The biggest betting day in the United States is nearly here, as the Kentucky Derby takes place on the second Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.
The race is one of the big sporting occasions of the year, as those that typically wouldn’t place a bet will be racing to put their money down on one of the star three-year-olds lining up in the contest this year.
However, if you’re looking at making a wager on the race for the first time this year and wondering about the best way to get value, then it could enhance your understanding by learning more about the betting markets available.
Below, we will go through some of the most popular betting markets and types that customers can use to make their wager on the opening Triple Crown race of the year.
Bet On The Winner
For many, the win market presents the most appealing option when it comes to making a wager on the Kentucky Derby. The biggest reason for this is because it is the most straightforward to understand.
A bet will be placed on this market on a selected horse and what the punter needs is very simple, as the selection will need to win. If the horse that you have selected wins the race, then the returns will be credited instantly to your betting account once the race has ended.
For example, if you place a $10 wager on Smile Happy to win the Kentucky Derby this year, and his odds are 8/1, then you will get $90 returns. The $80 in the returns is made up based on the odds that you have wagered on, while the remaining $10 is the stake returned. This remains the most straightforward way to make a wager on the huge race without having extensive knowledge.
You can check the updated odds for the derby if you click here: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/odds
Big price selections have won the Kentucky Derby in the past, which means that it could pay to look outside of the favorites. However, placing a $10 wager on a horse priced up at 60/1 may feel like a huge risk for many, despite the returns being great.
Therefore, the each-way betting market could be an interesting angle, as it covers two different selections. A $5 each way wager totals to $10, and covers both the win and place.
That means that bets will be paid out should your selection finish in the available places at the sportsbook that you are wagering at. However, a place finish will see customers paid out considerably less, as the majority of bookmakers payout at a 1/5 of the odds. Regardless, that will still ensure a decent return should you have wagered at a horse priced higher than 20/1.
Place betting is the other market covered when making an each-way wager. However, instead of paying the stake for the prior mentioned market, you could instead just place a wager on the place betting market. Those that are looking to make a wager on the top five in the market should look away from place betting, as the returns will be minimal.
However, it could open up value elsewhere in the betting, as many of the leading sites will offer an excellent number of places for the Kentucky Derby. Some sites may offer up to six places, which means that your selection in this market must finish within the first six to gain returns. However, that could be a decent chance for a bigger-priced selection that has been given a favorable draw.
One of the more complex ways of making a bet on the Kentucky Derby can be found in the Exacta and Trifecta betting markets.
For novices, this may be too confusing, as it requires extensive research and in-depth knowledge of speed figures to examine how a race may play out. To make a wager on the exacta market, punters must correctly predict the horses that will finish first and second in the race.
Meanwhile, the trifecta market will see players try and correctly predict the horses that will finish first, second and third. It can be an incredibly lucrative betting market for punters, but the risk of not getting a winner in this market is big.
Those looking for a safer alternative could be tempted by the reverse exacta and reverse trifecta markets. Here, the horses selected can finish in any order in the top two or three, depending on the market. The returns are then worked out from the starting price odds of the horses that were selected.
There is much more to the second weekend in May than just the Kentucky Derby, which means that bettors watching the whole weekend of action may be tempted to place a wager on the multiple betting markets available. The most popular available is the Lucky 15, which enables bettors to select four horses that they think will win races, and add them into a multiple.
The Lucky 15 is a popular selection, as punters only need one winner to get returns. This bet is made up of four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold. The greater the number of horses that win, the higher the returns will be from the wager. However, a popular multiple for Derby weekend may be a simple double, including horses from the two biggest races across the weekend; the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
Who Will Win The 2024 Kentucky Derby?
The field for the 2024 Kentucky Derby is beginning to take shape after nearly a year of prep races. A number of leading contenders have emerged from the pack, including Epicenter, who won the G2 Risen Star. However, Forbidden Kingdom remains the value play in the current betting, and has been one of the biggest market movers.
The Richard Mandella-trained horse started 2024 at 150/1 and is now as short as 8/1 with some bookmakers. Horses such as Classic Causeway, Smile Happy and White Abarrio may also be some to keep an eye on as we get closer to May.