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How to Bet on Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

by Scott Kacsmar
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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is the 2nd-longest running sporting event in the United States behind the Kentucky Derby. It has been held every year since 1877, overcoming everything from multiple World Wars and pandemics. 

With such a popular event for dogs and dog lovers, you had to expect there are betting markets available at top-rated sportsbooks to enjoy Westminster even more.

We have some examples of betting markets you can expect to find for Best in Show at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Best in Show – First Letter in Winner’s Name

The top prize at Westminster is the Best in Show, which goes to the top dog after the candidates are broken down from the Best in Breed then the Best in Group. Here are the 7 groups that compete:

  • Sporting
  • Hound
  • Working
  • Terrier
  • Toy
  • Non-Sporting
  • Herding

Therefore, Best in Show will come down to 1-of-7 dogs. You have the ability to bet on the 1st letter in the winning dog’s name. The odds favor A-H (-120 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more)) over I-P (+220) and Q-Z (+200).

This one is a little confusing since it depends on how they define what the name of the winner is. Every dog has a registered name, and that usually starts with “Ch” or “GCH” to denote they’re a champion or grand champion from past events.

It would make sense to ignore that part of the name, but it still isn’t settled by going with what comes after that part as some owners use their name as part of the full name like 2022 winner “Flessner’s Toot My Own Horn” which was owned in part by Chris and Bryan Flessner.

Also, that dog apparently went by the name “Trumpet” instead of “Toot My Own Horn” as each dog has a call name that often differs from the registered name.

For another confusing example, the 2008 Best in Show winner was “Ch. K-Run’s Park Me In First” but it had a call name of “Uno.” So, would that winning bet be on C, K, P, or U?

Frankly, I don’t know, and nothing on the sportsbook suggests how this is decided for the 1st letter. But with the way the odds are, A-H has a considerable lead despite the fact we see plenty of names from the rest of the alphabet as past winners.

Therefore, the best value may be on one of the longshots in I-P and Q-Z.

Best in Show – Winning Group

For a much clearer award, you can bet on the winning group for Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Here are the odds for the 7 groups from BetOnline:

  • Terrier (+300)
  • Non-Sporting (+400)
  • Toy (+400)
  • Hound (+500)
  • Sporting (+500)
  • Working (+700)
  • Herding (+1000)

Historically, the Terrier has been the best bet since Best in Show debuted in 1907. It has by far the most wins of any group of dogs:

  • Terrier Group: 47 wins
  • Sporting Group: 18 wins
  • Working Group: 13 wins
  • Toy Group: 12 wins
  • Non-Sporting Group: 11 wins
  • Hound Group: 7 wins
  • Herding Group: 5 wins

But despite the historical dominance of the Terrier, only 1-of-9 winners since 2015 have been from the Terrier group when a Fox Terrier (Wire) won in 2019.

With the Terrier not dominating as often as it used to, there could be plenty of value to spread your bets around to breeds from the recent winning groups like Hound and Non-Sporting.

Best in Show – Winning Breed

If you want to get more specific than the 7 groups, you can bet on the exact breed of the winner of Best in Show.

The Terrier (+300 at BetOnline) has the best odds followed by the Spaniel (+800), Samoyed (+1200), and Poodle (+1200).

For a specific breed, the Wire Fox Terrier (15 wins) and Scottish Terrier (8) have the most wins in history. The only other breed with more than 5 wins is the English Springer Spaniel (6).

But since the last Terrier won in 2019, we have seen a Poodle (2020), Pekingese (2021), Bloodhound (2022), and last year’s winner was a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (1st ever win for that breed).

This is another case where you could maybe fade the Terriers and go for more value with some breeds from recent winning groups like the Hound and Non-Sporting dogs.

Primary Coat Color of Best in Show Winner

You can even bet on the primary coat color for the winning dog in Best in Show. The odds at BetOnline:

  • Brown (+100)
  • White (+200)
  • Black (+400)
  • Golden (+1400)
  • Grey (+1600)
  • Orange (+2000)

That’s a pretty big drop after the top 3 choices. You could argue 5-of-10 winners since 2014 have been primarily white dogs, including last year’s winner Buddy Holly.

It would be wise to stay within those top 3, but if you wanted a longshot, some recent winners could pass for Grey more than they would for Golden or Orange.

The Sex of the Winner of Best in Show

Finally, you can also bet on the sex (male or female) of the winner of Best in Show. This is one we have some clear historical data on as males have won 68 of the first 103 times. That means 35 female winners.

However, female has a slight lead in odds with -120 at BetOnline compared to -110 for males.

There has been closer to a 50-50 split of female and male winners over the last 15 years. Last year’s winner (Buddy Holly) was a male, so maybe the next one is going to be female.

But you can treat this one like betting on flipping a coin at the Super Bowl.

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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