Best Bets for the Kentucky Derbyv

This page is going to help you make the best bets for Kentucky Derby 2024.

Everything you need for the best Kentucky Derby bets

The Kentucky Derby is the best betting race of the year. Run every year since 1875, thoroughbred horse racing experts and casual fans alike get excited to watch the greatest two minutes in sports. It is the first jewel of the Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. And, whether the winner is a long shot like Rich Strike or a more favored horse like American Pharoah, it is always a thrilling event.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 4. After reading this Kentucky Derby betting guide, you’ll have everything you need to know to handicap and pick a Kentucky Derby winner like an expert!

Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites at MyTopSportsbooks

You have many choices for where to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Some people bet from racetracks or off-track betting (OTB) locations, though more and more people are enjoying the convenience of betting it from home. These are the best sites for betting on the Kentucky Derby according to the experts here at MyTopSportsbooks:

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Kentucky Derby Betting Resources

Read these helpful articles to learn how to place a bet on Kentucky Derby:

Las Vegas Kentucky Derby Odds

You may be asking, how early can you bet on the first jewel of the Triple Crown? The answer is that even though Churchill Downs in Louisville only lets you bet the race on Kentucky Oaks day and Derby day, Kentucky Derby betting begins weeks or even months in advance at online sportsbooks! So, if a horse’s pedigree or race form impress you well before the Kentucky Derby, you can lock in the best price with a Kentucky Derby future wager online.

Kentucky Derby odds change as the race gets closer and horses keep training toward the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.

These are the Kentucky Derby 2024 betting odds as of April 9 on contenders near the top of the market:

Remember that odds may change until post time, but you can lock in the best prices just by placing your wager!

Latest Free Kentucky Derby Picks

Two horses are leading the Kentucky Derby rankings in 2024: Sierra Leone and Fierceness. Both of them have emerged as the best 3-year-olds of the crop so far and should be respected at top-tier Kentucky Derby contenders.

Sierra Leone has been as consistent as a horse can be. Though Dornoch nosed him out in the Remsen (G2) last fall, this Chad Brown trainee is undefeated in two starts in 2024 including a dominant victory over Dornoch in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. This should make him the favorite in the morning-line odds for the Kentucky Derby.

Fierceness has not been consistent, but when this Todd Pletcher trainee is good, he is startlingly good. He won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and earned the Eclipse award as champion 2-year-old. Though he was defeated by Hades on his return in the Holy Bull (G3), he won the Florida Derby (G1) by 13 1/2 lengths, showing that he can still be very good on his best day.

Japan-based competitors for the Kentucky Derby are getting better and better, and perhaps none has been better than Forever Young. He is perfect in five starts, and he thrived over the 1 3/16-mile distance of the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan in Dubai. No Japan-trained horse has hit the board in the Run for the Roses yet, but Forever Young may be the best chance so far.

Latest Free Kentucky Derby Picks

The Louisiana Derby (G2) has become more important in recent years, and 2024 winner Catching Freedom looks to be continuing that trend. This stoutly bred son of Constitution, trained by Brad Cox, improved on a third-place try in the Risen Star (G2) to win the biggest race at Fair Grounds. He always comes running late and may thrive if the Kentucky Derby has a fast early pace.

Few horses have as proven a Kentucky Derby pedigree as Dornoch: he is a full brother to 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage! Their sire Good Magic finished second in the run for the roses, and their grandsire Curlin was third in the Kentucky Derby before winning the Preakness Stakes.

Other horses who may be getting good at the right time include Stronghold, winner of both the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and the Sunland Park Derby (G3); Wood Memorial (G2) winner Resilience, and Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) winner Endlessly. Also give a long look to Just Steel, a consistent placegetter who finished second to ineligible Bob Baffert trainee Muth in the Arkansas Derby (G1). If you’re thinking of some in-form longshots to put into exacta, trifecta, or superfecta wagers, these horses may be the key!

As the Kentucky Derby draws closer and post positions are determined, we will have even more free expert Kentucky Derby handicapping and picks to help guide your wagers and make you money.

Best Kentucky Derby Betting Sites

Making the best bet on the Kentucky Derby is about choosing the right horse, but it’s also about choosing the right place to play. Choosing the best site to play the Kentucky Derby can be a difficult decision since there are so many online sportsbooks to choose from. However, our betting experts have done the work to evaluate the best online sportsbooks and recommend the ones with the best odds, features, and bonuses.

