Kentucky Derby 2021: Favorites, Darkhorses, and Underdogs

by WagerHome Blog on April 29, 2021

Nothing signals that summer is right around the corner like the May tradition of the Kentucky Derby. So get your mint juleps made, put on your fancy hat, and get ready for the best horse race of the year.

Kentucky Derby Positions and Odds

  1. Known Agenda (6-1)
  2. Like the King (50-1)
  3. Brooklyn Strong (50-1)
  4. Keepmeinmind (50-1)
  5. Sainthood (50-1)
  6. O Besos (20-1)
  7. Mandaloun (15-1)
  8. Medina Spirit (15-1)
  9. Hot Rod Charlie (8-1)
  10. Midnight Bourbon (20-1)
  11. Dynamic One (20-1)
  12. Helium (50-1)
  13. Hidden Stash (50-1)
  14. Essential Quality (2-1)
  15. Rock Your World (5-1)
  16. King Fury (20-1)
  17. Highly Motivated (10-1)
  18. Super Stock (30-1)
  19. Soup and Sandwich (30-1)
  20. Bourbonic (30-1)

Running in the middle from the 14th position is the odds on favorite, Essential Quality. According to the oddsmakers, this is his race to lose. He’s had success at Churchill Downs, with a win at the Blue Grass Stakes and Breeders’ Futurity, and it’s worth noting that the betting favorite has finished either first or second in eight of the last ten Triple Crown races.

Running next to Essential Quality is a turf horse turned dirt, Rock Your World. Suppose you are looking for a favorite that isn’t THE favorite, then you can’t do much better. He ran at the Santa Anita Derby on April 3 and absolutely dominated the field, running from the front the majority of the race and cruising to a pull-away win.Kentucky Derby

Darkhorse Candidates

It is Kentucky, and the mint julep is made with bourbon, so keep an eye on Midnight Bourbon, running at 20-1. He’s looked great in workouts and is being ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

Another of the Kentucky whiskey-named horses is Bourbonic, running at 30-1. Posted on the outside, he will be free of traffic, and no doubt trainer Todd Pletcher, a two-time winner at the Derby, will have him ready to run. He also just won the Wood Memorial to begin the month of April at 72-1, so don’t expect Saturday’s odds to bother jockey Kendrick Carmouche.


You never go in expecting a win from the longest of shots, but there are a few that could sneak onto the board.

Paying 50-1, Helium was a victor at the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby back in March. He hasn’t been tested much, but he’s trained by Mark Casse, who always has his horses properly conditioned.

Another Todd Pletcher trained horse is Sainthood, on the board at 50-1. In his most recent race, he finished in second place at the Grade 3 Jeff Ruby Steaks but was closing at the finish and showed real promise for the future.

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WagerHome BlogKentucky Derby 2021: Favorites, Darkhorses, and Underdogs

NFL Draft 2021: What to Expect in the First Round

by WagerHome Blog on April 27, 2021

A strange, shortened, and, in some cases, absent college football season makes this year’s NFL Draft one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. There was no combine, and only scattered player pro days and limited face-to-face interviews. Will teams be willing to take risks or go with the tried and true?

Hard to say exactly, but this is our best guess as to the headlines that will be made during Thursday night’s first round.

It’s a Quarterback’s League

If you don’t have a franchise quarterback, you don’t have a shot at the Super Bowl. That is the reality of the NFL, and that is why it is a certainty that the top three picks will be rookie signal-callers.

Trevor Lawrence goes No. 1 to the Jaguars, Zach Wilson goes to the Jets at No. 2, but who do the 49ers take at No. 3? It will be a quarterback, and if it’s Mac Jones, don’t be surprised if there are a number of teams on the phone with the Falcons trying to move up to No. 4 for Trey Lance or Justin Fields.

The Broncos are sitting at No. 9, and if the quarterback they covet is still on the board at No. 4, the Falcons could get a haul of picks from Denver. The Bears, or even the Patriots, might also have an eye on moving up for one of the top quarterbacks.

Teams Moving Up

The Ravens have their quarterback, but they also have a lot of picks. Ten picks to be exact, including two first-rounders, two thirds, and two fourths. Look for Baltimore to package its picks and move up to grab one of the best wide receivers on the board.

