How to bet on the 2024 Kentucky Derby today

How to bet on the 2024 Kentucky Derby today

Sierra Leone, with Tyler Gaffalione up, wins the 100th edition of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a 200-point Kentucky Derby qualifier on the second day of the Keeneland Spring Meet, April 6, 2024, in Lexington, Kentucky. Sierra Leone will be one of the favorites in the 2024 Kentucky Derby. 

Silas Walker/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The 150th running of the Kentucky Derby is here. Part of the fun of watching the Derby is betting on a favorite to win, but knowing how to bet can seem anything but easy. From understanding common betting strategies to knowing how to pick a winner, it’s worth it to understand the terms — and who’s favored to win — before placing any bets.

We consulted the horse racing experts at SportsLine who shared their picks for this year’s Kentucky Derby, and we’re answering basic questions about betting so you can spend race day sipping a mint julep and picking your favorites.

Note: CBS Essentials, CBS, Paramount+ and SportsLine are all subsidiaries of Paramount. 

When is the Kentucky Derby? 

The 2024 Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Live TV coverage of the Kentucky Derby begins at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT).  

Kentucky Derby betting strategies 

Twenty horses are scheduled to run the 2024 Kentucky Derby. While betting on an expert’s favorite can prove a solid choice, underdogs came in first place in the past two years: Rich Strike (2022) and Mage (2023). Betting on an underdog can prove lucrative if that pick comes in first, but betting on an underdog comes with more risk. Prior to 2022, the previous eight Kentucky Derby winners had all been top picks, or close to.

Many sportsbooks (companies or individuals who accept sports bets) are taking bets on this year’s Derby. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting, but some states that don’t allow sports betting — including California — offer legalized horse betting. 

A few key betting strategies are:

  • Hedging a bet: Placing wagers on different horses in the same race.
  • Horizontal bet: Also known as multi-race bets, a horizontal bet predicts the first-place finisher in consecutive races.
  • Super High Five: Predict the order of the top five finishers.
  • Exacta, trifecta and superfecta: Correctly choose the first two, three and four horses respectively in the correct order.

Who is predicted to win the Kentucky Derby?

Want some help placing your bets on the Derby this year? The experts at SportsLine shared their picks with us for potential Kentucky Derby winners.

Michelle Yu‘s pick to win: 2 Sierra Leone (3-1)

Yu boasts a long history of Derby success and has called the horse who has crossed the finish line first two of the last three years.

“You have to either like Fierceness or Sierra Leone, and I prefer the latter. This galloper will be happy to get the added ground, and there should be enough early pace for him. I am a little concerned about his rally-from-the-clouds running style since recent Derby winners have close to the pace, but he has the ability to overcome that.”

Jody Demling‘s pick to win: 2 Sierra Leone (3-1)

Demling hit 10 of the last 15 Oaks-Derby doubles.

“The son of Gun Runner has been my top pick for a few months and I am not moving him down. Looked really good in the Blue Grass Stakes; he has trained well at Churchill and I believe when they turn for home he will be rolling down the center of the track — headed to the Winner’s Circle.”

Bob Weir‘s pick to win: 11 Forever Young (10-1)

Weir has had multiple five-figure days at the track and is a member of the Beyer figure-making team.

“Forever Young is 5-for-5 and will try to pull off the Saudi-UAE-Kentucky Derby triple. He’s versatile and might be able to lay closer than some expect in this spot. The estimated figures for his 3-year-old races are right in line with the top 3-year-old figures among the American horses, except for Fierceness. There is no reason to believe a horse coming from Dubai can’t win this race, and he may be the best UAE Derby shipper to attempt this. He looks live and will be interesting at double-digit odds.”

What do experts base their Kentucky Derby picks on?

The horse racing experts at SportsLine are fixtures in the industry, writing, talking about and studying horse racing for years. SportsLine’s horse racing experts have confidence in predicting exactas, trifectas and superfectas, and sharing their picks to win the 2024 Kentucky Derby. 

Kentucky Derby odds

Below are the current odds for this year’s Derby according to the horse racing experts at SportsLine. Kentucky Derby odds are pari-mutuel, which means they aren’t finalized until the race begins. Odds are based on how bettors are placing wagers on each horse.

Fierceness 5-2 5-2
Sierra Leone 3-1 3-1
Catching Freedom 8-1 8-1
Forever Young 10-1 10-1
Just a Touch 10-1 10-1
Dornoch 20-1 20-1
Mystik Dan 20-1 20-1
Just Steel 20-1 20-1
Honor Marie 20-1 20-1
Encino 20-1 20-1
Track Phantom 20-1 20-1
Stronghold 20-1 20-1
Resilience 20-1 20-1
Catalytic 30-1 30-1
T O Password 30-1 30-1
Endlessly 30-1 30-1
Domestic Product 30-1 30-1
Society Man 50-1 50-1
Grand Mo the First   50-1 50-1
West Saratoga 50-1 50-1

How and when to watch the 2024 Kentucky Derby

Jockey Javier Castellano celebrates in the Winner’s Circle after ridding Mage #8 to win the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2023 in Louisville, KY.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 2024 Kentucky Derby will air on NBC and USA Network, and stream on PeacockSling TV and the live TV streaming platforms featured below. Post time for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby is 6:57 p.m. ET (3:45 p.m. PT).

