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Kentucky Derby 2016 odds: No reason to look past My Man Sam, Mor Spirit against favorites Nyquist, Exaggerator

On paper, the bets are all going in favor of undefeated Nyquist and the top expected contender Exaggerator. But there's a reason the race is run, and there are horses in the middle of the pack that aren't as long odds as they seem.

It's easy to take a look over the odds and think to yourself that the sure bet is either Nyquist, who is undefeated in his last seven races, or Exaggerator. But the 2016 Kentucky Derby has a deep field, and horses that aren't sporting the best odds are still quite capable of winning.

Take Mor Spirit, for example. The colt has won two of five graded races, but finished runner-up behind Exaggerator and Danzing Candy in his past two. Oh, and he is being jockeyed by Gary Stevens (you really need to read this story about him) and is trained by Bob Baffert. You know, that guy who trained American Pharoah. Mor Spirit is back to 12-1 odds after slipping earlier to as low as 14-1.

Bringing in 18-1 odds after starting at 20-1 is My Man Sam. Sure, he only has one win to his name, but he does bring with him an impressive come-from-behind performance at the Blue Grass Stakes in early April, finishing second to fellow derby runner Brody's Cause after having the outside post position. It was his first time running in stakes company and just his fourth race overall. He's quite capable of winning.

Of course, Nyquist remains the top pick in the race, holding current odds of 2-1 (+225) after initially earning 3-1 odds (+300) with the original morning line. Still standing as the second favorite to win is Exaggerator, holding 5-1 (+650) odds, up from the original 8-1 (+800) odds. Behind him, Gun Runner has the lone 10-1 odds (+1000), which are the same odds he started with. Mohaymen comes in next at 12-1 (+1200) and Mor Spirit at 12-1.

Don't worry if you don't understand all the numbers that come with the odds. Here's a quick breakdown: The odds that are listed as 3-1 or 10-1 are meant to be the easiest to understand. For every dollar you bet on the winner, you get your original dollar back plus three more with a 3-1 odds. You get 10 more on 10-1 odds. Simple, right? The numbers above in parenthesis are from our friends at OddsShark. That number indicates the amount you win for every $100 you bet. You get your original $100 bet back with a win, plus that amount.

Nyquist will be looking for his eighth-straight victory when the derby kicks off. He won the Florida Derby (G1) in early April during his last race. He is jockeyed by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O'Neill. Those two have plenty of Kentucky Derby experience, having won it in 2012 with I'll Have Another.

Exaggerator, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) by an amazing 6 1/4 lengths, will be jockeyed by Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux and is trained by his brother, Keith. Exaggerator lost to Nyquist in the San Vicente (G2) and then lost to fellow Kentucky Derby contenders Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit in the San Felipe (G2).

Here are the current odds as of 4:30 p.m. on May 7 (horse order is based on post position):

Horse Morning Line Odds Current Odds
Trojan Nation 50-1 37-1
Suddenbreakingnews 20-1 24-1
Creator 10-1 16-1
Mo Tom 20-1 23-1
Gun Runner 10-1 10-1
My Man Sam 20-1 18-1
Oscar Nominated 50-1 39-1
Lani 30-1 27-1
Destin 15-1 21-1
Whitmore 20-1 30-1
Exaggerator 8-1 5-1
Tom's Ready 30-1 43-1
Nyquist 3-1 2-1
Mohaymen 10-1 12-1
Outwork 15-1 26-1
Shagaf 20-1 55-1
Mor Spirit 12-1 12-1
Majesto 30-1 58-1
Brody's Cause 12-1 23-1
Danzing Candy 15-1 27-1

Kentucky Derby odds, presented by a horse

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