The Chargers have nine total picks, including No. 13 in the first round. If there is an opportunity to grab a top offensive tackle or tight end Kyle Pitts, don’t be surprised if Los Angeles makes a move. It wants to surround Justin Herbert with as much offensive talent as possible.

The Miami Dolphins

With confidence in second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and holding first-round picks at Nos. 6 and 18, the Dolphins get a section all to themselves. Look for them to use the sixth pick on LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, then make a big trade with someone for the No. 18 pick.

nfl draft

They have lots of draft capital and could move up, down, or into more picks for the future. Whatever Miami ultimately decides to do, when the first-round grades are given out, look for it to score quite high.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Draft 2021: What to Expect in the First Round

What is Pay Per Head?

by WagerHome Blog on April 23, 2021

If you are an independent bookmaker, then you need to know about the many perks that pay per head software provides. PPH providers, in essence, an outsourcing service. Your bookmaking business remains yours. You are still the boss. But you are no longer responsible for the many administrative tasks that can take time away from expanding your business.

Just the financial transactions of bookmaking can be a full-time job. Add in keeping track of odds, sports, clients, working as your own customer service agent, and everything else, and it’s like having two full-time jobs.

But when you sign on with a pay per head software provider like, all of those duties become theirs. They handle all bets and payouts, automatically update the odds, deliver detailed client reports, and give you your own customizable website.

And the business ownership remains yours.

Why Your Clients Will Love It

As an independent bookmaker, you are in the customer service business. Your clients have other options, so you need to give them the best betting service available to keep them happy and keep them loyal.

No longer will a bet not be placed because they couldn’t get a hold of you. Now your clients will have access to dynamic lines that reflect the latest news and betting trends, making sure they are betting with the most up-to-date odds. And with as your provider, your clients will access to WagerHome’s huge menu of available sports and bets, as well as EZ live betting.

Add in the peace of mind of working with a company that features the latest in encryption software and security, plus all of the possible banking options that are provided by larger companies, and your clients will feel like they are betting with a top-of-the-line sportsbook but one that still gives them your personal touch.

Why You as a Bookmaker Will Love It

Making your clients happy is important. But it’s a tough call to make if their happiness makes your life harder. Fortunately, at, it’s a win-win scenario for both the client and the bookie.

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WagerHome BlogWhat is Pay Per Head?

Kentucky Derby Contenders and Long Shots

by WagerHome Blog on April 20, 2021

Back in its familiar place on the calendar on the first Saturday in May, we are getting ready for the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby.

It is now less than two weeks away, which means it’s time for everyone to start thinking about which horses are most likely to win the blanket of roses and which long shots are most able to put money in your pocket.

Kentucky Derby Projected Field

  • Essential Quality (5-2)
  • Hot Rod Charlie (6-1)
  • Medina Spirit (8-1)
  • Rock Your World (8-1)
  • Known Agenda (12-1)
  • Highly Motivated (15-1)
  • Mandaloun (15-1)
  • Midnight Bourbon (15-1)
  • Super Stock (20-1)
  • Bourbonic (30-1)
  • Caddo River (30-1)
  • Dynamic One (30-1)
  • Soup and Sandwich (30-1)
  • O Besos (30-1)
  • Dream Shake (30-1)
  • Helium (50-1)
  • Hidden Stash (50-1)
  • Like the King (50-1)
  • Sainthood (50-1)
  • Get Her Number (50-1)

Essential Quality has all of the essential qualities you look for in a Derby favorite. He was the winner in his Churchill Downs debut and heads into this race undefeated. The one issue with Essential Quality is his trainer, Brad Cox, who has never had a Derby starter, and thus he remains an unknown at this level.

A good number two in the field is Hot Rod Charlie, who won at the Louisiana Derby. Making that win most relevant is the distance, at 1 3/16 mile. That’s a longer win than anyone else in the field, and it sets him up for the 1 1/4 mile at Churchill Downs.

