• The Jackpot 5 Show Parlay Opportunity

    POSTED Aug 22, 2013
    One thing I've tried to do lately is think of wagers as opportunities. If I'm not overjoyed at the chance to enter into a particular pool then it's not worth my money. Different pools can work together to offer multiple opportunities. E.g., the win pool can provide a way to hedge against uncovered opinions in a Pick 4.

    TwinSpires.com's Jackpot 5 wager offers multiple opportunities with one wager since 20% of the net pool goes toward the jackpot (only ticket with all five winners) and 80% goes toward the show pick 5 (any ticket with all selections finishing third or better), but one of the great things about the pari-mutuel system is that an opportunity for one could create a separate opportunity for another, as is the case with Jackpot 5 if you have some good opinions on who can finish third or better.

    Consider the first two sequences of the bet TwinSpires.com debuted last weekend:

    A show parlay on the five shortest-priced (to show) horses in the Jackpot 5 wager on Saturday, August 17, on TwinSpires.com would have returned $42 for an initial $2 investment. Those same five horses with Jackpot 5 came back $155.36 for a dollar.

    The same approach on Sunday, August 18, would have returned $7.87 for $2 but came back $7.92 for $1 via TwinSpires.com's Jackpot 5 wager.

    If you take the approach that you will not be the only winner if your five short-priced to show horses win, anyway, then there's no harm in punching multiple tickets on favored sequences.

    A five-race show parlay of horses who pay $3 each would return $15 for 13-to-2 odds. If you think each horse in your parlay has a 75% chance of hitting the board then the fair odds of completing the parlay is 7-to-2, so you're getting great value on a bet you'll lose ~76.27% of the time.

    But based on Sunday's Jackpot 5 results, which included a pair of horses who paid $2.10 (the minimum) to show, it's fair to assume that same parlay on $3 show horses could have returned $15 for a dollar. By targeting one aspect of the wager you've created tremendous value even while giving up on the jackpot.

    Yeah, it'd be awesome to take down the Jackpot, but part of the fun of the pari-mutuel system is knowing that when you won your peers have lost, and zigging with a show strategy when they're zagging toward a jackpot can be quite lucrative.
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