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KENTUCKY DERBY: Betting Excel Spreadsheet

Use our Excel spreadsheet to bet on the Kentucky Derby

Getty Images / Jamie Squire

The 141st Kentucky Derby will be run on May 2, 2015. Currently, American Pharoah is the favorite at 5-2.

The fun of the derby is that it brings out all the rank amateur bettors in the nation. I have a friend who places her bets at the last minute, after she's seen which horses have pooped before getting into the gate, for instance. Another acquaintance never bets on gray horses. "Gray don't pay!" is her motto.

This is no way to bet on horses.

I, however, have a horse-betting system that takes the guesswork out of it. Or at least, adds to the fun for those of who can't be bothered to read The Daily Racing Form.

The caveat here is that I know nothing about horses. But I do know that horse racing is really boring unless you have money riding on it. So I decided to approach the Kentucky Derby as if it were a probability problem that could be solved with Excel.

Here's how it works.

There are 20 horses in the running Saturday. So at the outset, you have a 1 in 20 chance of picking the winner.

Those are NOT good odds.

Some horses have better chances than others at winning - some might not like longer races, for instance - and the odds adjust on each horse as more bettors place their bets.

But the bottom line is that the derby is a crowded race, random things happen, and in theory any horse can win.

So a sensible investor approaching the derby as if it were a portfolio with different risk levels in it might want to ask, how many horses can I bet on and still come out ahead if any one horse wins? Put another way, can I spread my bets among as many horses as possible and still come out ahead?

The good thing about the derby is that there are a lot of horses running at very long odds. The formulas in my spreadsheet ask, for a $10 bet on each horse, how many horses can I bet on and still be able to win more than the total amount of money I've wagered?

This year, you can bet on 11 of the 20 horses at the current odds, and if any of them win you'll come out ahead. That reduces your overall odds to something slightly akin to a 50/50 coin flip. Much better than 20-1.

Of course, your portfolio will contain NONE of the favorites. In other words, you're betting on all the horses the other bettors think will most likely lose. But you're covering as much of the field as possible. Remember, you only need ONE horse to come in good and Business Insider just paid your mint julep bill for the weekend!

The horses you must bet on are these: Ocho Ocho Ocho, Tencendur, Danzig Moon, El Kabeir, Bolo, Itsaknockout, Keen Ice, War Story, Mr. Z, Far Right, and Frammento:

Jim Edwards/BI

A $10 bet on each one to win will cost you $110. If any of them come first you will win at least $300 and as much as $500. (I've built-in a margin to give the betting a purpose - there's no fun in betting $100 to win $110, for instance.)

The other disclosure here is that I've used the current odds as of 4 p.m. eastern time on the day before the race. Odds change up to post time, so this is for fun only.

Personally, I use the spreadsheet as an advisor, not a decider. Remember the Edwards Quant Fallacy: There's a difference between good data and applying judgment to good data. So consider picking only three or four horses, some at good odds and some at long odds. That limits your losses but makes your gains interesting. The worst thing that can happen is that you'll add some genuine excitement to a race that is, otherwise, two minutes of chaos.

Kentucky Derby Betting Tips

Betting The Kentucky Derby

Part of the fun and excitement at the Kentucky Derby is betting the races. The idea of picking a winner, watching your horse cross the finish line first, and collecting your winnings will give you an adrenalin rush that is second to none. To help you understand the variety of wagers available and how to place a bet is detailed below.

The most common bets, particularly for the beginner, are the win, place, and show wagers:

  • Win – Betting on your horse to finish first.
  • Place – Betting on your horse to finish first or second.
  • Show – Betting on your horse to finish first, second, or third.

The win bet is harder to pick and therefore usually pays more. The place and show bets give you a little more edge and therefore normally pay less. You can also bet “Across The Board”, which means you are placing an equal bet on the win, place and show. If your horse finishes first, you collect on all three positions. If your horse finishes second you collect on place and show. And, if your horse finishes third, you are paid the show price only.

Other bets that are a little harder to pick, but can pay considerably more are:

  • Exacta – Pick the first two finishers in a race in exact order.
  • Trifecta – Pick the first three finishers in a race in the exact order.
  • Superfecta – Pick the first four finishers in a race in exact order.
  • Daily Double – Pick the winners of two consecutive races.
  • Pick 3 – Pick the winners of three races in a row.
  • Pick 4 – Pick the winners of four races in a row.
  • Pick 6 – Pick the winners of six races in a row.