Kentucky Derby Contenders and Long ShotsAnother horse to keep an eye on is Highly Motivated. At 15-1, he is in the long shot territory, but he’s running much better than that. On April 3 at the Blue Grass Stakes, he ran stride-for-stride with Essential Quality before getting beaten at the wire. He also has a victory at the Nyquist Stakes and a third-place at the Gotham Stakes.

Best Long Shot Bets

At 30-1, Midnight Bourbon is an iffy bet to win the race. But he raced to second place behind Hot Rod Charlie at the Louisiana Derby and had a win in January in the Lecomte. Outside of that, he has been consistently competitive and could sneak into the top three at the Derby.

For a long-shot win contender, take a closer look at Dynamic One. Paying 30-1, he won at Aqueduct and nearly won at the Wood Memorial after a strong closing move. In a field with a group of horses that aren’t used to running 1 1/4 miles, look for another strong close from Dynamic One that just might be enough for trainer Todd Pletcher’s third Derby win.

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WagerHome BlogKentucky Derby Contenders and Long Shots

2021 Mock NFL Draft

by WagerHome Blog on April 7, 2021

The NFL Draft is just three weeks away, and the wheeling and dealing has already reached a fever pitch. The San Francisco 49ers made big moves to get a quarterback, and the New York Jets seem to have clarified their draft priorities with a trade of their own.

It is the season of the mock draft, and here is ours.

Top 10 NFL Draft Picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (QB)

Don’t listen to the noise. Trevor Lawrence has been the top pick in this draft for more than two years now.

2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, BYU (QB)

Sam Darnold has been dealt to the Carolina Panthers, and the Jets replace him with the signal-caller from BYU, Zach Wilson.

3. San Francisco 49ers – Mac Jones, Alabama (QB)

This is where things get interesting. Maybe the Mac Jones chatter is a smoke screen, though no one can jump ahead of the 49ers and take either Justin Fields or Trey Lance, so there is no reason for a head-fake here. So it’s Jones, but with a possible surprise.

4. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Pitts, Florida (TE)

The Falcons have revealed that they would like to trade this pick, so stay tuned. It could become a quarterback to a yet-to-be-named team. But if the Falcons keep the pick, they will add the most impressive offensive weapon in the draft, Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, Oregon (OT)

Last year, the Bengals got their franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow. And since he ended the season injured, this year they will get the best player in this draft charged with keeping quarterbacks healthy, Oregon tackle Penei Sewell.

6. Miami Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU (WR)

By trading out of the top three, the Dolphins signaled that they are ready to roll with Tua Tagovailoa in 2021. He gets the best wide receiver in the draft, Ja’Marr Chase.

7. Detroit Lions – Justin Fields, Ohio State (QB)

nfl draft

The Lions did just trade for Jared Goff, but that was more for the draft picks the Rams sent to take on Goff’s contract. The Lions can get out of that contract in 2022, and at that point, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields will take the reins.

8. Carolina Panthers – Rashawn Slater, Northwestern (OT)

Maybe the Panthers go with a wide receiver, but they do have Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore, which makes offensive tackle more likely. Rashawn Slater from Northwestern is the second-best tackle in the draft.

9. Denver Broncos – Trey Lance, North Dakota State (QB)

The Broncos could trade up for a different quarterback, but chances are they will be pleased to get North Dakota State’s Trey Lance without having to trade away any assets.

10. Dallas Cowboys – Kwity Paye, Michigan (Edge)

Our first defensive selection of the draft goes to Dallas, where Michigan’s Kwity Paye will pair very nicely with DeMarcus Lawrence and give Dallas a top pass rush.

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WagerHome Blog2021 Mock NFL Draft

Masters 2021 picks: Expert predictions

by WagerHome Blog on April 6, 2021

Gone from the calendar last April, the Masters is back in its traditional spot of opening up the spring. In just a few days, we will hear Jim Nantz welcome us to the “tradition unlike any other” as the best golfers in the world tee it up for the first major championship of the season.

It also marks the first time since November that we get to place wagers on a major championship, and these are your Masters betting favorites to begin the week.

