You have mixed up a mint julep and put on a crazy hat and a pair of pants you’d otherwise be afraid to wear outside of your house. At this point, you’re going to enjoy the Kentucky Derby no matter what.
But since you live in Michigan, where online horse betting is legal, you want to add to your day, even if it’s just a little bit.
To help you do that, we’ve come up with a way to take relatively small stakes ($25) and maximize your Kentucky Derby betting this Saturday.
Note: This is not actual advice on the race, as the author is much better at picking a bourbon for your mint julep than a winning horse.
How to watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby
- What: 2022 Kentucky Derby
- When: Saturday, May 7
- Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
- Race Surface: Dirt
- Race Distance: 1¼ mile (10 furlongs)
- Post Time: 6:57 p.m. ET
- Broadcast: NBC
- Online viewing: Peacock
- Pre-Race coverage: USA Network, 12-2:30 p.m.; NBC 2:30 p.m.
- Weather Forecast: Low 70s; 30% chance of showers in the afternoon
How to bet the Kentucky Derby online at TVG Michigan
Horse racing is not a market that’s available at Michigan’s 15 online sportsbooks. So, the first thing you’ll need to do, if you haven’t already, is start an account with an app that does offer it.
TVG is the largest online betting app for horse racing in Michigan, and it has an offer for new customers in time for the Derby.
To get started, register a new account and use the promo code LSRDERBY. Make your first deposit and place your first win-type bet on any race at any track will be risk-free up to $200. If your bet loses, it will be paid in site credit within 24 hours.
Only the portion of a win/place, win/show or win/place/show wager will count for the promotion.
TwinSpires and Xpressbet are also available in Michigan for online betting on horse racing.
Making a win bet
The world of betting on horse racing can seem complicated if you’re new to it, so you can view our guide, including the different types of wagers you can make, here.
But making a “win” bet is as easy as it sounds. You’re simply picking a horse to win.
Odds will change before the race, as you will be betting against other bettors, not the house. But for the sake of this explanation, Zandon is the morning line favorite at 3-1 odds, and let’s pretend they remain there at post time (they won’t). A win bet on Zandon would pay out three times your wager, plus the original stake, if he wins.
Those are pretty good odds for a bettor to get on a favorite, but what fun is it betting on the favorite?
My eyes directly went to White Abarrio, because of the name and the 10-1 morning line odds. He’s not a longshot, but he’s likely to return a decent prize with a win.
It’s like picking the fifth-most expensive bottle on a wine list at a fancy restaurant. You don’t fully understand what you’re reading, but you don’t want to pick the most expensive one, and you definitely don’t want to pick the cheapest one. This is not good advice, but I think you get it.
Either way, I put $10 on White Abarrio.
If I were less confident in a horse I compared to a middling bottle of wine, I could put a place or show bet on him. A place bet would pay if he came in first or second, and a show bet would pay if he came in first, second or third. The payouts do go down, though.
Boxing a trifecta
Now that I’ve decided on a winner, I’m starting to feel a little cocky.
I think I know who’s going to finish in the top three, but I’m not confident enough in picking the exact order, so I will be boxing a trifecta.
That means my bet wins if the top three is made up of horses I picked, in any order. Since I have $15 remaining from my original $25, I am going to pick four horses at the minimum, $0.50, for a total wager of $12.
Why does a $0.50 bet cost $12? Because with four horses selected, I have 24 possible winning outcomes, and they’re charging me $0.50 for each one. As you add horses, your costs go up, but your winnings do not.
More importantly, why four horses in a trifecta? Because this gives me some leeway. If one of the horses I pick has a rough day, the others can still win me the bet by placing in the top three.
My bet: Zandon, Epicenter, White Abarrio and Tiz The Bomb in a trifecta box. That includes the two favorites (Zandon and Epicenter), my favorite (White Abarrio) and a longshot (Tiz The Bomb, 30-1).
If those favorites are in the top three, this isn’t going to pay much, but at least I get something back. If Tiz The Bomb makes its way into the top three, though, the payout will shoot up.
Placing a Super High Five bet
That leaves me with $3, so how do I maximize that?
With the coolest sounding bet on the board, of course: a Super High Five.
This isn’t something you work on with your friends at recess. No, this is picking the top five finishers, in order. Impossible? Maybe. Lucrative? If you win, absolutely.
A winning $1 Super High Five bet in 2015 (that’s the example year given at the Derby’s official site) would have paid $6,658.30. That would have put my $3 bet near $20,000.
This is basically like hitting a crazy parlay. As my earlier wine example clearly showed, I do not have Kentucky Derby betting expertise. But if I’m going big here, I’m not too worried about picking a longshot. Even a fairly chalk race is going to give me a solid return on a correct Super High Five.
This is a crapshoot, but in case you’re curious, I placed a very chalky $3 bet: 1. Epicenter; 2. Zandon; 3. Messier; 4. White Abarrio; 5. Mo Donegal.
Kentucky Derby 2022 morning line odds
Here are the runners, post positions and morning line odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby:
|4||Summer Is Tomorrow||30-1|
|9||Tiz the Bomb||30-1|
|11||Pioneer of Medina||30-1|