These are the best sportsbooks for betting the Kentucky Derby. All of them are trusted betting sites with great Kentucky Derby markets. It is a good idea to sign up for more than one, so you can compare and get the best odds on your Kentucky Derby horses as well as the best promo payouts for your wagering style.

Why do We Choose these Sites?

For the best betting race of the year, it is important to have the best Kentucky Derby odds from a trusted sportsbook. Finding the best place to make your wagers can be difficult, and it helps to have expert analysis and insight.

We have vetted the best online sportsbooks to find ones that are trustworthy, easy to use, and always offer the best Vegas odds. You can sign up and feel confident that these sportsbooks will give you the best odds and help make your Kentucky Derby betting online experience as fun and profitable as possible!

How to Bet on the Kentucky Derby — Top 5 Tips to Win

To bet on the biggest race of the year, you need to know the best Kentucky Derby betting sites and odds. However, it also helps to be a smart handicapper. Consider these tips and strategies that will help you make an educated decision on what odds you think a horse truly has. In order to make Kentucky Derby best bets, we strongly advise taking our tips on board.

Top 5 Tips to Win

That way, if you find a top sportsbook that is offering you better odds than you think the horse should have, you can feel confident about betting on them!


Some horses are bred to sprint, and some horses are bred to run longer distances. The Kentucky Derby is a mile and a quarter. That makes it one of the longer races on the American racing calendar. So, you want a horse whose sire (father) and dam (mother) either did well racing long distances or have produced offspring that show good stamina.

Running Style

It pays to consider the running style of the Kentucky Derby horses. Some horses are frontrunners who only run good races from on or near the lead. Others are closers, horses who sit near the back of the pack early but pass horses down the stretch.

Look at their Kentucky Derby prep races and find out each horse’s running style. If the Kentucky Derby has a lot of horses who like to go the lead, then those frontrunners will probably go too fast, get tired, and let the closers run them down. If most of the horses like to sit further off the pace, then it’s worth finding good Kentucky Derby odds on a horse who likes the lead.

Trainers and Jockeys

Some of the trainers and jockeys (or “connections”, in horse racing speak!) have had a lot of top three-year-olds over the years and been to the Kentucky Derby a lot of times. Some are new to horse racing’s biggest stage. This has several effects on the odds.

Sometimes, you can have a little more confidence in a longshot horse whose prep races may not be as impressive because his trainer or jockey has so much experience winning the Kentucky Derby. Other times, a horse who may not have the right record or pedigree can be bet to too-short odds because of their connections. Keeping this in mind can help you find value in your wagers!

Stay Cool Under Pressure

The most exciting two minutes in sports betting can really burn your nerves. Some of the hardest bettors can even crumble under this pressure cooker. Having your head on straight and staying logical is one of the trickiest parts of making a good Kentucky Derby bet.

One way to keep your cool is to have a solid idea of the different horses, trainers, and jockeys before the horse race starts. Read the past performances, and research how they have done in the Kentucky Derby and other major races before. This will give you a strong anchor as things the winds of the race start to blow.

Kentucky Derby Betting Odds Movement

Keep in mind that Kentucky Derby betting odds are not static. When later prep races are finished or news comes out about different horses, their Kentucky Derby odds move. This means it is worth it to follow the latest news and keep an eye on how the odds move. It requires maintenance, but you can be rewarded with the very best Kentucky Derby bet payouts!

Kentucky Derby Odds Explained

In online betting for Kentucky Derby, you will see odds in three major formats depending on the sportsbook you choose. Here is an explanation of the different formats:

  • American (+500): These are similar to what you see in American sportsbooks when betting other sports, and denote how much you win, but do not take into account getting back your initial stake. +500 means that for a winning $1 bet, you win $5. Add back your $1 initial stake, for a total of $6.
  • Fractional (5/1): These are similar to what you see for a win bet at a racetrack. 5/1 denotes, in fractional form, how much money you win, but not your initial stake. So, for a winning $1 bet at 5/1, you get back $5 in profit plus your $1 stake, for a total of $6.
  • Decimal (6.00): Decimal odds reflect both the winnings and the returned stake together in one number. So, a winning $1 bet with 6.00 decimal odds means you get back a total of $6: including the $5 profit plus the $1 initial stake.