The opportunity to bet early on fixed odds races with TAB Sportsbet and a vast array of fixed odds operators has never been greater. With final acceptances for Saturday metropolitan races now declared on Wednesdays, you can bet at any time from Wednesday to Saturday on most races if you choose to do so.
The title of this post is not just a twist on the immortal words of Shakespeare's Hamlet, but indeed a very important question for the serious punter. As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to be strongly considered before taking the plunge of an early fixed odds bet.
The only valid reason for betting early is to get fixed odds on a horse that you like, that you don't think will be available on the day of the race. For example, if you are able to get $8 for a horse on Thursday that you think will start $5, then on the surface that would appear to be a very sensible bet.
There are a number of potential pitfalls to betting early, however.
- You may get it wrong! - If this is happening more often than you get it right, forget about betting early. There will be many occasions that the odds offered early will be less than those available on the day of the race.
- Change in track conditions - If the weather is fine and the track is good when you place your bet, say on a Thursday, but the weather gods determine to change things arounds and you finish with a rain affected track on Saturday, then the odds will change significantly. In fact, you might not even want to be on your horse any more!!
- Potential track bias - You may be able to predict how a track will play before the actual day of the race but then again, you may not!
- Scratchings - These are a real killer to early fixed odds betting. All of the fixed odds operators take out an unrealistic percentage of your total collect for horses that are scratched after you have placed your bet. A bet placed at $8 will become a bet at much shorter odds if there are significant scratchings.
- You change your mind - On rare occasions you will change your mind between Wednesday and Saturday as to who you think will win a particular race. In that case, if you bet early, you will be stuck with a bet that you don't even want!
Having just read this you may be of the opinion that I never bet early on fixed odds races. Those of you who know me will know that nothing could be further from the truth. However the pitfalls above must always be taken into consideration each and every time you place an early fixed odds bet.
It is a personal choice, and one you have to be comfortable with, before deciding to bet early on any fixed odds races.