The NASCAR season is one of the longest in professional sport, starting with the Daytona 500 in February and ending with the final race of the chase series in mid-November. With a total of 36 races throughout the sprint cup season, as well as the other race categories such as the Xfinity series and the Truck series, NASCAR offers more gambling opportunities than any other motor sport. If you also consider that each race has 43 drivers, a large number of who can actually win any given race (which certainly cannot be said of the majority of other motor sports), you’ll see markets with some very good odds on the top drivers.
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Betting on NASCAR
The most popular bet at any race meeting is in picking the ‘Race Winner’. You might find that a sportsbook will list each of the 43 drivers individually, or just list a large proportion of the drivers, whilst grouping the rest as ‘the field’ where backing this selection will see you cheering on all of those unlisted drivers. Examples of the driver’s odds you might see listed are Matt Kenseth +600 and Jamie McMurray +3500. This means that a $100 wager on Kenseth would see you profit to the tune of $600 if Kenseth wins, while the same bet on McMurray would see a $3,500 windfall coming your way if McMurray can pass the checkered flag first.
With 43 drivers in the field you’ll see a wide range in the starting odds for a race, the favored drivers usually starting at odds of around +400, while some of the outsiders in a race will feature at odds as high as +100,000 or even higher. This certainly makes the ‘Race Winner’ market one that offers something for everyone.
As well as betting on just the winner, you can also place a wager on a driver to finish in the top 5. Obviously the odds will be much shorter on a driver achieving this, but this might be ideal if you’ve pinpointed a driver who is very consistent, but just doesn’t do enough to get the job done.
Alternate bets on NASCAR
With such uncertainty about the winner of any individual race you might want to place a bet where the chances of a win are much greater. The ‘head to head’ matches offered by sportsbooks give you this opportunity, where just two drivers are listed and you simply have to predict which driver will finish higher in a race. Usually you’ll find that the two drivers are of similar ability and you might find exactly the same odds of -110 about each of the two, however these odds will vary if one of the two is slightly favored. This bet may not make you rich, but you can certainly make this a winning strategy.
Similarly, you might find a sportsbook group a bunch of drivers, usually five, into one market, where you’ll predict which of them will cross the line first. The odds offered here will be somewhere between the ‘race winner’ and the ‘head to head’ and this makes for an enjoyable bet where you just have 5 drivers to focus on and not the entire 43.
A number of sportsbooks will also offer prop bets on some races, particularly on the biggest races of the year like the Daytona 500. These are usually more ‘fun’ bets, which might include whether the winning car will have an odd or even number or based around how many cautions there might be in a race. These aren’t bets to put your mortgage on, but for something a little different, they can be enjoyable.
Your final betting option is the Futures market based around the eventual winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This can certainly be an interesting bet and keeps you involved for as long as your driver is still in with a chance of winning, the interest levels rising if your chosen driver makes the chase. The odds will be listed in much the same way as the ‘Race Winner’ market and you’ll be able to place this bet both before the Daytona 500 and throughout the season.
Betting on NASCAR with an edge
Although there are 43 drivers in each race, some will obviously have a greater chance of winning than others and there are a number of factors you can use to determine these chances. Firstly you should ask various questions about each of the drivers. These might include ‘How is their current form?’, ‘Do they drive super speedways or short courses well?’, ‘Do they have a history of winning or failure at this raceway?’ The more questions you ask, the greater feel you’ll have for an individual race.
You shouldn’t just concentrate on the Sprint Cup performances either. If a driver has performed well in the Xfinity series (or previously the nationwide series) at a particular track, make a note of it. You can never have too much information when it comes to gambling.
One vital and sometimes overlooked factor is the overall season picture. We might be heading into the chase and a particular driver hasn’t made it yet – you can rest assured that his team mates will be doing their damnedest to get that driver to the top of the podium for the week. This may not be a factor in the early races in the season, but once you hit the 20 race mark there’ll be a series of side issues within each and every race, and looking out for ‘who needs what’ will certainly give your gambling strategy a boost.
Having come to a decision you need to ensure that you are gaining the best odds. You should shop around a large number of sportsbooks and gain the best value for your dollar.
Best Sportsbooks for NASCAR Betting
For sheer variety of bets we can recommend two particular sportsbooks. Firstly 5Dimes offer a range of markets for every race and this will even include the qualifying sessions. You’ll find driver head to heads and race winner markets all at highly competitive odds. Secondly, non-US site Betway offers race winner markets on both the Sprint Cup and the Xfinity series, as well as updated odds on the Sprint Cup throughout the year. However, when it comes to the biggest races, you can also throw Bovada into the ring too, this site offering some of the best prop bets you’ll find on NASCAR as well as solid pricing.
Gambling Guide to NASCAR Conclusion
Seeing those 43 cars flying around the track in formation is one of the most thrilling sights in sport, but knowing that one of those cars has your hard earned dollars riding on it, gives the viewing experience an added edge. Doing your homework by spending some time studying a race, means you’ll have a head start over the vast majority of the other bettors out there, and gives you every chance of making each and every season a profitable one – leaving everyone else in the pits.