The hype for this year’s race is already through the roof with California Chrome’s attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Adding even more excitement to the Belmont Stakes is a full set of prop bets and matchups that have been released by Sportsbook. The following is a look at a few of my best bets that you can take to the bank.
Stakes Winning Time
The prop bet for the winning time of this year’s Belmont Stakes has been listed at 2:29 with the moneyline on the OVER set at -300 and at +240 for the UNDER.
Looking back at the recent winning times for this 1 ½ mile race, the total has gone OVER in five of the last six years. It has crossed the 2:30 mark in the last four Belmont Stakes and despite the fact that they are expecting a fast track for this Saturday’s race, the best play for this prop is to stick with the recent trends and go OVER the 2:29 total time.
Belmont Stakes Margin of Victory
The odds for the margin of victory for Saturday are set as follows:
1 to 2 ¾ lengths +200
3 to 5 ¾ lengths +300
½ to ¾ length +400
6 to 7 ¾ lengths +700
8 to 10 ¾ lengths +800
11 to 14 ¾ lengths +1000
15 + lengths +1200
Dead Heat +3000
Last year Palace Malice cruised to a 3 ¼ length victory in the Belmont after Union Rags won in 2012 by a neck. If you go back over the last 12 Belmont Stakes the margin of victory has been less than two lengths in eight of the races.
This year California Chrome began his amazing ride with a 1 ¼ length victory in the Kentucky Derby and he followed that up with a thrilling 1 ½ length win in the Preakness Stakes. Win or lose, I would expect another tight race in the Belmont. You can try and squeeze some additional value at +400 for a ½ to ¾ length victory, but I am happy doubling my money with a play on 1 to 2 ¾ lengths at +200.
Top Head-to-Head Matchup
There are a number of great head-to-head matchups with a solid entry list of 11 horses, but this race really comes down to California Chrome verse the rest of the field. Sportsbook has set the odds that this chestnut colt breaks a 36 year drought by finally coming through with a Triple Crown title at -120 for yes. It has set the odds at -110 that he will become the 13th horse since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but come up short in the Belmont.
Looking at the rest of the field, the second favorite at +600 is Wicked Strong and Ride On Curlin in the third-favorite at +700 so there is quite a gap in value between the favorite and even the next two best two horses in this race.Betting the head-to-head matchup between California Chrome and the rest of the field all comes down to a matter of confidence. If you believe that this horse is the real deal and the stars have aligned for him to win this race, then risk the 120 to win the $100. The real value in this matchup is the -110 on the field by betting that he will not win the Triple Crown. You now have 10 horses on your side trying to beat one. Personally I am going with California Chrome to get it done. He is the most solid contender to come around in years and nothing last forever, even a 36-year run that goes directly against my pick.