Thursday, December 15, 2022

Friday night figures to bring bettors ready to fire away at the start of The Meadowlands card, as the first race (post time, 6:20 p.m.) will offer what promises to be a giant 20-cent Pick-5 pool.

Last Saturday (Dec. 10), there were no winning tickets sold on the wager that spans races one through five, creating a carryover of $47,199, which will have dreams of making a big score dancing through players’ heads, especially when one considers that on Dec. 3, the P5 payoff was $10,969.

The last time there was a Pick-5 carryover (March 12), total action resulted in a “negative takeout”, meaning players who cashed got more money back than was put in the pool. Here’s how:

  • The carryover of $43,342 was not subject to the already low 15 percent takeout
  • There was $268,940 in “new money” bet, meaning $40,341 was removed for the takeout
  • The total pool of $271,941 was $3,000 more than the “new money” wagered, creating a “negative takeout” where players got back 101 percent, rather than the usual 85

Some other recent pools pumped up by carryovers include the Nov. 19 Early 50-cent Pick-4, when a $49,000 carryover led to a total pool of $344,035, and the Nov. 25, 20-cent Pick-6 double carryover of $32,429, which led to action that totaled just under $140,000. Those who hit the Pick-4 walked away with $3,269 and Pick-6 winners were paid off $6,101.

“Based on our previous carryovers,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, “we can expect an enormous Pick-5 pool on Friday.”

It’s those types of pools that keep the action at the mile oval big.

In fact, Saturdays have been super of late. Four of the last five Saturday programs have seen the $3-million handle barrier busted, and the one time during that span betting failed to reach that plateau, total action was $2,999,157 (on Nov. 19).

“We are on a roll, there is no question about it,” said Settlemoir. “Our mile-track wagering product is superb, especially when we can roll out full fields, which our customers go for in a big way. Our Fall Meet Saturdays are averaging over $3 million per card, a number not seen in over a decade.

“The horsemen, the horseplayers and our employees are a major part of the New Jersey resurgence at The Meadowlands, and their loyalty will never be forgotten.”

When horsemen support the entry box, the player bets more, creating an extremely constructive cycle for all. This weekend, both the Friday and Saturday programs will feature 14 races. Remarkably, of those 28 dashes, 27 will have 10 horses get behind the gate. The one race that won’t, is the nine-horse Saturday night featured 10th race, where the impressive Nik Drennan-trained Crunch Time A will seek to stay perfect in four North American starts.

TURN POCKET CHANGE INTO FOLDING GREEN: Last weekend (Dec. 9-10), there were some typical windfalls that blew away players betting just a dime or two.

On Friday, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 returned $3,069 while the 20-cent Pick-6 came back $5,846.

Saturday’s stellar payouts included a pair of 10-cent Superfectas ($2,432 in the fourth race; $1,269 in the fifth) as well as the Pick-6 ($1,072).

FREE PROGRAMS: Free past performances for every race for every Meadowlands program are available 48 hours before a given card. To access the no-cost official program pages, go to

LOW TAKEOUTS, $200,000 GUARANTEED: The Meadowlands offers plenty of value to the bettor with six wagers that offer low 15 percent take outs, plus two that offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000 nightly. They are:

  • Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 14: 10-cent Hi-5

GET ON TWITTER: Everything Meadowlands is available by going on Twitter. You can check in with the Big M team for early changes, racing information and staff selections by going to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.

On race nights, stay in touch with Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

INSIDEHARNESS.COM: Marty Marsh’s provides bettors with insights from trainers and drivers on many Meadowlands races every night.

All one needs to do is go to the website and sign up to access the inside dope.

THE SCHEDULE: Racing at The Meadowlands will be conducted on a Friday-Saturday basis through the end of the year, with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m. There are two exceptions on the schedule, as there will be no live action on Dec. 23-24.

Every live racing night, the “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show begins at 5:45 p.m. This weekend, join Jessica Otten and guest co-host Gabe Prewitt, who will have news, notes and previews of the upcoming card.

Prewitt will give an extended analysis of the big Pick-5 on Friday night.

MADDEN AT THE MEADOWLANDS: On Saturday (Dec. 17), head to The Big M at 4 p.m. to see four top #Madden23 players play for cash and other prizes as you get set for NFL Week 15 with Madden Matchups.

Larry Ridley will be the play-by-play man, with former Cincinnati Bengal and Penn State Nittany Lion Brandon Bell giving the color commentary.

SCRATCH AND WIN: Grab your opportunity to win some big green in The Big M’s “Scratch & Win” promotion.

The Meadowlands and the New Jersey Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association are continuing their 2022 partnership encouraging fans to attend live racing for a chance to cash in during the four-week promotion.

Racetrack mailing list and Players Club members all received a postcard with four opportunities to win up to $20,000. December 17 and 31 are the last two redemption dates.

Fans that did not receive a Scratch & Win mailer can still pick one up at the Players Club desk on any Saturday.

“We knew this promotion would be a winning one,” said Settlemoir. “We can still drive people to the racetrack with worthwhile promotions and events that appeal to both the die-hard and casual racing fans.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The Meadowlands is the place to be to ring in 2023. On Saturday, Dec. 31, it’s Fan Appreciation Night. Head over to the Café, Rooftop Terrace or Backyard for $1 concession items (hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, soda). The discount prices are available from 6-11 p.m. The Café will also offer Bud/Bud Light drafts for $2 each.

Buffet dining is available for $64.95 and includes a complimentary champagne toast. Call 201-THE-BIGM for reservations.

Ten minutes after the conclusion of the card, stay for a fabulous fireworks show.

FOOTBALL AND FŨTBOL AT FANDUEL: The FanDuel Sportsbook, located in the grandstand inside Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, is the No. 1 facility of its type in North America, and this weekend, there will be the usual flurry of activity inside “The Book”.

Come on out for football Sundays and enjoy the $12 wing bar. Fans can also play trivia as they watch – and wager – on NFL action with tellers or self-service betting terminals. The action can be viewed all day on massive TV screens.

Sunday Trivia runs through Dec. 25 with host Marc Malusis in the Lounge.

The NFL action begins Thursday (Dec. 15) when the San Francisco 49ers, a 3-point favorite, travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in an 8:15 p.m. kickoff. The under/over is 43½ points.

Saturday (Dec. 17) brings an NFL tripleheader.

At 1 p.m., the Minnesota Vikings, a 4½-point favorite, host the Indianapolis Colts in a game that has an over/under of 48½.

The 4:30 p.m. game has the Cleveland Browns, a 2½-point favorite, entertaining the Baltimore Ravens. The under/over is 37½.

The late game has a kickoff of 8:15 p.m., and pits bitter AFC East rivals, the visiting Miami Dolphins, who travel to Buffalo to take on the first-place Bills, who are favored by 7 points. The under/over is 43½.

Both New York teams play on Sunday (Dec. 18).

The red-hot Detroit Lions are a 1-point favorite traveling to MetLife Stadium to take on the Jets at 1 p.m. The under/over is 44½.

Finally, the Giants travel to the nation’s capital to play the Washington Commanders, a 4½-point favorite, at 8:20 p.m. The under/over is 40½. The teams played to a 20-20 tie on Dec. 4.

WORLD CUP FINAL: The championship game of the 2022 World Cup takes place Sunday (Dec. 18).

The match will begin at 1 p.m., and according to the oddsmakers, it will be a tight one. As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, both teams were -108 to drink from the Cup.

The place to watch and wager on both the NFL and the World Cup is inside the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go to

Sportsbook hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m.-midnight.