5 Factors That Affect Horse Race Betting Odds


Horse race betting is one of the most popular sports bettors like to wager on. It is famous for a variety of reasons. One of these is the risk management option. Bettors have the chance to do research and learn more about their preferred horse to bet on before actually placing it.

If you are looking to bet on a horse racing event, you must highly consider the odds. But, first, you have to understand that there are factors that could affect the betting odds on a horse race event, such as:


The first factor that affects the horse race betting odds is reputation. The horse’s reputation is determined by the style of its run and jump in past performances.

A few horses start a race as the front runner, build up a significant lead, and then gradually lose stamina, ultimately settling into the main group near the finish line. While others are known for staying near the back of the pack to conserve energy before sprinting and finishing the race victoriously. These specific styles of running suit a few tracks better than the others, influencing the horse’s odds.

The horse’s reputations influence bettor’s decision to wager or not wager on them. After that, it will be based on the jockey’s and horse’s performance, records, and rankings.

As a result, the racer with the best reputation has a better chance of winning. The horse’s reputation is established over time, depending on its past results. Thus, a relatively unknown horse will have difficulty establishing favorable odds in the race.

You have to understand that how horse racing odds work is vital to increase your chance of winning by picking the horse that will likely win the race.

The Horse’s Form

The horse’s form is numbers that portray its finishing position in its recent race. You can find the last five positions being displayed right next to each horse’s name. Try this information to overview the horse’s recent form quickly.

You can find the form of a horse listed on the race card. It is displayed as a number representing where they finished their most recent race. For example, the number “1” listed on the race card on the side of the horse’s name means that the horse finished its recent race in the first place.

Bookies started to increase the price of their odds on horses that were projected to win the race based on their form.

Changes of Equipment

In horse racing, there are equipments added to boost the horse’s concentration. This equipment can be blinkers, cheek pieces, or visors. This extra equipment can dramatically affect the horses that are using it, especially if it’s their first time using such equipment.

During equipment changes, it is common to see a horse’s performance changes. Adding new headgear to horses can often shorten the horse’s odds in a race. Again, it is due to the high possibility of changes in its performance, usually from good to bad.

The Horse’s Shape

Another factor you should watch out for when examining a horse race betting odds is the shape of the horse in the parade ring.

The parade ring, also known as the paddock, is where contending horses parade in preparation for the race. It is the time when horses meet their jockey and provide audiences to have a sneak peek at the contenders before the race starts.

The horse’s shape during the parade ring indicates the contenders’ physical and psychological state. You must remember that agitation, limping, and even the horse-handler relationship negatively impact the horse’s odds. It indicates that the horse is physically and mentally incapable of winning the race.

Meanwhile, strongly focused and muscular horses reduce the odds of that horse since it clearly indicates that the horse is ready to race and has a high possibility of winning.

Human-related Factors

Human-related factors can also impact the horse race betting odds of the horse, whether it is the commentator, bettors, the jockey, owner, or trainer.

Jockeys are the ones that control horses during the race. They can ride the horse to victory no matter whether it is the horse’s first time racing or not. However, to help the horse win, the jockey should also be fit to ride the horse.

Additionally, some owners are highly famous in the horseracing industry, which can significantly decrease the horse racing odds. The same goes for the trainer. Some trainers are famous and known to be good at their work, which also decreases the horse’s odds.

Last but not least are the commentators and the bettors. The commentator of the race will have insights or opinions that will affect the odds of the horses in a particular race.

As a seasoned bettor, you might already know that the bettor’s behavior affects the odds significantly. For instance, the favorite horses, or those with many bets, usually have low odds, and the underdogs, or those horses with a low number of bets, will have high odds.

Examine Each Factor

Prior to betting on any horse race, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned bettor, you should examine the mentioned factors. Doing so will help you choose which horse has the highest probability of winning the race.

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