Where to Bet on the Kentucky Derby 2019
This is shaping up to be a good Kentucky Derby for bettors. It's going to be tough to figure out, but those who do will be rewarded by strong prices. There is no obvious superstar like Justify last year, but the field runs deep, and it feels like you can make a case for a lot of horses to be a part of things. Races like this are what makes betting on horse races so fun. Assuming you want to bet on the race - and who wouldn't? - the next challenge is to figure out where to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Luckily, you have several options:
Online sportsbooks: All of our preferred sportbooks that you know and love for betting on sports can also help you out if you want to bet on the Derby - or most other races, for that matter. There are two different ways you can bet on the races at these books. The first is that most of the books have racebooks as well, and there you can bet on the races on race day in ways we are used to. The other approach for big races is by using the futures listed in sports books. That won't help you if you like to bet exotics, but if you are a win bettor, they are often a great way to go. You can lock in a price that is often better than track morning lines - books are slow to adjust these lines, so they don't always reflect the current market. And once you make a bet you have locked in a potential return, so you don't have to worry about a horse getting bet down close to post time. Plus, sportsbooks may offer bonuses and incentives that will make it even more attractive to bet here compared to somewhere else.
Closer to the race, sportsbooks will often do Kentucky Derby prop bets as well, which is another creative way to leverage your opinion. If you pay attention and get to these numbers early, you can often find ones that are particularly attractive. As always, make sure that you are shopping around for the best price when you are making any futures bets with the books, because the potential returns can vary widely.
Racebooks: Beyond the racebooks that some online sportsbooks offer, there are several services out there that allow you to bet right into the mutuel pools at race tracks. This can be attractive for bettors at home - especially if you like betting exotics and want a shot at the full range of betting possibilities for the race. You don't need to worry about shopping around for price if the service bets into the mutuel pool, but you will want to make sure that you are grabbing the best bonuses and incentives for the type of betting you do.
OTBs: OTB just means off-track betting. These are places you can make bets that are like being on the track, except there is no track. In some jurisdictions, these are stand-alone shops. In other places they are in casinos or at tracks that aren't currently open for racing. Chances are good that there is one near you somewhere. They are a good place to go if you want to bet exotics. They also typically have televisions tuned to races around the country, so you can bet on a wide range of races. OTBs are also a truly fascinating experience for people watching - the type of people who become regulars at places like this are unlike those anywhere else.
Local track: If your local track is currently racing, then this would always be the top choice for me. You can bet on the Derby, and it will be televised for you to watch. You can bet on the good stakes races offered at other tracks on the day, too. And you can watch the live races and get some action on them as well. Plus, it is a scientific fact that beer never tastes better than it does on a sunny day at the track. Most tracks offer promotions to draw crowds on big race days, and they often have strong race cards of their own on the day as well.
Churchill Downs: I have been to sporting events of all kinds. Regular season. Playoffs. In North America and beyond. And none have been more fun than the two times I have been at the Derby. It is a drunken, crazy, messy, lovely spectacle. You make friends in a hurry, and you get to see amazing horse flesh amid world-class people watching. When I took my wife in 2009, a guy we were sitting beside hit a superfecta for a huge score on the first race of the day and proceeded to buy us mint juleps all day long. My wife still can't consume mint without gagging. And the insane excitement when the horses come down the stretch is something you just have to experience. It should be on your bucket list.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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