Preakness Stakes 2018: Odds, picks and how to bet on horse racing | Other Sports


Even after the Kentucky Derby, horse racing is still on the American sports radar, at least until the Preakness Stakes.

Then, it could go one of two ways: Derby winner Justify either wins the Preakness and takes his a Triple Crown quest into the Belmont, or he loses the Preakness and horse racing slinks back into obscurity.

The good news is that betting on horse racing is legal across the United States, unlike betting on other sports, so you won’t have a problem getting picks down online.

MORE: How to watch the 2018 Preakness

A parimutuel system is used in horse racing, which is different from betting on a basketball or football game against a point spread in Las Vegas. Bettors aren’t wagering against the bookie or house, but against each other, and the house takes a cut. So these numbers could change plenty between now and Preakness post time (7:35 p.m. ET) on May 20. It also means odds aren’t fixed at the time of the bet. 

Preakness odds

Here are the latest odds for the projected Preakness field, according to Vegas Insider. These odds will be updated once the post positions are drawn and the early morning lines are set the week of the race.

Preakness odds
Justify 4/9
Bravazo 4/1
Good Magic 5/1
Bolt DOro 8/1
Quip 10/1
Tenfold 10/1
Diamond King 15/1
Givemeaminit 20/1
Sporting Chance 20/1
Lone Sailor 30/1
Pony Up 30/1

*Odds as of May 15. 

Preakness picks

Vinnie Iyer: The only question of Justify will be how quickly it can recover to win another strong race, but here’s where the rest as a 2-year-old and nothing but wins as a 3-year-old will give it major boost to bring home an even more comfortable victory at Pimlico.

When Baffert believes so strongly in a horse, he is usually, well, justified. The Derby pull-away was expected and Justify should easily win in the shorter distance.

MORE: Facts to know before picking a horse 

Bravazo will show a little more bravado with more room to operate against lesser horses. Although Diamond King looks good, Telekinesis will be mentally up for a strong showing since it last raced at Keeneland on April 14.

Win: Justify
Place: Bravazo
Show: Telekinesis

— V.I.

How to bet on horse racing

If you’re betting at a window, whether it be at Pimlico or your local track simulcasting the Preakness, say the name of the track, the number race you’re betting, how much you want to wager, the type of wager and the numbers (post positions) of the horses you’re including in your bet. 

MORE: The Preakness infield is a day-drinking debacle

Horse racing wager types

There are tons of different ways to bet on a horse race, but here are some of the most common and ones you’ll likely hear about come Preakness time on Saturday.

— Win, place, show, or first, second and third. When you bet on the winner, you simply get the horse at its odds and if it wins, you cash that amount. So $10 on a horse at 12-to-1 nets you $120. If you bet on a horse to “place,” or come in second, the payout is less, and same goes for “show.”

You can make an “across the board” wager on a horse — a bet on that horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, you collect all three; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets.

— Exacta, trifecta, superfecta. These wagers force a player to pick the exact finishing order of the top two, three or four horses, respectively. The payouts are multiplied the more horses you put in these bets.

You can also “box” an exacta, trifecta or superfecta, which means you bet on all the possible combinations. So if I bet a trifecta box on Always Dreaming, Classic Empire and Irish War Cry in the Preakness, I’d actually be making six bets because I’m taking all six possible combinations.

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— Pick three (or four, or five, or six). This involves picking the winners of several different races at a track on a given day. It often pays out the entire pool.

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