We are now just a matter of days away from the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, which will always be the most exciting two minutes in sports. The field of 20 horses has been set, barring any late scratches, and the post positions have been drawn. The draw is incredibly important, as it helps us see which horses have been given a draw that is favorable to their running style. There are a few other things that we need to consider when betting on the big race, but we will get to those later this week when we deliver an article about last minute Kentucky Derby betting tips. For now, we are going to take a look at some of the tickets you might want to play this weekend, which means we have some picks coming your way.


Basic Bets (Win/Place/Show)

There are a lot of people who play the Kentucky Derby, but many of them simply stick to the basic bets. The most common bet at the Derby, especially among casual players, is the Win bet. As the name suggests, your chosen horse needs to be the first past the post. I have had a horse in mind for a while and have seen nothing to change my selection. I am all over Mendelssohn and have been since he stormed to victory at the UAE Derby

2018 Kentucky Derby Betting Guide

With a Place bet, you win if your horse finishes in the top two, while a show bet will pay if your horse lands in the top 3. It goes without saying that you get a fraction of the odds for a place and show winning ticket, but it’s a safe way to play if you are looking to improve your chances of making a profit. It’s not really wise to play the favorites in these spots, as your profits will be minimal. That means looking for a live longshot, which I think we have in Hofburg. He is 20/1 in the current odds, which will make for a decent payout in a place or show bet.


Exotic Bets (exacta/trifecta/superfecta)

This is where the serious bettors tend to play, as the stake for these bets can get expensive, especially if you box several horses on a single ticket. Boxing delivers multiple winning opportunities, but you need to pay for each of the possible combinations. For example, a $1 exacta box with 3 horses in there gives you 6 chances at winning, as the three horses can finish in any order in the top 2. This ticket would cost you $6.

I am going to try and save you some money by playing Mendelssohn on top with 2 other horses, which would be a $2 wager. I am taking Bolt D’Oro and Justify as my other two picks, which mean either of those two horses finishing second behind Mendelssohn will lead to a winning ticket.

2018 Kentucky Derby Betting Guide 2

With the trifecta, I am hedging my bets a little and going with a 4 horse box. This is a little costlier and will be a $24 ticket. The payouts are potentially huge, though, so it’s worth a gamble if you have the money in your bankroll. I am adding Hofburg to the three horses mentioned in my exacta.

The Superfecta, which requires you to pick the exact order of finish for the top 4 can get seriously pricing with boxing. Sticking with the same 4 horses I have already mentioned, I would key Mendelssohn on top with the other 3, which would cost $6. You would play it like this: 14 with 11,7,8 with 11,7,9 with 11,7,9 using the post position numbers.


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