Kentucky Derby Odds: Value Prop Bets With Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 5/6/2011
We’re now just a day away from the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby field is set, and now it’s time to figure out how we are going to finish the day off with more money than we started with. Traditional pari-mutuel betting gets most of the attention, but looking to the props offered by sportsbooks is a good way to take away some of the uncertainty of odds movement, and you can often find nice value in these overlooked bets as well. Here’s a look at the most interesting props Bodog has on offer this year:
Will any horse win the Triple Crown? — It’s not often that I suggest anyone bet on anything at 1/9. It’s also rare when there is actually betting value at those odds. There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since 1978 and there just doesn’t seem to be a horse good enough and tough enough to end that drought. This isn’t an exciting prop bet, but it’s a way to make an 11 percent return on your money in five weeks at reasonably low risk.
Odds of favorite at post time — ‘over/under’ 7/2 — The ‘under’ is at +120, so I have to take a shot at it. I don’t think Dialed In is worthy of being lower than that, but at 4/1 on the morning line it’s very easy to imagine him falling lower. He’s the horse without as many major questions as others, and he’s getting a lot of positive press. Therefore, the public will like him. There is also a very real possibility that Uncle Mo won’t start in the race, and that would direct the public money more heavily towards the favorite.
Will a horse win the Kentucky Derby wire-to-wire? — This is another 1/9 bet that could arguably have some value. There are at least five speed horses in this race, so the pace is going to be fast and hotly contested. The Derby is almost impossible to wire at the best of times, but it can only happen when the horse on the lead can maintain a reasonable enough pace that he has enough left in the tank to hold off the horses behind him. It just isn’t going to happen here. The majority of the quality in this race comes from off the pace. I’m not saying you should bet these low odds bets, but I couldn’t argue with you if you wanted to bet either one for some reason.
Will the attendance exceed last year’s total of 153,804? — The weather forecast isn’t as strong as it could be — in the 60s with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms. The field isn’t capturing a lot of imaginations. The ‘no’ side is at +145. Given those factors it seems like a good risk.
This is where you can often find intriguing value because you only have to worry about two horses instead of the impossibly overwhelming 20.
Uncle Mo (-155) vs. Nehro (+125) — I’m just not buying into Uncle Mo at all. He doesn’t seem to be completely healthy, and his work on Sunday totally turned me off. He may not run in the race at all, but if he does his health has to be an issue. On top of that, his 18th Kentucky Derby post position is a tough spot for a horse that needs the lead, and I have real concerns about his ability to get the distance. I’ll take Nehro by default here — even though I didn’t quite like him I’ll be on him here. I’d also happily take Midnight Interlude (+120) against Uncle Mo.
Mucho Macho Man (-115) vs. Shackleford (-115) — This is a mismatch. Mucho Macho Man is a horse I really like. I’ll have a win bet on him on Saturday. Shackleford is underwhelming and was only flattered in the Florida Derby because a couple of better horses didn’t show up.
Animal Kingdom (-145) vs. Decisive Moment (+115) — Animal Kingdom is normally the kind of horse I would never touch. He had never even worked out on dirt until last week, so the surface is an obvious question mark. In this matchup, though, he can’t be ignored. He beat Decisive Moment in the Spiral last time out, so he can obviously beat him. He’s also bred to have stamina galore.
Decisive Moment is the product of sprinting families, so the distance is a major question. He’s also never won a stakes race, and his speed figures have been pedestrian. He’s a front runner who will be the victim of a brutal pace. He’s a contender to finish last, so it’s easy to bet against him at this price.
You can also take Stay Thirsty at -140 against Decisive Moment, and I’d back him as well. I don’t love Stay Thirsty, but blinkers were added in his last race and they were a disaster, so he should run well without them here.
Doc’s Sports expert Kentucky Derby handicappers will have a full card of Kentucky Derby picks for the Run for the Roses on Saturday. Doc will have a variety of recommended wagers including win place and show and also exotics. Doc’s has been putting in extra work this year on the race and we expect a big payday. Get all Doc’s Kentucky Derby predictions for just $20! Click Here to purchase.
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