The 2018 Kentucky Derby isn’t until this Saturday (post time is 6:34 PM ET on NBC), but you can already bet on the biggest event in horse racing. Online betting is available for 20 horses in Saturday’s field. At press time, Justify is the 7/2 favorite on the Kentucky Derby odds. Mendelssohn (4/1) and Audible (11/2) aren’t very far behind.

The post positions were drawn and Bovada Racebook has a full array of Kentucky Derby betting options on the table. If this is your first crack at horse betting, or if you’re still not sure what your options are, here’s a few quick primers you can learn on all the different ways you can bet on the Kentucky Derby.


Kentucky Derby Straight Wagers

Win/Place/Show: The standard “straight wager” for thoroughbred racing. Bet on your horse to win, to place (finish first or second), or to show (finish anywhere in the top three). The payouts are biggest for the win bets; the risk is lowest for show bets.


Kentucky Derby Exotic Wagers

Exacta: Pick the top two horses in the right order.

Trifecta: Pick the top three horses in the right order.

Superfecta: Pick the top four horses in the right order.

Quinella: Pick the top two horses – this time, they can finish 1-2 or 2-1.

Boxed Wagers: This is where you bet on all the possible ways a certain number of horses finish at the front of the pack. The quinella, for example, is a boxed exacta. When you box a trifecta, you’re covering all these possible finishes: 1-2-3, 1-3-2, 2-1-3, 2-3-1, 3-1-2, and 3-2-1.

Wheeled Bets: This is like a boxed wager, but you specify one of the horses to finish in a certain position. A wheeled exacta for the Derby might have Classic Empire winning, with Always Dreaming and Irish War Cry finishing 2-3 or 3-2.

Daily Double: Bet on the winner of two consecutive races. The Derby is No. 12 on Saturday’s 14-race card at Churchill Downs; Race No. 11 is the prestigious Grade 1 Turf Classic Stakes.

Pick 3: Bet on the winner of three consecutive races.

Pick 4: Bet on the winner of four consecutive races.

Coupled Entry: When two or more horses from the same stable (or under the same trainer) are in the race, you can bet on one of them to win, and still get paid if their teammate crosses the finish line first.


*Odds as of May 2, 2018