Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

The Kentucky Derby, otherwise known as the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” is America’s favorite horse race. As the first leg of the American Triple Crown, the Derby has a distinction of being the only one of the major races to never be interrupted since its inception. As a highly popular sporting event, finding the right Kentucky Derby betting site is imperative.

Let’s look at the Kentucky Derby betting overview:

Best Kentucky Derby betting sites

We have picked the best Kentucky Derby betting sites for US, Canada and Global bettors.

Bovada is the best horse racing site in the US

The Bovada racebook covers Kentucky Derby odds very well. They have props and futures for the whole festival.

You can use the Bovada sportsbook welcome bonus at the racebook as well. At 5x, the rollover requirement is among the lowest in the industry.

Bovada is a top Kentucky Derby betting site for how nice it is to navigate their extensive sportsbook. They also provide an Kentucky Derby betting guide across a number of helpful articles.

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Betonline offers US bettors 7% rebates

At the BetOnline racebook, you can bet on matchups, futures, and props for the whole Kentucky Derby festival.

Thanks to their horse race rebate special, you get 7% back from your Kentucky Derby bets if they go south.

You are in good hands at BetOnline! With nice bet options and specials to alleviate the risk, you can have lots of fun at this Kentucky Derby betting site.

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Betway is the best in Canada

Betway offers competitive Kentucky Derby betting odds and the occasional prop betting odds. They open fairly quickly, but rely on other books to set and match their odds.

Betway will match a 100% initial deposit bonus up to $250.

Betway is a solid choice, especially for first-time players. The only caveat is the short run times that may lead to sessions expiring quickly, which may push bettors to make quick decisions. The generous signup bonus, extensive odds selections, and easy-to-navigate interface make this a handy book to have.

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Bet365 rules the global horse racing market

Kentucky Derby betting picks

As one of the most prestigious horse races, there is plenty of betting action on the Kentucky Derby betting sites. Oddsmakers have carefully scouted out and lined these events. To start, keep in mind some basic principles in betting. 

Bet on markets and types of bets that you have a good read on. There are many ways to bet on the Kentucky Derby, but you don’t need to bet on all of them. Pick which types of games you feel confident in.

Play the numbers, not the horses or jockeys. It is a common mistake for many casual bettors or fans to simply bet on names. Betting is a numbers game and odds are a translation of a competitor’s chances of winning. As much as oddsmakers analyze these events, there is still some margin for error. 

And it goes without saying to do as much research as you can. You would not purchase a car without being familiar with how it works. Likewise, don’t bet on any events where you didn’t at least know of the basics.

Keep updated with the news. Check back on our page, constantly peruse betting odds from the best online sportsbooks.

Kentucky Derby betting preview

Kentucky Derby betting sites, like most sportsbooks, can bring either great prosperity or horrible misfortune. Take the case of two friends, John, the “expert” gambler and his friend, Henry, the casual fan.

John has been an avid sports bettor and is also a passionate follower of the Kentucky Derby. He eats, sleeps, and breathes sports betting and he’s made some profit on the side. Henry only occasionally bets, and he does so purely for the joy of it.

They rolled into the 2009 Kentucky Derby with John betting on three horses: Pioneer of the Nile and Dunkirk at 4-1 odds and Friesan Fire at 5-1. By his logic, only one of the three had to win for him to win money. He placed a $100 wager on each for a total of $300.

Henry, not knowing a single thing about the event looked at the biggest longshots and picked Mine That Bird, because he enjoyed the name, and bet $10 at 50-1.  

After a hard-fought race, and one of the most thrilling in Derby history, Mine That Bird shocked everyone by winning the race. Henry was flabbergasted but elated to see his $10 turn into $500.

John, on the other hand, came away empty having lost $300 despite having spent hours researching the track, the horses, and keeping up to date with recent news.

The Kentucky Derby can be unpredictable and yield baffling results. Do some research or don’t, but bet for fun and enjoy the process.

What can you bet on during the Kentucky Derby?

