The Off Odds

What it means

The analysis

These are the tote board odds in effect when the horse race started. This is the rate at which each winning ticket will be paid. You always get your original bet back plus the odds times your bet when you win. So a $2 bet at 1 to 1 odds pays $4.00 and 2 to 1 odds pays $6.00 etc. To calculate the payoff, multiply the odds times 2 and add 2.

The race track's computer determines the off odds by first taking the track's percentage from the betting pools then dividing the remaining money among the ticket holders. Thus the track itself has no stake in the race. They get their money no matter who wins.

There is one exception to this. It involves the tracks "Minimum Payoff". Each track has one and the minimum ranges between $2.10 and $2.20. Tracks can have a disadvantage when an odds-on-favorite wins. Many times the calculated payoff for an odds-on-favorite is less than the minimum and the track must make up the difference by adding money to the pool.

Because of the minimum payoff it is always wise to bet an odds on favorite to place.

The first row shows the odds and the second row , "Needed Wins", shows the number of wins needed to break even for each odds number. It means that if you bet every horse that ran at that odds number this is the amount of winners you need to break even.

The third row shows the actual number of wins for each odds level. This number will be less than the number of wins needed to break even by the amount of the track's take when averaged over all the odds from zero to 99.

The forth row is the Accumulated Deviation. It highlights the profitable odds ranges. This deviation will not be a positive number overall because of the track's take from the betting pool. It can be positive over a small range of numbers, however. When the accumulated deviation remains flat over a range of odds numbers, those odds numbers are a good place to be with your bets.

Of course you want some other good news about the horse you intend to bet. You want news that the horse can possibly win in todays crowd with a probability that is better than its off odds indicate