- The 2022 Belmont Stakes will be held on June 11, 2022 at New York’s Belmont Park.
- There is a field of 8 for this year’s Belmont. A maximum of 16 horses can be entered.
- Preakness Stakes winner Early Voting will not enter the Belmont as his connections are targeting the Travers Stakes on August 27 at Saratoga.
In this article, we’re going to do some handicapping math and try and come up with some value horses for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Note that this analysis won’t look at the intrinsic factors of the race like post position, pace, etc. This is purely a price analysis where we’re trying to find horses that have a better chance of winning than their morning line odds suggest. That’s what we call an ‘overlay’ and that’s essentially the object of the game when it comes to sports betting, horse racing or any other ‘beatable’ type of gaming speculation.
Here’s how this will work–on Monday, we posted projections of the Belmont Stakes morning line. To get these numbers, I worked out (in this case in conjunction with a couple of associates that are experienced at the horse racing game) the percentage chance of each horse emerging victorious. I then converted these percentages into moneyline odds and then converted them to fractional odds. I did this simply because I’m better at working with the moneyline odds we use in sports betting. There’s plenty of countries around the world where fractional odds or decimal odds are the standard and there’s no reason you couldn’t just convert the percentages directly to fractions or moneylines. This is what I came up with:
BELMONT STAKES PERCENTAGE CHANCE OF WINNING AND CORRESPONDING ODDS
|We The People||22.2%||7/2|
Add up the percentages and you’ll get 100.7%, or just a hair over ‘fair value’. Typically, when I do odds markets like this I build in the ‘house edge’ (ie: vig) but not here. Now, we’ll compare the numbers above with the actual morning line odds that were released on Tuesday:
BELMONT STAKES POST POSITIONS AND MORNING LINE ODDS
|POST POSITION||HORSE||MORNING LINE ODDS|
|1||We The People||2-1|
Keep in mind that actual parimutuel betting on the Belmont Stakes won’t begin until Friday. That’s why we’re still working with morning line odds. In a subsequent article, we’ll look at the fixed odds market offshore for the Belmont and see if we come up with anything there.
Now we’ll compare these numbers. For example, We The People is 2-1 on the official morning line which has a 33.3% implied probability of winning. My numbers have him at 7-2 for a 22.2% implied probability. That’s a differential of -11.1% meaning that We The People is a significant underlay (eg: bad value bet) based on price. Moving to the horse in post position 2, Skippylongstocking we do the math and determine that he’s got a differential of +1.5%. This means that my ‘true odds’ have him pegged as slightly more likely to win the race than the morning line odds. That’s not especially significant now but could be once the betting starts and the numbers start moving.
OVERLAYS: Skippylongstocking (+1.5%), Nest (+0.7%),
UNDERLAYS: We The People (-11.1%), Rich Strike (-7.7%), Mo Donegal (-3.6%), Barber Road (-2.8%)
My numbers had Creative Minister at 6-1 as did the morning line so he represents fair value. Ditto Golden Glider at 20-1.
Neither of the two overlay horses have a significant enough ‘edge’ to bet. Once the parimutuel betting begins, however, we monitor the odds movement with the information above in mind. Should the betting go the right way we could end up with a value play. Also keep in mind that betting patterns can potentially make an underlay and overlay and vice versa.
Objectively speaking, the fact that the three most ‘public’ horses in the field are underlays isn’t a surprise. This is no different than a linesmaker ‘juicing’ a number to make bettors ‘pay a premium’ on a popular favorite in football or basketball.
Interestingly, I had two different very sharp horseplayers suggest that Skippylongstocking could be a decent value. As one guy said “he’s might not be a 5-1 horse but he’s definitely not a 20-1 horse. Probably a 9-1 or 10-1 horse’.
In a subsequent article, we’ll check out the fixed odds numbers at BetOnline and see if they reveal anything interesting.