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Behind the lines

Derby presents many options

May 02, 2008|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

The 134th Kentucky Derby will take place this weekend, with Big Brown listed as the favorite at 3-1. But there are plenty of other horses that have been given strong odds for this year's race, starting with Colonel John at 4-1 and Pyro at 6-1.

But a good deal of the Kentucky Derby betting action may be connected with proposition wagers.

Here are a few listed by sportsbetting.com: Will there be a Triple Crown winner in 2008? Yes (+500); no (-900). Will the Kentucky Derby winner also win the Preakness Stakes? Yes (+180); no (-240). Will the Kentucky Derby winner also win the Belmont Stakes? Yes (+400); no (-600). What will be the Kentucky Derby saddlecloth number? Odd (+145); even (-185).

At Bodoglife.com, the bets include: Who will finish in the best position? Big Brown (-140); Colonel John (even). And will the winner of the Kentucky Derby have raced on a synthetic track surface? Yes (-150); no (+110)?

But it's the off-the-wall type of bets that makes things interesting at Bodoglife.com. They include wagers such as: What will the Kentucky Derby mutuel win pay? Over $18.50 (-140); under $18.50 (even). Will the attendance exceed that of the 156,635 of 2007? Yes (-180); no (+140).

From what post will the Kentucky Derby winner start the race? Gates 1-5 (19-4); gates 6-10 (1-1); gates 11-15 (19-4); gates 16-20 (7-4).

And will the winner of the Kentucky Derby be bred in Kentucky? Yes (-1000); no (+550).

Pro basketball

The Houston Rockets will face an uphill battle against the Utah Jazz tonight as they try to stay alive in their NBA best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

The Rockets, who trail the Jazz, 3-2, are listed as 7.5-point underdogs heading into tonight's Game 6 at Utah.

The key for Houston has been its ability to slow down Utah's offense. During the regular season, the Jazz averaged 105.1 points but has averaged only 86 in the postseason, which is the lowest of the 16 playoff teams.

The Atlanta Hawks are another team one defeat away from elimination.

The Hawks trail the Boston Celtics, 3-2, and are listed as eight-point underdogs for tonight's Game 6 at Philips Arena. Note: Atlanta is 4-0 against the spread in its last four games as an underdog between five and 10 points.

Baseball

The Tampa Bay Rays have been one of baseball's best early-season stories and tonight they will get a big test against the Boston Red Sox.

With right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-2) going against Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (1-2), the Rays are listed as +145 underdogs with the Red Sox at -165. Note: Tampa Bay is 7-0 in its last seven games against a right-handed starter and 4-0 in its last four as an underdog.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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