Kentucky Derby 2017 Betting Guide: Expert Picks, Updates Odds For Saturday's Race

Those looking to bet on the Kentucky Derby 2017 can be a bit overwhelmed by a field of 20 horses and no clear favorite among them as there had been in each of the past few years.

Though there may be no Nyquist or American Pharaoh among the bunch, there are plenty of expert picks for the 2017 Kentucky Derby to give a bit of guidance to those looking to make a wager on the race. Below is a betting guide for the Kentucky Derby that looks at some of the favorites, as well as expert picks for the trifecta and superfecta.

Kentucky Derby 2017 odds

In the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, there has been no clear favorite emerging from the field. Classic Empire is the odds-on favorite at the moment at 6-to-1 odds, but Always Dreaming is close behind at 9-to-2 odds, and McCracken has also been updated to 6-to-1 odds.

The race itself could be complicated by a messy weather forecast, with rain this weekend expected to leave a muddy track. As ESPN explained, that could be a good sign for Classic Empire and a few other horses with experience running in the mud.

"Of this year's entrants, Classic Empire and Lookin at Lee have experience racing on a wet track at Churchill Downs. Classic Empire won his career debut by 1½ lengths on a sloppy track, while Lookin at Lee finished second in the Grade III Iroquois on a muddy track."

"Gormley won the Grade III Sham Stakes on a sloppy track at Santa Anita, Hence broke his maiden on a wet track at Oaklawn Park, and Battle of Midway won his career debut on a wet-fast track at Santa Anita."

Here are the updated odds for the Kentucky Derby 2017, along with starting positions (via Forbes).
  1. Lookin at Lee 25-1
  2. Thunder Snow 17-1
  3. Fast and Accurate 33-1
  4. Untrapped 61-1
  5. Always Dreaming 9-2
  6. State of Honor 45-1
  7. Girvin 19-1
  8. Hence 16-1
  9. Irap 35-1
  10. Gunnevera 9-1
  11. Battle of Midway 38-1
  12. Soneteer 37-1
  13. J Boys Echo 43-1
  14. Classic Empire 6-1
  15. McCracken 6-1
  16. Tapwrit 30-1
  17. Irish War Cry 6-1
  18. Gormley 24-1
  19. Practical Joke 32-1
  20. Patch 14-1
Kentucky Derby 2017 expert picks

With a field as open as this year's, finding a favorite can be difficult. Many experts have given their picks on the 2017 Kentucky Derby, providing a bit of a guide for those looking to bet on the race.

As Forbes writer Guy Martin noted, there are quite a few contenders who can win this year's Kentucky Derby.

"There is a brashness to these juveniles, so I'll probably have a couple more later, but right now, today, I'm playing with five of them, in no particular order. Tapwrit, Always Dreaming, Classic Empire, J Boys Echo and McCracken. As we've noted, J Boys Echo is a local fave, trained by local boy Dale Romans, whose daddy was a trainer at Churchill. I like the horse because he's a son of Mineshaft who was a son of A P Indy, a tremendous sire descended from Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. That pedigree aside, J Boys Echo is the longest shot for me. I would love it if he won, but I don't think so."
While Classic Empire is the pick of most experts, there are a number of other horses identified as frontrunners. Expert Hank Greenberg has pegged Irish War Cry as a potential favorite, and others are leaning toward McCracken.

Jody Demling, who has an eight-year winning streak in both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, said he isn't all that high on Classic Empire and recommends looking for some different contenders when betting a trifecta or superfecta and trying a super box, which spreads out the odds a little more.

"Then what's Jody's advice? Stay away from Classic Empire and have some fun with a few different picks, especially if you can get in Friday for the Oaks-Derby double," CBS Sports reported. "An exotic wager like a super box can make for a great Saturday -- legendary trainer D. Wayne Lucas told Jody he's picking a seven horse super box -- so don't be scared to give it a run."

More betting advice for the 2017 Kentucky Derby can be found here.

[Featured Image by Rob Carr/Getty Images]