How to bet Kentucky Derby 2024: Top trifecta picks, best exacta odds, sleepers to win and more props | Sporting News

How to bet Kentucky Derby 2024: Top trifecta picks, best exacta odds, sleepers to win and more props | Sporting News

All week leading up to the 2024 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the majority of the chatter has been around betting favorites Fierceness and Sierra Leone. However, between those colts’ short odds and their unfavorable post positions, many bettors feel that true value could lie elsewhere in the 150th Run for the Roses. 

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Picking a winner is just the tip of the iceberg in horse racing. Casual bettors don’t realize it, but those interested in less volatility and more diversified investments have many different options available to them on sportsbooks.  

Sporting News will go over all of those options below, highlighting the best trifecta and exacta bets and identifying the top sleepers and value picks in the field. 

How to bet Kentucky Derby 2024

Unlike most other sports offered by online sports books, horse racing is far more regulated which can make it trickier to bet depending on where you live. Most horse betting apps are separate from main betting apps.

For example, FanDuel Racing is separate from the main FanDuel app which does not include horse racing — even though the apps are connected which allows you to link accounts. If you want to bet on the Kentucky Derby, you can do so by downloading the FanDuel Racing app.

Furthermore, just because online sports betting is legal in your state doesn’t mean that HORSE RACING betting is legal.

As of May 2, 41 states have legal online betting for horse racing while Texas has in-person betting only. Although North Carolina recently launched sports betting, it has yet to make betting on horse racing available.

The eight states where you cannot bet on horse racing: Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina (still awaiting launch), South Carolina and Utah.

Kentucky Derby picks 2024: Odds to win

Odds are from FanDuel Racing. Pos. = post position.

Pos. Horse Odds
1 Dornoch 20-1
2 Sierra Leone 3-1
3 Mystik Dan 20-1
4 Catching Freedom 8-1
5 Catalytic 30-1
6 Just Steel 20-1
7 Honor Marie 20-1
8 Just a Touch 10-1
9 Encino 20-1
10 T O Password 30-1
11 Forever Young 10-1
12 Track Phantom 20-1
13 West Saratoga 50-1
14 Endlessly 30-1
15 Domestic Product 30-1
16 Grand Mo the First 50-1
17 Fierceness 5-2
18 Stronghold 20-1
19 Resilience 20-1
20 Society Man 50-1
21 Epic Ride` 50-1

Kentucky Derby picks 2024: Best value bet

Honor Marie (20-1 or +2000)

Honor Marie has speed, stamina, pedigree, and plenty of experience at Churchill Downs. He finished second in his last start at the Louisiana Derby, a Kentucky Derby prep race, and has two career wins and a second in three starts at Churchill. 

Honor Marie’s rise to stardom has been thanks in large part to trainer and Louisville product, Whit Beckman, the former assistant to racing legends Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown.

Don’t be surprised if Honor Marie keeps pace and explodes into a first-place finish at the Derby. Eight horses have won the Run for the Roses out of the seventh gate, tied for the third-most winningest post position in Kentucky Derby history. 

BUY NOW: Get tickets for the 2024 Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby picks 2024: Best sleeper bet

Domestic Product (30-1 or +3000)

Over five career starts, Domestic Product has two wins and one second-place finish. Notably, that runner-up finish saw the three-year-old colt finish just ahead of Derby favorite Fierceness.

With a good track record, a fantastic trainer in Chad Brown, and four-time Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. as jockey, Domestic Product has a solid shot at contending for the first leg of the Triple Crown. 

MORE: When was the last Triple Crown winner?

Kentucky Derby picks 2024: Trifecta prediction and best bet

Nailing a trifecta — correctly predicting the order of finish for first, second and third — is no small feat. If you’re playing long odds, here are the top five horses to consider in your trifecta.

Top horses to consider: Fierceness (#17), Sierra Leone (#2), Honor Marie (#7), Catching Freedom (#4), and Just a Touch (#8)

For starters, Fierceness is the fastest horse in the world and could very well be the first Kentucky Derby to ever come out of the 17th gate. The odds-on favorite and talk of the racing world, Fierceness has won three of his five career races including his most recent victory at the 1-and-1/8-mile Florida Derby.

Sierra Leone enters the weekend ranked No. 1 in racing, tops in average speed score, and positioned on the second post out of the gate. Leone enters the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports fresh off a commanding win at the Blue Grass Stakes, and he has three first-place finishes and one runner-up over four career starts. 

As already mentioned, Honor Marie makes for one of the best 20-1 bets in recent Kentucky Derby memory and could very well win this race. He will be included in countless trifecta and exacta bets this weekend, and for good reason. 

Catching Freedom has also garnered plenty of betting action, due in large part to his amazing last-to-first win at the Louisiana Derby. The colt trailed frontrunner Track Phantom by 7.5 lengths at one point — and had a 2.5-length deficit at the eighth pole — but somehow charged up the middle to win. Catching Freedom also won his debut at Churchill Downs last October, and he’s trained by former Kentucky Derby winner Brad Cox. 

With impressive positional speed, Just a Touch is a true contender to win the Derby. He looked very strong in his two recent runner-up finishes at the Gotham and the Blue Grass Stakes, and he has the highest average speed score in the field. Just a Touch has a very distinguished pedigree, as his sire Justify won the Triple Crown and was named Horse of the Year in 2018. Having finished second in three of his past four Derby preps, this is an ideal trifecta or exacta horse. 

Kentucky Derby trifecta prediction: Honor Marie (1st), Sierra Leone (2nd), Catching Freedom (3rd)

MORE: Why a horse has never won from the 17th post

Kentucky Derby picks 2024: Exacta prediction and best bet

Exacta requires correctly picking first and second place, in the right order. 

Top horses to consider: Sierra Leone (#2), Catching Freedom (#4), Honor Marie (#7), and Just a Touch (#8)

As dominant as Fierceness has been and as much as so many bettors love him, it makes a lot of sense to drop the odds-on favorite out of exacta bets. No horse has ever won out of the 17th post, and these four other horses all have a realistic shot at contending for the 150th Derby title. If you’re more into going for the chalk and including the favorites in your exacta, go for it — but the above foursome represents the best possible value on investment.

Kentucky Derby box exacta prediction: Honor Marie (1st), Sierra Leone (2nd)

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