There are some other wagering options that cost a little more, but increase your chance of winning:

  • Boxing – When you box a bet, you collect if your selected horses finish in any order. For example, if you buy a $2.00 exacta box on three horses it will cost $12.00, but you win if any two of your horses finish first and second.
  • Wheel – A wheel combines one horse with every other horse in a race that you select. For example, you can wheel a horse in the first race of a daily double with all the horses in the second race of the daily double. If the horse you wheeled in the first race wins, you win the double.
  • Partial Wheel – A partial wheel allows you to pick only some of the possible combinations. For example, an exacta partial wheel #3 with 5,6, and 8 wins if #3 wins and 5,6, or 8 place.

Understanding Odds

Odds on a horse are calculated based on the amount of money wagered on that horse and the others in the field. The horse with the most money bet on him (referred to as the favorite) and deemed most likely to win will have the lowest pay-off odds. On a $2.00 bet with 3 to 1 odds, if you win, you will be paid the $2.00 you bet plus $2.00 times the odds, thus you would receive $8.00 for that wager.

How to Place a Bet

You can place a bet electronically, or at the ticket windows. For clarity and to avoid confusion, ticket purchases should be spelled out in the following order:

For instance, if you wanted to bet $5.00 to win on the No. 6 horse in the second race, your order would be, “Race 2, $5.00 to win on No. 6.”

You will, of course, find more detail in the program and other material at the track to simplify the activity there and make your day more enjoyable. And we, at DerbyTicketsInc.com will be happy to answer any questions you may have in this regard, in addition to providing you with great Kentucky Derby Packages, or tickets.

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Bet65 Kentucky Derby – Bet On The Derby at Bet365

Bet65 Kentucky Derby – Bet On The Derby at Bet365

The Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse race in North America every year. The top 3-year old thoroughbred horses from around the world compete to win the first leg of the potential Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby (wiki page) is the second most bet on sporting event each year in the United States, next to the Super Bowl, and it’s also very popular among worldwide bettors.

Where To Bet On The Kentucky Derby

Our top rated betting site for wagering on the Kentucky Derby is Bet365.com. They are the largest sportsbook worldwide and continue to grow in markets across the globe by offering a great user experience and top notch customer service.

Bet365.com currently offers new accounts at 100% up to $200 sign up bonus, which is perfect to use for betting on the Kentucky Derby.

***I should note that Bet365 does not accepts American bettors. I suggest checking out BetOnKentuckyDerby.org for information on how to bet on the race if you reside in the USA.

Kentucky Derby Betting Options

Here are a few of the various bets you can make on the horse races. For a more general look at the Bet365 racebook check out our horse race betting page.

  • Win/Place/Show
    • Win – The horse must win the Kentucky Derby.
    • Place – The horse must finish in the top 2 positions.
    • Show – The horse must come top 3.

Kentucky Derby Fixed Odds

The Derby is such a big race that Bet365 offers futures odds on the race for many weeks before raceday. The odds for the futures bets are done using fixed odds, which means the odds are locked in when you place your bet, compared to the parimutuel odds on raceday which change depending on the amount of money coming in on each horse.

Here is an example of the fixed odds for the 2017 Kentucky Derby from a few days before the race took place.

You can also place an each-way bet on any of the horses to finish in the top 3 positions with the odds being 1/5 of the “to win” odds listed above.

How To Bet On The Kentucky Derby at Bet365

Here’s a quick step by step guide to easily get your Kentucky Derby bets in at Bet365 this year.

  • Click here to visit Bet365.com.
  • Click the ‘Join Now’ link in the top right corner of the following screen to create a new account.
  • After you’ve created an account you will need to make a deposit. Remember that Bet365 offers new sign ups a 100% up to $200 sign up bonus and I suggest that you take full advantage of this great offer.
  • After you’ve deposited you will receive a 10 digit offer code sent to your email. Follow the instructions in the email and enter the code in your Bet365 account to unlock your bonus funds.
  • After you’ve entered the code the bonus funds should appear in your account.
  • Now that you have funds go ahead and bet on the Kentucky Derby!

Gallery: How to bet on the Kentucky Derby from your smartphone

Gallery: How to bet on the Kentucky Derby from your smartphone

​Hat, pastel colors, and ticket not necessary

It's Kentucky Derby season, and in Louisville that means the whole town goes crazy--it's such a big deal that the local school district actually shuts down on Friday, the day before the Derby, because it's essentially a holiday weekend.

Getting to Louisville for the Derby, however, can be expensive. Gambling on the race can also be difficult if you don't have a facility (or bookie) nearby, but it doesn't have to be hard if you install TwinSpires for iOS or Android (note--you'll be downloading the Android app from the TwinSpires website since Google doesn't allow any gambling apps in the Play Store).

Armed with your app of choice and our swarm AI superfecta prediction for the 143rd Kentucky Derby you're ready to go! Click through to learn how to place your bets with TwinSpires.

