The excitement surrounding California Chrome's attempt to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 36 years has created a fairly predictable dichotomy for the betting public.
Do you bet with your head or your heart?
- California Chrome's underdog background has made him a favorite
- Triple Crown would be historic, but that doesn't mean it would change the sport
- More complicated than win-lose for California Chrome in Belmont
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The experts are understandably skeptical about Chrome's chances of beating a bunch of fresh horses over the marathon 1 1/2-mile Belmont Park course. There's a reason, after all, that no one has completed this quest since Affirmed in 1978.
Race fans clearly have a different opinion and have made Chrome the heavy favorite, undercutting the morning line to push the odds down to 1-2. That spells opportunity for bettors who want to play against the emotional wave that Chrome is riding in the paramutual pool.
There's a second factor contributing to the heavy betting on California Chrome. Lots of fans are placing small bets on the Triple Crown hopeful with no intention of cashing them if Chrome wins. Since a $2 ticket at the current odds would only return $3, so a lot of fans would rather have it as a keepsake.
If you're wondering, the second favorite as of 12:30 p.m was Kentucky Derby contender Wicked Strong at 7-1. If not for the Triple Crown implications, Wicked Strong likely would go off at much lower odds, so that might be a worthwhile win bet if you're not sentimental.