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Daytona 500 Odds and Betting Preview: Kyle Larson the Short Shot as Jimmie Johnson Returns

It’s time for the “Great American Race.” Once again, racing fans will migrate to Florida for the Daytona 500.

NASCAR’s popularity has been growing steadily over the past few years. According to NASCAR President Steve Phelps, 2022 ticket sales were up over 20% compared to 2021. Part of the reason for that is the sport making efforts to appeal to more people.

One of the ways they are reaching more people is thanks to sports betting. NASCAR is partnering with several sports wagering operators. They are also promoting those partnerships at some world-famous racetracks. Ahead of this weekend’s Daytona 500, we’ve got the information to help you get a little skin in the game with Daytona 500 odds at the best sports betting apps while watching the racing action.

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Daytona 500 Betting Odds

If you are a fan of the sport, the names at the top of the sports betting odds boards will be familiar to you.

  • Kyle Larson +1000
  • Ryan Blaney +1200
  • Joey Logano +1200
  • Chase Elliott +1200
  • Denny Hamlin +1300

But racing can be very unpredictable and it can feel like a crap shoot to pick the winner. Austin Cindric, who won last year’s race as a +2800 long shot, is listed at +2000 to win this year’s race.

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NASCAR Embraces Sports Betting

Joe Solosky, NASCAR’s managing director of sports betting, spoke with Rocky Top Insider about how the organization expects to impact the future of sports betting and how it can continue to expand. Solosky says betting featured matchups across the major sportsbooks will help keep new fans and customers engaged in the action.

“Once NASCAR got involved in creating these featured matchups, it created separate tabs for sportsbooks to have four or five that they could put promos around,” Solosky said. “What we saw was a big spike in handle that diversified the types of bets that were placed on NASCAR. It forces you to watch the race through a different lens.”

So maybe you think Logano will fair better than Kyle Busch. Those are the kind of bets that can not only draw fans in but also create connections with their favorite drivers. There is also the bonus of the return of NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson.

“With Jimmie Johnson returning to the sport in an increased capacity there’s probably going to be some increased public money for such a familiar face and such a legendary name to be back involved in the NASCAR circuit,” Solosky said.

Solosky said the NASCAR teams have started to embrace sports betting as well. Richard Childress Racing, which has drivers Austin Dillon and Kyle Busch on the team, has a working relationship with BetMGM Sportsbook. 23XI Racing, which has drivers like Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch, has a partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook.

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How to Bet on NASCAR

NASCAR, like other major sports, offers a variety of betting markets for you to try your hand at. Some of the best are distinct to racing, while others have a lot in common with bets from other sports. Here’s a quick rundown of the bets you’ll typically come across at popular sportsbooks when wagering on NASCAR.

  • Race winner: Wager on a driver to win the race. If you’re right, you’ll win based on your bet amount and the associated odds. Remember, though, that it can be very difficult to predict the winner of a race due to all of the factors that play into the results, such as wrecks, pit stops, and more.
  • Top 3/Top 5: Instead of picking a driver to win outright, you can choose if a driver is going to finish in the top three or the top five. The odds obviously change, and the potential return on your wager decreases as you add more spots for your driver.
  • Pole position: Another name for this bet is the “fastest qualifier.” It has you choosing one or more drivers to have the fastest qualifying time and, thus, earning the pole position for the upcoming race.
  • Lap time: Bet on a driver to have the fastest lap time during the race. The driver doesn’t have to win, or even finish in some cases, but that driver does have to record the fastest time around the oval out of all of the drivers in the field that day.
  • Driver head-to-head matchups: This bet matches up two drivers. You wager on which one will finish better overall in the race. It doesn’t matter who wins the race, just which of the two drivers finishes in a higher position.
  • Driver vs. group matchups: This is similar to the head-to-head, but instead of pitting a single driver against a single driver, you bet on which driver will finish best from among a group. This bet also doesn’t need to have the outright winner, just the winner vs. the rest of the group.

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Live Betting on NASCAR races

Live betting, also known as in-game betting, has created a new level of interaction and engagement between bettors and the sports they are wagering on. For NASCAR fans, it allows you to make wagers as the action unfolds in the race. You can bet things like whether there will be a crash or which car will be the next to move into first place.

Basically, you are watching the race and making side bets as the action takes place. You can double down on your betting in some cases, such as if the driver you bet on to win is leading after a certain number of laps and you want to add another bet on the same outcome, or you can hedge your bets to prevent larger losses.

Tips for Betting on NASCAR

Betting on NASCAR isn’t like sitting down to wager on the NFL or NBA. The sport can be quite different from most team sports. So here are three simple but effective ways to help yourself when it comes to making NASCAR picks and betting on NASCAR online:

  • Know the drivers: You should watch the races, learn about the drivers and know what their racing style is. Are they aggressive? Do they like to rub their opponents? Do they draft for the majority of the race trying to delay their pit stops? By watching the races, reading up on the drivers, and getting to know them as well as you can, you’ll learn where they like to race, what kind of conditions favor their style, and how effective they can be in certain situations.
  • Know the racetracks: Some tracks just spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for certain drivers. Know which tracks are notorious for wrecks, difficult conditions, and more. The venues in NASCAR aren’t like a home-field advantage in other sports. Drivers don’t have a track they call home, but they do have those they race well on and those they absolutely abhor.
  • Use multiple sportsbooks: By shopping around at multiple sportsbooks, you’re going to give yourself the best deal on your wagers. Sometimes this is a great way to hedge your bets as well, especially when you can find NASCAR odds that really even out your bets. Shop around for the best sportsbook odds and you’ll create the best possible return on your wagers, which is always a good thing when it comes to your money. If you use multiple sports betting apps you can also claim thousands of dollars in sports betting bonuses.

Last 10 Daytona 500 winners

  • 2022 Austin Cindric
  • 2021 Michael McDowell
  • 2020 Denny Hamlin
  • 2019 Denny Hamlin
  • 2018 Austin Dillon
  • 2017 Kurt Busch
  • 2016 Denny Hamlin
  • 2015 Joey Logano
  • 2014 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • 2013 Jimmie Johnson
  • 2012 Matt Kenseth

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