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Greyhound Handicapping: Best and Worst Post Positions

Profile Picture: Eb Netr

Eb Netr

April 24th, 2013

At most greyhound tracks, the best boxes in sprints are the 1, 2 and 8. Of course, this isn't always true and it changes as the track condition and weather change. But for the most part, if you look at the results for all the tracks, you'll find that 1's, 2's and 8's seem to come in more than their share of the time.

So, why not just bet them in quiniela boxes? Actually, I knew someone who did that. He hit quite a few quinielas, but lost a lot of money. So, should you just ignore the box bias and play whatever dog you like in whatever box it happens to be in? I don't think so. At most tracks, there are boxes that are much harder to win from than the other boxes.

There are two things that I keep in mind when I handicap tracks where the box bias is significant. One is that the numbers that come in the most, pay the least. Look at the payoffs for 1's at Southland for instance. The second thing is that numbers that come in less often pay more. Of course, the operative phrase here is "come in", because nothing pays if it doesn't hit the board.

While post position is only one of the factors I use in handicapping a program, I do pay attention to it. When I handicap dogs in the best posts, I look to see if their running style fits that post. For inside posts, I want a dog that RUNS the inside, not a midtrack dog. I also want to see good early speed and fast times in recent races. This applies to route races as well as sprints.

If the 8 box is good at a track, as it is at Bluffs Run in sprints, I prefer a dog that will outbreak the other dogs. Whether it runs midtrack, inside or outside, I want to be pretty sure that it will take the lead and keep it. But especially if it wants the inside, it has to be a dog that consistently outbreaks the other dogs in its races.

If I don't think that the dogs in the best post positions look like they can take advantage of the bias, I look for dogs that can overcome less favorable post positions. For instance, at Birmingham, Orange Park and Southland, the 6 box is NOT an easy place to win from. However, I hit a very good win bet on a 6 there a few weeks ago, because I thought the dog could handle the box and it did.

I played it because it had much better early speed than the other dogs, could run inside or midtrack, and could also close. This kind of dog doesn't come along too often, but when it does, it's a gift. Look for very good dogs in bad post positions in races where the dogs in the good posts don't look like they can take advantage of them. These are the races that produce big payoffs.

Sure, the 1 box is almost twice as likely to produce a winner than the next best box at Southland, but not if the 1 dog stops to fight or gets blocked and can't see the lure, because it's slow out of the box. When I look at a program, and the dogs in the best boxes have more than one trouble line, it's a red flag to me. And it's amazing how many times these dogs will be the crowd's favorite. Don't be fooled by these false favorites.

Do your homework and keep track of the bias at the tracks that you play. It can change with the season and when there are stakes races and they groom the track to make it faster. There can be short periods when one box will suddenly get hot for a few programs for reasons that no one can figure out.

Go with it. Keep it in mind when you handicap, but don't forget the other important handicapping factors. Speed, running style, class, where the dog is in its form cycle, all matter just as much as post position. Add bias to your handicapping tools and use it to cash more tickets on numbers that come in more often. Or, go the extra handicapping mile and find the hidden treasures - dogs that can overcome the bias and win at very good odds.
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