  • Derby coverage starts at 12:00 p.m. ET on USA Network and Peacock.
  • Derby coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

How to watch Kentucky Derby live without cable

If you’ve given up your cable subscription, or your cable provider doesn’t include NBC and USA Network, you can watch the Kentucky Derby live on one of the streaming or live TV platforms featured below.

Sling TV: The most cost-effective way to stream sports in 2024

One of the most cost-effective ways to stream sports this year, including the Kentucky Derby, NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and NBA Playoffs, is through a subscription to Sling TV. The streamer offers access to your local network affiliate’s live feed (excluding CBS) and also includes NFL Network and ESPN with its Blue tier plan, or level up your coverage to include TNT, TBS and more with the Orange + Blue tier plan (recommended).

The Orange + Blue plan normally costs $60 per month, but the streamer is offering $25 off the first month of any pricing tier, making your first month of the Orange + Blue plan $35.

Note: Because Sling TV doesn’t offer CBS, you won’t be able to watch all network-aired sporting events here. If you want one platform to watch most live games and events, we suggest a subscription to Hulu + Live TV.

Top features of Sling TV Orange + Blue tier:

  • There are 46 channels to watch in total, including ESPN, TNT and TBS and your local NBC, ABC and Fox affiliates (where available). 
  • You get access to many local NFL games and nationally broadcast games next season at the lowest price.
  • All subscription tiers include 50 hours of cloud-based DVR storage.

Stream the Kentucky Derby live with Peacock

Stream the Kentucky Derby live with Peacock, which offers subscribers live streaming access to top-tier events airing on NBC like the Derby, Olympic events and Sunday Night Football games next season.

Watch Big Ten football, Premier League soccer and WWE wrestling (including formerly PPV-only events such as WrestleMania), or tap into the streamer’s 80,000 hours worth of recorded content, including hit movies and TV series such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” 

Peacock Premium is regularly $6 per month, or $60 per year.

Watch the Kentucky Derby free with Fubo

If you’re new to streaming sports, you should know about Fubo. Fubo is a sports-centric streaming service that offers access to the 2024 Kentucky Derby, plus your local TV affiliates, hundreds of cable TV channels and 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage. Another great reason to love Fubo is its lookback feature, which lets you watch sporting events up to 72 hours after they air live. 

Start watching the Derby on Fubo and also get access to network-aired NFL, NBA and MLB games by starting a seven-day free trial of Fubo. You can begin watching immediately on your TV, phone, tablet or computer. Fubo starts at $80/month for the Pro tier, which includes more than 190 channels.

What you’ll get with Fubo Pro Tier:

  • There are no contracts with Fubo — you can cancel at any time.
  • The Pro tier includes over 190 channels, including NFL Network. 
  • Fubo includes all the channels you’ll need to watch college and pro football, including CBS.
  • In addition to horse racing, Fubo offers MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and international soccer games. 
  • All Fubo tiers come with 1,000 hours of cloud-based DVR recording.
  • Stream on your TV, phone and mobile devices.

Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle: Watch the Kentucky Derby live for free

You can watch the Derby live with the Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle. The bundle features 95 channels, including ESPN, NBC and USA, and includes ESPN+, so you’ll be able to watch more than just today’s horse race. Unlimited DVR storage is also included. Watch the Kentucky Derby, plus the NBA Playoffs and NFL football next season with Hulu + Live TV/ESPN+ bundle.

Hulu + Live TV comes bundled with ESPN+ and Disney+. It’s priced at $77 per month after a three-day free trial.

Watch the Kentucky Derby live with a digital HDTV antenna



You can also watch the Kentucky Derby airing on ABC on TV with an affordable indoor antenna, which pulls in local over-the-air HDTV channels such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, PBS, Univision and more. Here’s the kicker: There’s no monthly charge.

For anyone living in a partially blocked-off area (those near mountains or first-floor apartments), a digital TV antenna may not pick up a good signal — or any signal at all. But for many homes, a digital TV antenna provides a seriously inexpensive way to watch the Derby without paying a cable company. Indoor TV antennas can also provide some much-needed TV backup if a storm knocks out your cable.

This amplified digital antenna with a 50-mile range can receive hundreds of HDTV channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox and Univision and can filter out cellular and FM signals. It delivers a high-quality picture in 1080p HDTV and top-tier sound. It comes with an 10-foot digital coax cable.

What to know about the Kentucky Derby

It will be the 150th running of the Derby, which is just one in the 14-race lineup scheduled for the day at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. The Derby, also known as the Run for the Roses, is the first race in horse racing’s triple crown which also includes the Preakness Stakes (held the third Saturday in May) and the Belmont Stakes (the first or second Saturday in June). 

Three-year-old thoroughbreds run the Derby for a distance of 1 1/4 miles. Featuring a purse of $5 million, the winner of today’s Derby will earn $3.1 million. The race usually lasts around two minutes.

Who won the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

American Thoroughbred Mage, ridden by jockey Javier Castellano, won the 2023 Kentucky Derby — the 149th running of the race. 

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