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Deciding When to Use the Gambling Pool

Author: Neha Agrawal

Many bettors avoid the betting pools because they like the security of locking in a price on a certain wager. For example, if they are betting on a football match, they like getting, say, 3-5 guaranteed odds on the team they think is going to win. But if you make that same bet into a gambling pool, you can’t be assured of that same price. It could be higher or it could be lower. Chances are, if you’re betting on the favourite, the final odds will be lower.

So the choice of whether or not to use a betting pool as opposed to accepting a fixed payoff probably comes down to whether you prefer the favourite or the underdog. Usually, the odds on the favourite of a head-to-head competition will go down until the time that the event starts. The only exception would be if there was already heavy action on that team or individual and the odds had already been driven way down. In that case, there might be more action coming in on the other side.

But on most occasions, the favourite seems to draw more support in the late stages of betting. So if you like making a win wager on the favourite, it’s probably a good idea to avoid the pool bets and accept the fixed price. But if you like the underdog, the pool bet is usually the better gambling choice. Your odds figure to improve as the public sentiment for the favourite usually seems to keep growing.

It might be a good idea to utilize both bets. It’s unusual, but there might be occasions where the pari-mutuel bets will change so much that you can create very good value.

The idea is not much different than what is sought by bettors of American football and other sports with a point spread. It’s called “middle” and it occurs when the line moves so much that you can bet on both sides and have the possibility of winning both bets. Say a team was favoured by six points but the betting came in very heavily and the line was changed from -6 to -8. If you bet the favourite at -6 and the underdog and +8 and the favourite wins by 7, you win both ways.

This type of value is hard to find in a pool bet when it is based on odds rather than points. But the intelligent bettor will always keep looking and hoping to utilize all wagers available to improve his value and increase his profits.