These Kentucky Derby betting sites presents both casual fans and sharps plenty of opportunities to cash out with its plethora of bets.

Kentucky Derby Winner 2020

This is the most straightforward bet and is often the one that is opened the first. Choose which horse will win the Kentucky Derby, straight-up. Depending how books present this, it can be a choice between all the horses or a group of favorites versus the field.

Kentucky Derby – podium finish

Next to picking the outright winner, you can pick if a horse will make it to the podium, a top-three finish. This is often a good supplementary bet for the outright winner or a lower risk type of bet. The odds will be a bit easier on this.

Kentucky Derby – horse props, jockey and trainer props, and event props

The Kentucky Derby is like the Super Bowl of horse racing. You’ll notice the countless props released by oddsmakers closer to the event. These are more specified types of bets that outline certain conditions for a horse or jockey to achieve. Think of it as “bonus points”. Here are some examples of horse props you might see:

The horses may be the stars of the attraction, but their jockeys sometimes get equal shine. You can find plenty of props focused on the jockeys and trainers as well:

There are also event props perfect for bettors who aren’t invested in any specific horse. These props deal with general stats, situations, and prospects for the event. Some event props available might be:

Betting Strategies for Kentucky Derby

Betting strategies for the Kentucky Derby vary depending on your goals and what you’re good at. There are two main factors to consider when betting: 1) the level of your confidence on a bet; and 2) the value of a bet.

Both have to align to constitute a “sound” bet. Your level of confidence might be high that a specific horse will win, but if the odds are too steep and the return is pitiful, it may not be worth investing. This is a low risk, low reward scenario.

Conversely, you may not be confident on a bet like a prop, but the rewards are high. This is a high-risk high reward scenario.

By reading the odds and doing a bit more research, you may find gaps in the betting lines that you may exploit.

How does the Kentucky Derby betting work?

Kentucky Derby odds are available all year round, literally. Odds are commonly released right when the Derby ends. Of course, take this with a grain of salt as these are very early odds and have a high chance of changing or being taken down depending on news events.

The Derby’s odds are usually affected by the races that take place before it such as the previous year’s two other major races: the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The horse’s performance during these races serves as a barometer for the upcoming Kentucky Derby.

2020 Kentucky Derby Schedule

The Derby usually takes place around the springtime around May. There are exceptions, like the 2020 event, which was rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The calendar for the Kentucky Derby, including the Kentucky Derby Festival is usually released about a year before the event. Tickets go on a sale as soon as the event is released.

The Kentucky Oaks, originally scheduled on May 1, actually took place on September 4th.  

Kentucky Derby Betting history

With 145 years of records behind it, there is plenty of Kentucky Derby betting history to look at. The first race was inaugurated in 1875 and was won by Aristedes.

The Derby has a distance of 1.25 miles (10 furlongs or 2,012 meters) and is on a dirt surface. Horses’ weights are distributed as 126 lbs (57.2 kilos) for colts and geldings and 121 lbs (55 kilos) for fillies.

The total purse is $3 million with $1.86 million going to first place.

Here are a list of the Derby’s notable records:

Our take-aways

Enjoy all of the Kentucky Derby props

The Kentucky Derby is the Superbowl of horse racing betting. You will find countless props and even more when you sign-up to more than one sportsbook. This is great for casual players looking to throw darts at some lucrative prop bets. You never know when you’ll get lucky.

Anything can happen, don’t underestimate the underdogs

It doesn’t happen that often, but longshots do emerge victorious from the Kentucky Derby. While we can’t advise to keep betting on underdogs recklessly, we also encourage you to go with your gut if you feel an underdog has a better chance to win than odds indicate. 

Use multiple sportsbooks to find the best odds

It’s tough to find the best Kentucky Derby betting sites for you. Our advice is to peruse the different sportsbooks and compare. They have their strengths and weaknesses, but they all offer signup bonuses or perks of some sort. Divide your bankroll into two or three books that offer various benefits.

About the Author

Austin Miller
Austin Miller
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