3 Things Bettors Need to Know Today (Wed.)

If you are looking for a brief summary of what you need to know today to make informed betting choices, you’ve come to the right place!

We’ll make sure you’ve got the most up-to-date map before you embark on your sports betting voyage.

1. Kentucky Derby early favorite gets post 14

The Kentucky Derby goes this weekend (Saturday, May 6th), and locally bred Classic Empire has been pegged as the early favorite at 4-1 odds. He drew the number 14 post, but not a lot of success has come from that gate. Only two other horses have won the Derby from gate 14, and the last one was back in 1961.

Classic Empire was the two-year-old horse of the year in 2016 and has won five of his seven career starts; but he suffered myriad problems as a three-year-old (including an abscess on his right front foot), which forced trainer Mark Casse to go back to square one to get him going again. It seems to have worked; Classic Empire appears to be back in form after taking the Arkansas Derby, one of the big prep races for the Run for the Roses.

The Derby favorite always gets hammered by casual bettors, and this young colt will be no different. That could drive his odds even shorter. Considering where he’s starting and the problems he’s had over the last few months, approach with extreme caution. In the words of Casse, “if he wants to run, he’ll do great.”

2. Hot mess in Boston

Where to start with this one. Just a game after Adam Jones was the target of racist remarks at Fenway, the Orioles centerfielder received a standing ovation from Boston fans during his first plate appearance. That seemed to signal a friendly finale to the drama that’s been playing out between the Sox and O’s over the last couple weeks. Wrong. Last night, things heated up even more after Chris Sale threw at Manny Machado, likely in response to Andrew Benintendi being plunked the night before. Machado went off about the incident following the game.

The current feud actually started in mid-April, when Machado accidentally slid into Dustin Pedroia, spiking him, which led to Pedroia leaving the game (and sitting out a few afterwards). It’s been a never-ending sequence of retaliation ever since.

These two teams have two more games to play in this series, which is tied at one, and you can expect tempers to flare. (Machado himself has said he thinks he’ll be hit when going up to bat.) The Orioles hold the slight edge in the season series, and with emotions running high in the Baltimore camp at the moment, it seems obvious they’re angry and looking for revenge on the scoreboard. With Kevin Gausman going against Drew Pomeranz tonight, there’s value on the underdog Orioles (+133). Gausman has been subpar to start the year (7.50 ERA), but is coming off a decent 2016 season where he posted career-lows in ERA (3.61) and WHIP (1.28).

3. Dustin Johnson returns from injury

It’s the return of DJ! After falling down some stairs in his rental house the day before the Masters and having to withdraw from play, Dustin Johnson is finally back on the course. It’s been almost exactly a month since the incident, but other than the Masters, the world number one hasn’t missed much.

Johnson was on a bit of a role before his injury, having won three straight tournaments. So how will he do at Wells Fargo? He says he feels good and has practiced a bit, although added he is surprised how long he felt sore.

Being his first tourney back, don’t expect much from him; he’s certainly not putting too much pressure on himself. But then again, a lot of golfers thrive in pressure-free environments. I won’t be betting on DJ from the outset, but if it looks like his body is holding up and he’s in the mix heading into the weekend, consider sprinkling a little money on his comeback sundae.

Photo credit: Jlvsclrk [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Solly Lawrenson

Solly is a no-nonsense sports betting savant. In her eyes, the choice is obvious and she’ll help you’ll think that way as well. She gives you the facts you need, and cuts the bull. The only time she might be wrong is when she only has good things to say about the Edmonton Oilers. Maybe don’t listen to her then.