Introduction to NASCAR Betting
On December 14, 1947, in Daytona Beach, FL, Bill France Sr. called a meeting to address several matters with motorsport enthusiasts and investors. That day, matters regarding the current and future state of stock cars were all addressed. It was on that same day that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was born.
Since then, NASCAR has evolved into America’s most beloved motorsport dynamic and continues to stand as a badge of classic auto racing in the states. The first NASCAR series was run in 1948, but it wasn’t until 1949 when, on October 16, Red Byron won the first NASCAR Strictly Stock Championship title.
Over the years, there have been drivers such as Richard Petty who accomplished his seventh NASCAR championship in 1979 and five years later nailed his 200th official win. From gradual modifications to racing format to founding the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. that has allowed the sport to gradually evolve and grow, many changes have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the evolution of the sport.
Originally with one sole category, NASCAR now consists of three national touring series – the Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and the Truck Series. All categories now have their own rules, stages, their own NASCAR schedule, and even playoff rounds. With races being split into three to four stages, points are distributed amongst the top ten drivers. Points can range from regular-season points as well to playoff points.
The season consists of a total of 26 Cup Series Races and ten additional events are added as part of the playoff stage. Playoffs 10-game series is split into three sections consisting of three races each and one last final championship race.
There are a total of 24 sites where NASCAR races take place. Tracks less than a mile short are called short tracks, while those over a mile in length are referred to as Speedways or even intermediates. For instance, one of the shortest tracks in the repertoire is the Martinsville Speedway which only extends for a total of .526 miles. On the other extreme, Daytona and Talladega are referred to as superspeedways reaching lengths of over two miles. Daytona reaches the 2.5-mile range while Talladega measures 2.66 miles approximately.
NASCAR’s popularity has grown to the point where it has been able to record attendance of approximately 100,000 fans per race, easily surpassing the 4-5 million fans per year. Since the first race was held at Daytona in 1959, where attendance was recorded at a staggering 41,000 fans, the sport was well on its way to making a mark in American motorsport culture.
HOW TO BET
Bettors need to be familiar with the different ways to wager on NASCAR races. Here are a few of the more popular options for bettors:
Futures bets are a type of prop bet which entails betting on the future results of a certain driver or team. Common examples could be; will Kyle Larson repeat as the NASCAR Cup Champion? Or which race team will finish with the most wins in 2022?
Weekly wagers are made each week leading up to a race. Some of the options include: Picking the race winner; picking the racer with the fastest race lap; picking the racer with the fastest qualifying time to earn the pole; head-to-head matchups and picking the top 3 finishers in the race.
Head-to-head matchups allow bettors to focus on a certain head-to-head battle between two racers, rather than the more general wager of winning the race. These matchups are typically between two drivers or a group of four drivers. Bettors select which driver will have a better result in the race.
Before betting on NASCAR races, there is a fair amount of research that needs to go into your strategy unless you are an avid race fan already.
Each week presents a different race strategy for each team and driver. Each track is different, whether it’s a super speedway, a tri-oval, road course or short track. The nuances in even speedways differ based on the banking of the corners, length of the track and width to allow for more passing lanes.
There are many established, long-term race teams such as Penske, Roush-Fenway. Gibbs, etc, but there are several new teams on the horizon featuring younger drivers. Larger, experienced teams have a decided advantage to racing as they can share car setups, strategies, knowledge and help with drafting on the bigger tracks to help each other get to the front of the pack.
Each driver has their own skill set with regards to their driving styles. Some drivers are more aggressive and skillful, which suits them better for short tracks and circuits whereas the larger, oval tracks produce sometimes random winners as there is more strategy in these tracks based on tire wear, fuel usage and teamwork in drafting.
One could also look at podium finishes as an alternative option. More than just singling out each driver and placing them under a specific category, let that be first, second, or third place, a bet can be made over a driver nailing one of the three spots, no matter which one it is. Podium bets will have less favorable odds, yet they increase your chance of winning in case picking on the exact winner of the race becomes harder than expected. By the way, it always is.
Prop bets are also available for the NASCAR series. One could pick a driver to end within the first five or ten spots of the race, as well as over the season. Also, there are picks that range from which manufacturer will top the scoring board by the end of the regular season, as well as which driver leads the most laps by the end of everyone; the selection is ample.