Disclaimer: Remember that gambling is always just that, and TechRepublic is not recommending that you engage in parimutuel betting. Be careful with your money and wager at your own risk.

  • ​Install the app

    iOS users will be able to find TwinSpires by searching for it in the App Store. Android users need to download and install it manually. The steps for doing so are in the following slides (iOS users can skip the next two slides).

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Downloading the Android APK

    Tap on Download and you'll see the popup on the bottom of the screen, as shown in the left image. Tap OK and the APK will start downloading.

    Once it's done, drag down from the top of the screen to open the notification view and tap on the Download Complete notification.

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Installing the Android APK

    Tapping on the download notification will open your file manager app and point you at the location of the TwinSpires APK, as shown in the left image.

    Tap on the APK and you'll get the screen on the right. Tap install, let it finish, and then you'll be all set to run the app and bet on the Derby!

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Set up an account

    There are a few things you'll need to do to use TwinSpires, and the first thing is to set up an account. If you're unsure about providing personal information, like your social security number, then you can stop now--that, along with your address and other personal info, are required to get started.

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Once you're in

    After you go through with account setup you'll be greeted with the main screen that shows all the upcoming races. There's a lot of info here, and the app is honestly a bit overwhelming.

    Don't worry--it's a lot simpler than it looks. Start by tapping on the race you're interested in.

    One more thing: You'll need to deposit cash into the app, which you can do on the menu accessible from the upper right hand corner. You'll need a debit card or PayPal account, and there's a $5 fee for each deposit you make.

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​The race screen

    There's a lot to look at on the race screen--horses, odds, race conditions . it's almost too much to take in if you're looking at it for the first time.

    Luckily almost everything you see can be clicked on to get more info. Take that second bar from the top that starts 2 MTP--it's the race condition bar. Tapping anywhere on it will bring up a full list of race conditions.

    The same goes for Odds on the right hand side of the screen--tap on it and you'll get a breakdown of what the numbers actually mean. Pretty important to know!

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Tapping items from the race screen

    Here's what you'll see if you tap on the race condition bar (left) or the odds (right).

    You can tap on the arrow in the upper left hand corner to return to the race screen.

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Placing a bet

    For this demonstration I'm placing a superfecta bet on the first Churchill Downs race of Oaks day. A superfecta, as discussed in our article predicting the 2017 Derby superfecta, is the correct placing of the top four horses in a race.

    When using TwinSpires to place a superfecta bet you start by tapping on Select Wager Type from the race screen. That brings up the screen you see here, where you can select the type of bet you want to make.

    If you plan to bet using TechRepublic's superfecta predictions tap on Superfecta. (Note: The race shown here is not the Kentucky Derby. Advanced Derby bets are not available as of writing.)

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Selecting your superfecta

    In order to get the massive payout that comes with a superfecta you can't just pick the top four horses--you have to pick them in order. On the top of the screen you'll see numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. You need to select the first place horse (left image), tap on 2, select the second place horse, and do the same for three and four.

    Once you select all four you'll see a screen similar to the one on the right of this slide. It shows your superfecta picks as Horses:#/#/#/#. If everything looks good, you're ready to go. Tap BET to place your wager. Be sure everything is correct first!

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

  • ​Confirm your bet

    You'll get the left screen next--it looks like a virtual ticket, and it gives you one more chance to confirm your pick. If you're ready, tap SUBMIT. The app will process your bet, and then the image on the right will show up.

    That's it--now sit back and wait for the race! You can easily navigate to your personal bets, repeat the bet you just made, copy the bet, or go right to a live video stream if the race is ready to start.

    Have a safe, happy, and exciting Derby weekend!

    Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

    ​Hat, pastel colors, and ticket not necessary

    It's Kentucky Derby season, and in Louisville that means the whole town goes crazy--it's such a big deal that the local school district actually shuts down on Friday, the day before the Derby, because it's essentially a holiday weekend.

    Getting to Louisville for the Derby, however, can be expensive. Gambling on the race can also be difficult if you don't have a facility (or bookie) nearby, but it doesn't have to be hard if you install TwinSpires for iOS or Android (note--you'll be downloading the Android app from the TwinSpires website since Google doesn't allow any gambling apps in the Play Store).

    Armed with your app of choice and our swarm AI superfecta prediction for the 143rd Kentucky Derby you're ready to go! Click through to learn how to place your bets with TwinSpires.

    Disclaimer: Remember that gambling is always just that, and TechRepublic is not recommending that you engage in parimutuel betting. Be careful with your money and wager at your own risk.

    About Brandon Vigliarolo

    Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

    Disclosure

    Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.

    Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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