2021 Masters Favorites

  • Dustin Johnson (+900)
  • Jordan Spieth (+1000)
  • Justin Thomas (+1000)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (+1100)
  • Jon Rahm (+1200)
  • Rory McIlroy (+1400)
  • Xander Schauffele (+2200)
  • Patrick Cantlay (+2200)
  • Brooks Koepka (+2500)
  • Patrick Reed (+2800)

The world’s number one player and the Masters champion when this tournament was played in November, Dustin Johnson is the obvious betting favorite here. He’s been in the top five at Augusta for five straight years, and it would be shocking if Johnson wasn’t in contention on Sunday.

A week ago, 2015 champion Jordan Spieth was paying at +1400 and was fifth on the list of favorites. On Sunday, however, he just won his first event in almost four years at the Valero Texas Open, and now he’s second on the list behind Johnson.

The other interesting story among the Masters betting favorites is Brooks Koepka. Just three weeks ago, he had surgery to repair a dislocated kneecap, and we weren’t sure he was going to be here. It’s why the second-place finisher in 2019 is only paying +2500.

Others to Watch

Sergio Garcia has gone from a Masters champion in 2017 to +5000 in 2021. That is good value for a player who right now is at the top of his game. He finished in the top 10 at The Players Championship and tied for fifth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event.

masters betting

Another golfer who is playing a lot better than his number would indicate is Matt Kuchar at +8000. He finished in third place at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event and tied for 12th place at the Valero Texas Open. Kuchar has never won a major despite finishing in the top 10 at all four events, but he is definitely worth a look at such a good value.

A real dark horse, but one worth considering, is Si-woo Kim at +10000. He doesn’t have a great history at Augusta (21st in 2019), which is why he is paying so much. But he did win The American Express in January and finished in the top 10 at Sawgrass in March, which is why you should consider him.

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WagerHome BlogMasters 2021 picks: Expert predictions

NCAA Final Four Betting Picks

by WagerHome Blog on April 1, 2021

It’s been an unusual NCAA Tournament, with the entire thing taking place in Indiana. But it has also been a fantastic NCAA Tournament, and now we’re down to the Final Four.

There was the single COVID-19 incident that resulted in VCU having to forfeit its first-round game with Oregon, but otherwise, we made it to the Final Four without any other hiccups and with a lot of great basketball.

Baylor Bears (-5.0) vs. Houston Cougars

As crazy as the Midwest Region got, with No. 1 Illinois falling to Loyola Chicago, No. 11 Syracuse marching to the Sweet 16, and No. 12 Oregon State going all the way to the Elite Eight, one of the pre-tournament favorites in Houston advanced to the Final Four.

The road to Houston’s first Final Four since 1984 and the days of Phi Slama Jama and Akeem Olajuwon (Hakeem since 1991) has not been terribly challenging. They are the first Final Four team to ever advance that far by only playing double-digit seeds.

That changes when they face the top seed in the South, Baylor, which is making its first Final Four appearance since 1950, when the tournament had just eight teams.

Baylor was knocked off its stride when it was forced to miss three weeks during the season because of COVID-19 protocols. But the top three-point shooting team in the country looks like its old 17-0 self and rolls into the final weekend with 26 wins, the second-most in the country.

Houston dominates the offensive glass in this one and keeps it close, but ultimately the Bears are too much. Baylor wins; Houston covers.

Gonzaga Bulldogs (-13.5) vs. UCLA Bruins

From the First Four to the Final Four has been the road for the UCLA Bruins. Unlike the other three teams in Indianapolis this weekend, the Bruins are regulars in the Final Four, with this being their 19th appearance.

ncaa final four

UCLA likes to slow the pace and bore you into a loss, which is exactly how they knocked off the East’s top seed, Michigan, to get here and set up the improbable matchup with the nation’s No. 1 team Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs have been a team of destiny all season long. Not only have they not lost a single game all year, but they have won their last 27 games by double digits.

Not surprisingly, that is an NCAA Division I record. Here in the NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga’s wins have been by 43, 16, 18, and 19.

It’s hard to imagine a program in search of its first-ever national championship being this big of a favorite against a program with 11 national championships, but there aren’t many teams like this year’s Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Bulldogs win big, cover the spread, and roll into Monday’s final game.

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WagerHome BlogNCAA Final Four Betting Picks