On February 10 and 11, the Westminster Kennel Club will hold its 138th dog show. During the prestigious two-day fur fest, dogs from 187 breeds will compete with an eye on making it to the grand finale. To get there, each pup will have to first be deemed the best of its breed (there are 76 entries for Labrador Retrievers alone!), then the best of its group. Finally, the top dog in each of seven groups will move on to compete for the coveted title of Best in Show.
Competing for the first time are three breeds newly recognized by the American Kennel Club: the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, the Chinook and the Rat Terrier. Also new to the competition are mixed breed dogs, called All American dogs, which will be allowed in Westminster for the first time as part of the inaugural Masters Agility Championship on February 8.
Between the two events, more than 3,000 dogs will compete at the show. So how do you pick a favorite? You could go by the lines set by Wynn oddsmaker Johnny Avello, known for posting odds on everything from the Oscars to Dancing With the Stars.
For the 2014 Westminster, Avello’s favorite is the Portuguese Water Dog—the choice pet of the Obamas, who have two—at odds of 8/1. Following the breed are the Wire Fox Terrier (10/1), Old English Sheepdog (12/1) and Irish Water Spaniel (14/1). Last year’s winner, Banana Joe, was an Affenpinscher, which Avello has clocking in at 250/1. At the bottom, with odds of 2,000/1, are the Glen of Imaal Terrier, the Belgian Malinois, the Redbone Coonhound and Xoloitzuintli, among others.
Of course, you can’t actually bet on the Westminster dog show at the Wynn just yet. But when the Neapolitan Mastiff (1,500/1) takes the top spot on Tuesday, you’ll know he was a total long shot.
Johnny Avello’s 10 favorites for the Westminster Dog Show
Portuguese Water Dog – 8/1
Wire Fox Terrier – 10/1
Old English Sheepdog – 12/1
Irish Water Spaniel – 14/1
Doberman Pinscher – 15/1
Giant Schnauzer – 16/1
Miniature Pinscher – 18/1
Russell Terrier – 20/1
Clumber Spaniel – 22/1
Standard Poodle – 25/1