Breeders Cup Odds

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Road to the 2020 Breeders’ Cup: Odds and Contenders

Are you ready for the biggest event in thoroughbred racing? The Kentucky Derby may be the most important race on the calendar, but nothing compares to the 14-race extravaganza known as the Breeders’ Cup. This year’s festival takes place Friday and Saturday at the Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky. Breeders’ Cup betting odds are available right now at Bovada Racebook, with the biggest focus on Saturday’s Grade 1 Classic – featuring a $6-million prize pool and some of the greatest horses in the world.

2020 Breeders’ Cup Favorites

Even with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on international sports, most of the big-name thoroughbreds have made it to Keeneland. Qualifying was held through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, similar in format to the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Improbable, the +300 favorite on the 2020 Breeders’ Cup odds board for the Classic (10 furlongs, dirt, 3yo and up), qualified by winning both the Whitney and Awesome Again Stakes. Behind Improbable at +350 is Tiz the Law, this year’s Belmont Stakes winner.

Other favorites on the Breeders’ Cup 2020 odds list include Monomoy Girl (+150), who finds herself ranked ahead of Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver (+225) for Saturday’s Grade 1 Distaff. This is the female equivalent of the Classic, featuring mares and fillies at least three years of age, running 1 1/8 miles on Keeneland’s dirt track for a purse of $2 million. Friday’s five-race card is dedicated to the two-year-olds; the Grade I Juvenile (1 1/16 miles, dirt, colts and geldings) is the big one, previewing what might happen at next year’s Kentucky Derby, and the Breeders’ Cup betting odds at press time have Jackie’s Warrior as the +140 favorite. 

2020 Breeders’ Cup Value Odds

With 14 races on the schedule, you’re bound to find some solid value picks on Bovada’s Breeders’ Cup betting lines. That goes double for the Classic, where this year’s top three-year-olds will face stiffer competition than they’re used to from the older horses – horses like Tom’s d’Etat (+500), a seven-year-old Kentucky-bred colt with four wins in his past five races. If anyone’s going to take down Improbable at the Classic, Tom’s d’Etat might be the best candidate to pull it off.

2020 Breeders’ Cup Long Shot Odds

If you’re well-versed in how to bet on Breeders’ Cup action, or even if you’re new at the game, you’ll no doubt be looking for some long shots to fill out your trifectas and superfectas. By My Standards (+1600) could be worth your while in the Classic; 1 ¼ miles is probably too long for this four-year-old, who finished 11th at the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but he’s won four of his last six races at shorter distances, finishing second in the other two. For the full list of odds for Breeders’ Cup races, make sure to hit that Refresh button when you’re browsing the horse racing futures at Bovada Racebook–your No. 1 spot for Breeders’ Cup betting.

How Breeders’ Cup Wagers Work

As we get closer to race day, there will be hundreds of different options on the Breeders’ Cup 2020 odds menu. If you’re new to thoroughbred racing, before heading to Santa Anita Park here are the different types of horse racing bets explained by our experts:

  • Breeders’ Cup Straight Wagers (Win/Place/Show)

Straight bets are the most common way to bet on the horses. You can bet on a horse to finish either first (Win), in the top two (Place), or in the top three (Show).

  • Breeders’ Cup Exotic Bets

Any bet that isn’t a straight bet is considered an exotic bet in horse racing. They include the following:

  • Breeders’ Cup Exacta Betting: What Is an Exacta Bet?

The exacta bet asks you to pick the first two horses to cross the finish line, in the exact order.

  • Breeders’ Cup Trifecta Betting: What Is a Trifecta Bet?

Pick the first three horses in order, and you’ll win an even bigger prize.

  • Breeders’ Cup Superfecta Betting: What Is a Superfecta Bet?

This is the big one. Pick the first four horses in order, and you’ll have one of the largest paydays possible at the track.

  • Breeders’ Cup Quinella Betting: What Is a Quinella Bet?

The quinella bet is a lot like the exacta, but now the two horses can finish in either order, 1-2 or 2-1. While the payout will be lower than the exacta, the chances of cashing in will be higher.

  • What Are Boxed Wagers in Breeders’ Cup Betting?

A boxed wager allows you to select a certain number of horses to finish ahead of the pack, then gives you all possible combinations of their order of finish. For example, a quinella is the equivalent of a boxed exacta. A boxed trifecta would pay out if your three chosen horses finish 1-2-3, 1-3-2, 2-1-3, 2-3-1, 3-1-2, or 3-2-1.

  • What Are Wheeled Bets in Breeders’ Cup Betting?

Wheeled bets ask you to choose one horse to finish in a certain position, then any number of horses to fill out the remaining positions in any order. A wheeled exacta could have one horse to win and three different horses finishing second, or vice versa.

  • Breeders’ Cup Futures Betting: What Is a Futures Bet in Horse Racing?

Betting on futures is the same in horse racing as in other sports; this is when you bet on the outcome of an event that takes place sometime down the road, as opposed to on the race day itself. Odds for all 14 of this year’s Breeders’ Cup races are available right now on the futures market at Bovada Racebook.

  • Breeders’ Cup Prop Betting: What Is a Prop Bet in Horse Racing?

Short for “proposition bet,” a prop lets you wager on things other than the outcome of the race itself, like whether the track record will be broken. The more popular the race, the more props will be released.

  • What Is a Coupled Entry Bet in Breeders’ Cup Betting?

With a coupled entry, you can take all of the horses in a race that belong to the same stable, or use the same trainer, and treat them as a single entity. If any of the horses in question come in, you get paid.

  • What Is a Pick 3 or Pick 4 in Breeders’ Cup Betting?

This is where you pick the winners in three (Pick 3) or four (Pick 4) different races on the same card. They’re usually the last three or four races of the day, but non-consecutive races are often used at special events.

  • What Is a Daily Double in Breeders’ Cup Betting?

For an easier challenge, pick the winner in two races on the same card, and you’ll hit the Daily Double.

  • How Is My Racebook Payout Determined?

Thoroughbred racing uses the pari-mutuel betting system. All of the different bets are pooled together by type as they come in. All the Win bets go into one pool, all the Place bets in another, and so on. When the betting closes, the racebook takes its vigorish (the commission charged for handling the bets) from the pool, and divides the rest of the money among the winning bettors.

With the pari-mutuel system, the odds you see when you buy your ticket are not necessarily what the odds will be once the action closes. As more or less money comes in on a certain horse, their displayed odds will go up or down in response, until settling on a final number at the close. Those are the odds that will be used to determine your payout.

There’s one exception to this format: futures odds. When you make a futures bet on the horses, the odds at the time of your purchase are the odds that will be used for your payout.

Breeders’ Cup Betting Tips

When it comes to making your picks, the best way to approach thoroughbred racing is to divide the horses into different running styles. Three broad categories are used here: frontrunners, stalkers, and closers. Frontrunners like to take the lead early, stalkers like to tuck in behind the frontrunners before making their move at the top of the stretch, and closers like to make a big charge from further behind.

Each running style has its pluses and minuses, depending on the type of race being run. Frontrunners will have more success in sprints, where the race is over before they run out of gas. Closers have more of a chance in longer races, where they have more time to use their powerful finishing kick to their advantage. Generally speaking, stalkers have the edge in horse betting, but it’s a risky style that requires expert timing from the jockey. Making their push too soon or too late will spell disaster.

Congratulations – you now have all of the basic information you need to bet on the 2019 Breeders’ Cup, as well as all the other big horse racing events at Bovada Racebook. For more information, check out our useful FAQ and Help guides, and we’ll see you at the track.

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