What Is A Forecast Bet?
Most punters simply concentrate on trying to pick the winner of a horse race, greyhound race, or other sporting events, but it’s also possible to bet on which two horses or greyhounds will finish first and second (forecast) or which horses will finish first, second, and third (tricast).
We won’t tell you it’s easy picking a winning forecast bet or tricast bet (because it’s not) but the odds of doing it successfully can be extremely rewarding.
Understand the Forecast and Tricast Bet
There are two main ways to bet on forecasts and tricasts. You can place your forecast and tricast bets with any high street, online, or phone bookmaker and your dividend will be declared in a similar way to that of the winner’s SP. This forecast is called a computer straight forecast (CSF) and the Industry dividends for that and a tricast are worked out using an algorithm that considers factors such as the horses’ SPs and the number of runners in the race.
The second most popular way of placing forecasts and tricasts bets is to place bets called exactas and tricasts with the Tote. But what you need to be aware of with these bets is they are placed in a pool, just like win or place bets with the Tote. That means the dividends declared can vary greatly compared to the CSF and tricast dividends.
They can be less, similar, or greater, it all depends on how many people have placed the same bets.
There are also three other possible ways to place forecasts. The first of these is at fixed odds, which means a bookmaker guarantees to pay you the forecast or tricast at the odds they are offering, regardless of whether the returned dividend is higher or lower. You may find that bookmakers most often offer fixed odds forecasts for other sports such as football or motor racing.
Betting exchanges such as Betfair also offer forecast prices. As these are offered on the exchange, you will be pitting your wits against a layer. That means there is a good chance you’ll get decent odds on your forecast or tricast bet. But remember, the price you take is the price you get on the exchanges.
Some bookmakers also offer the best of both fixed-odds and the CSF and tricast dividends. That means you’ll be given odds for your forecasts and tricasts when you place your bet but, if the CSF or tricast dividend is bigger, your bet will be settled at the higher odds. This works just like best odds guaranteed (BOG) on singles or multiple bets.
Combination Forecast and Tricast Bets
If you’re confident you’ve narrowed down which horses will fight out the finish of a race, but aren’t sure which order they’ll finish in, you can choose to combine these in combination forecast or tricast bets.
If you’ve narrowed a race down to just two horses, you can combine them in a reverse forecast. This is two bets and covers your two selections finishing first or second in any order. If you combine three selections in a combination tricast, this will be six bets. You can also combine three selections to cover the forecast positions.
It’s also possible to cover forecasts and tricasts with four or more horses, but four-horse combinations require 12 bets, so you need to decide whether the potential return is worthy of such a big stake.
What’s a Value Forecast or Tricast Bet?
Value is one of the buzzwords when it comes to betting, and if you’re getting value it basically means you’re getting bigger odds on a bet than you think you should be.
When placing a normal win bet on a horse, if you’re getting 6/1 on a horse that you think should be 5/1, you’d snap those odds up.
Forecast betting is a bit trickier, so first, let’s look at what odds a forecast should be if all horses in the race were deemed to have the same chance of winning.
No of Runners – 6
No. of Forecast Combinations – 30
Theoretical Odds – 29/1 (30.00)
As you can see above, there are 30 possible forecast combinations in a six-runner race, which means, if all horses have the same chance, you’d want to be getting 29/1.
Of course, it’s very rare that all horses are deemed to have the same chance, so you need to consider the odds of each horse. If all horses had the same chance in a six-runner race, their odds should be 5/1.
But, for example, you might find that the six runners are priced 2/1, 3/1, 4/1, 6/1, 6/1, and 8/1. Therefore, if you picked the 2/1 and 3/1 to finish first and second in a forecast, you would expect the dividend to be much lower than 29/1.
But it’s still about value. If you think it should only be about 5/1 that those two horses finish first and second, you’d be happy if the CSF dividend paid somewhere between 8/1 and 10/1.
Example Forecasts and Tricast Dividends
Below is a table highlighting the forecast, exacta, tricast, and trifecta dividends for four big races at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.
This highlights how different prices affect various dividends. The Champion Chase runner-up Politologue was 11/1 but the forecast only paid £7.20 as he was beaten by the 4/11 favourite Altior.
However, when the 11/8 stayers’ hurdle favourite Paisley Park beat 33/1 shot Sam Spinner, that forecast paid £65.28. Interestingly, the exacta paid less than the CSF in the two races in which the favourites won, even though the trifecta paid more the tricast in both races.
That just shows the perils of fixed-odds dividends against pool dividends. But what all four examples show is what great odds you can get on forecast and tricast bets in big races.
|Race||Horses||CSF Dividend||Exacta Dividend||Tricast Dividend||Trifecta Dividend|
|Champion Hurdle||Espoir D'Allen (16/1), Melon (20/1), Silver Streak (80/1)||£251.60||£277.60||£22,067.60||£17,569.50|
|Champion Chase||Altior (4/11), Politologue (11/1), Sceaux Royal (16/1)||£7.20||£6.30||£45.22||£50.70|
|Stayers' Hurdle||Paisley Park (11/8), Sam Spinner (33/1), Faugheen||£65.28||£37.80||£169.79||£197.70|
|Gold Cup||Al Boum Photo (12/1), Annibale Fly (22/1), Bristol De Mai (18/1)||£247.57||£229.50||£4,681.17||£6,026.60|
Other Sports That Offer Forecast Betting
Sports other than horse racing also offer forecast and tricast betting and these include greyhound racing, football, and motor racing.
Greyhound Racing Forecasts and Tricasts
Forecast and tricast betting in Greyhound Racing work very similarly to horse racing. You can bet on both CSF and tricasts or risk the uncertainty of the Tote pools by placing greyhound exactas and trifectas.
Greyhound racing also has less variations than horse racing, as most races tend to have six runners, unlike horse racing where there can be as many as 40 runners. That makes it easier to predict what the forecasts and tricasts may pay when you see the odds.
Many bookmakers now offer forecast betting on football, and this is normally reserved for picking the first and second in some of the world’s major leagues, such as the English Premier League. Straight forecasts and reverse forecasts are normally available, and bookmakers offer fixed odds about these bets. You can normally place these bets pre-season, but some bookmakers may offer in-running forecast bets.
Some bookmakers also offer a bet that is similar to a reverse forecast. This is normally called a “name the finalists bet” and you must predict which two teams will contest the final of a cup competition.
Motor Racing Forecast Betting
How often have you looked at an F1 Race and thought that the finish looks sure to be fought out between two drivers that are in-form, have the best cars, or just drive a particular track better than their rivals?
The great news if you do is many bookies now offer forecast betting on motorsports and you can take fixed odds about your selections finishing first and second or you have a reverse forecast in some instances.
We hope that gives you an insight into the types of forecast and tricast bets you can place, the sort of odds you can expect, and the dividends you might be rewarded with.
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