Some other betting options range from which driver records the fastest lap to make your selection as to which driver, amongst two of your choice, will finish the race first. Surely, there are plenty of options where to choose from through the regular and playoff season. As in any other sport, be sure to consider all data at hand and make your betting picks to make the most out of each wager.
For this dynamic, odds can slightly range amongst the top favored drivers. For instance, throughout some stages of the regular season, drivers such as Danny Hamlin can range between the +700 to +800 odds, and the top five ranks might record odds between the first pick starting at +700 to the fifth pick at anywhere between +1,000 to +1,500. Making a pick over which driver to win is a challenging task, no matter how much one can analyze data.
As for head-to-head props bets, one could favor two specific drivers, and odds will tend to reflect on the narrow margin of statistical risk being lowered from other categories such as race winner. Let’s say one picks Hamlin to win over Kyle Larson at a specific race. Hamlin’s odds for the Daytona 500 or the Southern 500 may have ranged between the -130 and -120 range, while Larson’s could have been at around the +100 and +120 range.
For this case, Hamlin’s increased chances of winning an event, which he has previously proven to be dominant at, are certain factors that push his odds to the negative range. At the same time, Larson is placed as a contender to surpass those individual performances recorded by Hamlin.
Odds can also be different among the different types of prop bets. Using Hamlin an example, for either of the 500-mile events, Hamlin’s odds to make it amongst the top three spots could easily range from the +250 and +300 range, while his odds of making among the top five reduce down to +150 and +200, just as they do for making it amongst the top 10 with odds ranging at the -200 range.
Understanding how these odds work might just give some bettors an edge before placing any wagers on specific drivers under specific NASCAR categories.
For the 2021 season, it was Larson who recorded the most race wins with a total of 10, followed by both Martin Truex Jr. with and Alex Bowman with four wins each and Ryan Blaney with 3. This would explain why Larson, before the beginning of any regular or playoff race, would top the lead spots with odds that may range +700. He easily surpassed all of his closest contenders with the most chances of making it to the top.
Adding Hamlin to the equation with an average running position at 7.4 might explain why both himself and close contender Larson are always leading the list of various categories for the best option to bet on.
Other props bets such as fastest lap runs might also place Larson as a top favorite with a total of 1,288 fast lap runs, followed by Hamlin almost halfway for teak of 703 races. This would explain why Larson would also dominate odds against close contenders when it comes to some props bets categories.
These examples show a way to read odds when it comes to deciphering which drivers top which categories and which picks one should favor at specific moments throughout the season. Other stats such as Green Flag Passes may also point as to which drivers might make sudden attempts to overtake close rivals even when hazardous situations are present, yet at a minimum. Interpreting stats is another important aspect of making the best of each wager you place on NASCAR picks and races.
CUP SERIES RACES ANALYSIS
- Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum
- Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at DAYTONA
- Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at DAYTONA
- DAYTONA 500
- Wise Power 400
- Pennzoil 400
- Ruoff Mortgage 500
- Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
- EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix
- Toyota Owners 400
- Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400
- Food City Dirt Race
- GEICO 500
- DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne
- NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway
- NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway
- NASCAR All-Star Open
- NASCAR All-Star Race
- Coca-Cola 600
- NASCAR Cup Series race at WWTR
- Toyota / Save Mart 350
- Ally 400
- Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America
- Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart
- Ambetter 301
- NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway
- Verizon 200 at the Brickyard
- FireKeepers Casino 400
- Federated Auto Parts 400
- Go Bowling at The Glen
- Coke Zero Sugar 400
- Southern 500
- Hollywood Casino 400
- Bass Pro Shops Night Race
- AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500
- YellaWood 500
- Bank of America ROVAL 400
- South Point 400
- Dixie Vodka 400
- Xfinity 500
- NASCAR Cup Series Championship
NASCAR Frequently Asked Questions
Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson top the list as the most prominent drivers today.
Kyle Larson is the official 2021 NASCAR Season Cup Series champion.
Martin Truex Jr. finished second in the championship race, followed by Denny Hamlin, who finished third, and Chase Elliott, the defending champion, who ended in the fourth spot.
Kyle Larson finished the 2021 season with a total of 10 race wins, followed by both Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman with four each.
It’s legal to bet on any NASCAR race. Be sure to check all applicable terms and conditions that may apply for each event and defined by each sportsbook.
Among some of the most popular bets are:
The number of cautions
Most laps leader
Richard Petty currently holds the record of most NASCAR wins with a total of 200.