The 144th Kentucky Derby is scheduled to take place in just over 24 hours from now as the best-of-the-best will battle it out to determine this year's winner in the annual Run for the Roses. The Derby is one of the most wagered-on horse races every year and this time around should be no different.

From the average $5 bettors to top of the line professional gamblers and the folks who don’t pay attention to horse racing at all but just love the thrill and atmosphere of the Kentucky Derby, all eyes will once again be on Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The first leg of the Triple Crown is scheduled to take place at 6:46 PM ET this Saturday evening.

Baffert once again leads the way

You just can’t talk about horse racing without mentioning the legendary Bob Baffert. When it comes to winning stake races, Baffert is the king. His horses have won four Kentucky Derbies, three Kentucky Oaks, six Preakness Stakes, and two Belmont Stakes. He also was the man behind the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Once again the trainer with the Midas touch has several horses running at various times this weekend - and one just happens to be the favorite in the big race.

Justify, the early 3/1 morning line favorite in the Kentucky Derby is Baffert’s latest horse to strike gold on the turf. On the heels of winning the Santa Anita Derby, this horse has Triple Crown appeal written all over it.

Field odds

While Justify is the clear-cut favorite in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, the field is large, and the competition will be strong.

According to Oddsshark, Mendelssohn is listed as a strong second contender at 5/1, followed by Magnum Moon at 6/1 and a two-way tie for fourth place on the odds board with Audible and Blot D’Oro at 8/1.

The official Kentucky Derby Twitter page revealed that there will be 20 horses scheduled to run on Saturday afternoon, with a 21st alternate possible as well.

Predictions, how to watch live

When it comes to predicting the winner of the Kentucky Derby, I am on a bit of a roll. I have picked four winners in a row, however, two of them were just flat out gifts. Back in 2014, the world was all over Victor Espinoza and California Chrome, and the same jockey rode American Pharoah to victory lane in 2015.

Those were gimmes in my humble opinion. 2016 belonged to another 2/1 favorite in Nyquist, however, last year was one to be a bit proud of in selecting Always Dreaming.

Now it is time to extend that streak to five in a row.

Justify has everything it takes to win this race - and he will.

But remember this folks, even if your horse loses, you can still make good money.

Baffert has another horse in this Derby, and it is a long shot. The 30/1 underdog Solomini could finish in the money, and that would make any trifecta or perfecta pay big - real big!

Here are my predictions for the 2018 Kentucky Derby results and payouts.

Winners: Justify (7) Audible (5) or Magnum Moon (16)

Trifecta: 7-5-16 -- 7-14-17

Superfecta: 5-7-14-16 -- 7-14-16-17

Fans can catch all of the action for the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby live nationally on NBC. The race will also stream on the NBC Sports Network. Post time is scheduled for just after 6:30 PM ET.