quite impressive!

For a similar list of thoroughbred tracks, check out Stu's blog post here.

1 comment:

JLB said...

Are all these tracks setting the morning line based on the prediction of what the public will bet, or, is it a ranking of the relative chances of each of the competitors? It is my belief that the morning line should, but does not, represent the latter; it is my understanding that the morning line represents the oddmakers' best guess as to what the public will bet.

To me, this is of little use. For example, from time to time my one horse stable campaigns at the Meadowlands, and my trainer is a virtual unknown there. If my horse were trained by one of the top five, with more name recognition, I would expect that his odds would be lower simply because of that. As a casual bettor, I want the trackman's guidance as to his opinion of the horse's relative chances, not his opinion as to what the public will bet. The latter information can be gleaned simply by studying the tote board.