2022 Kentucky Derby Odds, Best Bets, Sleepers, and Betting Tips

2022 Kentucky Derby Odds, Best Bets, Sleepers, and Betting Tips
Image © By Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK
Frank Weber
Frank Weber
December 23rd 2022

Get you’re fancy hats ready–it’s almost Derby Day. With the Kentucky Derby just days away (set to kick off on May 7th, 2022) it’s time for us all to buckle down and get our bets in place. Whether you’re a horse betting expert or someone who’s never seen a horse before (they’re like big dogs with long noses) the Kentucky Derby is one of the best events of the year and is a sports bettor's dream.

The 20 horses in this year’s race are:

  • Epicenter 6-1
  • White Abarrio 7-1
  • Zandon 8-1
  • Mo Donegal 8-1
  • Taiba 8-1
  • Messier 12-1
  • Simplification 12-1
  • Smile happy 12-1
  • Early Voting 16-1
  • Charge It 20-1
  • Cyberknife 20-1
  • Crown Pride 25-1
  • Tiz the Bomb 25-1
  • Morello 33-1
  • Barber Road 33-1
  • Slow down Andy 33-1
  • Zozos 33-1
  • Tawny Port 40-1
  • Summer is Tomorrow 50-1
  • Un Ojo 50-1

If you’re looking for any winner tips for this year's Kentucky Derby, or if you’re still curious as to what horses are, then this story is for you. I’ll give my best picks to take come the coveted Gold Cup, as well as just general Kentucky Derby betting picks that you can use to make your own decisions. This is America, after all.

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Kentucky Derby Betting Tips

There are a ton of different strategies people use to bet on the Kentucky Derby. The most popular, albeit the most rudimentary, is picking the one with the best name. I think the best name in this field is miles above the rest: no one comes close to Mo Donegal. Slow Down Andy (sitting at 33-1) is also an all-time horse name, and the favorite, Epicenter, also has a powerful name. But besides those three, the names this year leave a bit more to be desired. So let’s take a look at a bit of a more logical strategy.

Another popular strategy, albeit it chalk, is betting on the favorite. Obviously, the favorite is who is expected to win–but when you look at the record books, it doesn’t always go that way. 51 of the 146 Kentucky Derby winners came into the race as the favorite, giving the favorite a 34% winning clip. As it stands now, Epicenter is the favorite sitting at 6-1. If you want to bet on the favorite, I would wait a few days–at least wait until the post draw–because the odds can shift due to which horses land where.

2022 Kentucky Derby Winner Best Bets

Alright, now that the fun is had it’s time to take a look at the serious business. I’ll give a few picks here for who I think can walk away the winner at this week’s Derby, as well as one horse with some pretty big odds that I think could make a statement.

Mo Donegal (8-1)

I promise this isn’t only because of the awesome name. Mo Donegal crossed the line first in last month's Wood Memorial, a race that compares very closely with the Derby (in terms of distance and surface). Mo Donegal has already proven to have the edge on Zandon (also at 8-1) by beating them at the Remsen Stakes in 2021, and has continued to show great acceleration and speed as time goes on. He could Donegal Racing, the ownership group, a chance for their first Derby winner after third-place finishes with Paddy O’Prado (2010) and Dullahan (2012). He has a classic pedigree, seeing as his sire, Uncle Mo, fathered 2016 Derby winner Nyquist.

Cyberknife (20-1)

Coming off of a great win at the Arkansas Derby back in early April, Cyberknife is my lower field sleep pick that I think has a lot of potential coming into this derby. Cyberknife’s jockey, Florent Geroux, is one of the more experienced jockeys in the field, and actually won last year's Derby due to the Medina Spirit cheating scandal (Geroux, racing Mandaloun, finished second behind Medina Spirit, yet the Bob Bafford owned horse was stripped of its title due to a deep cheating scandal).

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