Would you like to go to the horse races or OTB and pick exactas that pay well and hit often? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? The problem is that exactas are not easy to hit. It seems that if you play an exacta box, then one of your horses comes in first and another comes in third while some other horse sneaks in there for second, right? If you just play a straight exacta, then the horse you picked to win comes in second and your second horse wins! If you boxed two horses, one will win but the other will be up the track and your blood pressure goes through the roof.

We’ve all been through the above scenario and that is why, try as we might, we can’t seem to make money playing exactas. But every day, rain or shine, the exacta pools are full of money and it is one of the most popular bets. The reason for that is that it is a lot of fun to play exactas and they pay better than win bets. So how do you quickly and easily pick winning exactas?

First of all, let me say that this method is not guaranteed to work all the time or make a profit. I can tell you however, that it will put the odds on you side for hitting more exactas. The reason is statistics. Which horse wins the most races? The favorite, of course. Which horse wins the second most races. Let’s try the second favorite.

Knowing that, which horses should be your top choices for exactas if you are serious about winning? Just keying on the top two horses will give you the first horse in the exacta, about 50%-60% of the time. Want to have the winning horse 70% of the time or more? Just throw in the third favorite. The fact of the matter is that the winner is found in the top three favorites anywhere from 70%-80% of the time.

If you don’t believe that, just check some charts. You’ll find they do a little better on Saturdays and holidays, too. So we have figured out where to look for our top horse. The next problem is finding a second horse to complete the exacta. Here is how I like to find a horse or two to put under my key horse. I look at the morning line odds and also the tote board odds at five minutes to post.

I also look at the percentage of in the money finishes each horse has. I arrive at that figure by diving the number of times the horse finished second or third by the total number of races. The higher the percentage of second and third place finishes, the better the odds of the horse nosing its way into the exacta.

Next, I find a horse who is in the top five horses in the odds who has the highest or second highest percentage of finishes in the money. I play one or two of these horses for second place. This not only makes a high strike rate, but also brings in some nice paying exactas. Your top horse is a high percentage horse and so is the second horse and both have a statistical edge based on their odds. It is an easy way to find good exacta bets, but remember, all gambling is risky so never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Source by Bill Peterson