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Daytona 500 Odds, Betting Predictions & Picks For NASCAR This Weekend

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 18 mins

Daytona 500 Odds, Betting Predictions & Picks For NASCAR This Weekend

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The Daytona 500 hasn’t even started yet, and there’s already a pileup at the front.

At least, that’s the case when it comes to the odds of winning the Great American Race. Four drivers are knotted as odds favorites for Sunday’s NASCAR season opener: Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott are each at +1200, according to DraftKings. 

The four-way logjam at the top, combined with the fact that there are no drivers with triple-digit odds of winning, is certainly a reflection of the pack-drafting style of racing at Daytona that can spit just about anybody into Victory Lane.

After all, the past two winners of NASCAR’s biggest race were Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric, who carried NASCAR odds of +6000 and +3300, respectively. 

Should that trend repeat itself again Sunday, we’d be looking at a champion like +3000 Martin Truex Jr., +4000 Aric Almirola or +7000 Harrison Burton—all absolutely capable of winning the thing.

The Daytona 500 is a strange animal in that it’s NASCAR’s Super Bowl, but it takes place on a superspeedway known for a capricious style of racing that’s unlike what we see at most other tracks. The high-banked 2.5-mile Daytona oval is a place that can reward risk-takers, both in racing and NASCAR betting alike.

2023 Daytona 500 Odds

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and current as of publication.

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2023 Daytona 500 Betting Tips

Want further evidence of how unpredictable this place can be? The four drivers with the best career average finishes at Daytona are Cindric, Bubba Wallace, Justin Haley and Austin Dillon. 

While those averages take into account the late-summer 400-miler at the track in addition to the Daytona 500, they also burnish the argument that just about anyone in the field can contend on Sunday.

Hamlin leads all active drivers with three career wins at Daytona, with each of those triumphs coming in the 500. Dillon and Harvick are next with two career Daytona wins apiece, each with a victory in the 500 and the 400-miler. 

RELATED: Best Daytona 500 Betting Promos To Grab For The Big Race

Beyond that, 14 different drivers own one Daytona victory, a list that runs the gamut from Joey Logano and Kyle Busch to Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Erik Jones, and David Ragan. The elites begin to separate themselves a bit when you look at top-fives, where Harvick and Hamlin top the list at 11 and Busch is third with eight.

But if you dispense with the career numbers and look just at last year’s two Daytona races—the only two thus far using the current next-gen car implemented prior to the 2022 season—Truex and Wallace have earned more points than any other drivers. 

And if you look at the finishing order to last year’s Daytona 500, it gets even weirder: Cindric, Wallace, and Chase Briscoe finished 1-2-3, with Almirola, McDowell, and Ragan all in the top 10.

So yeah, that’s the Daytona 500 for you. Bettors can stick with the best superspeedway racer of his generation in Hamlin, or go with a total flyer like +3000 Ryan Preece. Either could pay off. Much like the drivers, you simply hold on with a white-knuckle grip once the green flag drops.

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2023 Daytona 500 Best Bets

Bubba Wallace to Win

Odds: +1800

Wallace hits the sweet spot of a driver with a strong, consistent track record at Daytona who’s also not among the betting sites favorites. 

A three-time Daytona runner-up, twice at the Daytona 500, Wallace has somehow never won in Daytona Beach despite it clearly being one of his best tracks. His career average finish of 12th is excellent at a place that wads up cars with regularity, and proof that Wallace knows how to get and stay at the front. 

Chase Elliott Top 3

Odds: +350

Elliott is another driver who’s never won at Daytona despite showing all kinds of promise there, among them back-to-back runner-up finishes in the 2020 400-miler and the 2021 Daytona 500. 

A wreck this past summer ended a string of four straight top-10 finishes at the track. Elliott has left behind a reputation as a Daytona crash magnet and become very proficient in the draft, just like his old man used to be.

Martin Truex Jr. Top 5

Odds: +400

We’re not quite ready to give up on the 42-year-old former champion, who won the Crash—um, we mean Clash—at the Coliseum exhibition two weeks ago. 

Truex may not have made the playoffs last year, but he’s historically been very good at Daytona, where he placed 13th and eighth last year in the current car. Truex is a savvy driver who’s very level-headed in the draft, and at that value at betting apps is difficult to pass up. 

2023 Daytona 500 Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. EST

Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.


About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.