Ultimate Daytona 500 Betting Guide, Odds & Drivers to Back
Betting on motorsports is difficult enough. It’s not one team versus another. In the case of the NASCAR Cup Series, it’s 40 drivers and only one can win.
And in the Daytona 500, NASCAR betting variables are even more extreme. First race of the season. The most important race of the season. Drivers who’ve been waiting all winter for this moment do rash things, and those rash things happen on a 2.5-mile, high-banked track that creates such speeds if unchecked that spoilers and aerodynamic gimmicks are deploy to keep mayhem at bay. It never has worked and still doesn’t, resulting in aggressive high-speed moves that trigger massive wrecks, sending dozens of shredded cars to the wrecker.
That makes the challenge of betting on the Daytona 500 more rewarding if the bettor wins. But the 500 also requires bettors to realize that on superspeedways, used just four times a season at NASCAR’s highest level, peerless research and analysis can be undone by some driver with an agenda or simply a penchant for ill-advised decisions at 200 mph.
In the Daytona 500, a bet can quickly end up crumpled and smoldering like the race car representing it.
With the Daytona 500 set for 2:30 p.m. ET, Feb. 16 on FOX, here are some betting markets to consider from Unibet and other online sportsbooks:
Daytona 500 Winner Odds 2020
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1200||+325|
The Bet: Denny Hamlin has won two of the past four Daytona 500s, but no driver has repeated in this unforgiving event since Sterling Marlin in 1995. Logano and Kevin Harvick are the only other drivers among the six favorites to have won it, but Kyle Busch is the sensible pick to win at PointsBet.
The Bet: Jimmie Johnson, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, spent some Speedweeks down time in Austin, Texas, opining about attempting IndyCars in his retirement years. Notwithstanding the shock of him missing the NASCAR playoffs in 2019, or knowing that odd occurrences abound at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega Superspeedway, it doesn’t feel like a storybook finish is afoot. Even though NASCAR often serves them up.
Erik Jones would be a sensible flyer with PointsBet at least to place after winning the Daytona summer race and finishing third in the 500 last year. Oh, and this week he claimed the non-points Busch Clash.
David Ragan has raced well at Daytona and Talladega in both high-end and lesser equipment, but don’t be tempted.
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Other Daytona 500 Betting Markets & Props
Top Daytona 500 Head-to-Head Matchups
The Bet: If NASCAR betting is to evolve into what managing director of gaming Scott Warfield hopes, technology and fan interest will enable in-race markets where driver-to-driver contests will be drivers of interest and handle.
They’re not there yet, but this Daytona 500 pre-race pick’em with FOX Bet is immediately interesting because of the kerfuffle between the Team Penske teammates in the Busch Clash.
Brad Keselowski will probably end up with the better quote, but Joey Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 winner, will finish higher.
The Bet: Denny Hamlin has two 500 wins and is always in the mix. Chase Elliott is the reputed next standard-bearer of NASCAR and the series needs him to be a winner. You just need to be right, so go with Hamlin at FOX Bet.
The Bet: Go with the experience. Kurt Busch finally shed the label of best restrictor-plate racer without a plate win when he won the Daytona 500 in 2017. Alex Bowman has a 500 pole but has finished 23rd, 17th and 11th in his 3 Daytona 500 starts. Take Busch at Unibet.
Car Number of Daytona 500 winner
The Bet: The drivers manning even-numbered cars on Sunday account for five Daytona 500 wins. The odds, four. Seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet) has won the race twice, but not since 2013. Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Ford) won it a dozen years ago and Ryan Newman (No. 6 Ford) in 2008. But some of those yet to hoist the Harley J. Earl Trophy help make even-numbered cars the favorite at Unibet.
Keselowksi (No. 2 Ford) has finished in the top five twice in the 500. Teammate Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Ford) has led 131 laps in the past two installments. Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chevrolet) is a factor though he has not led a lap in the 500 the past two years.
And of course there’s defending series champion and self-described best driver in the series Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota). He has finished second and third in the 500 since 2016 and has led 423 laps at the track, second-best among actives.
Team of the Race Winner
|Joe Gibbs Racing||+275|
|Any Other Team||+500|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||+1500|
|JTG Daugherty Racing||+1600|
|Richard Childress Racing||+2000|
|Roush Fenway Racing||+2200|
|Rick Ware Racing||+6600|
The Bet: Joe Gibbs Racing's four-car contingent boasts two-time and defending 500 winner Denny Hamlin. Factor in Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and yes, even Erik Jones – he won the 2018 summer race and was third in the 500 last year – and this team is even more logical of a favorite than the odds even suggest.
That the field is so high up with Unibet is telling. Team Penske is a compelling alternative despite having just one Daytona 500 win from its three-car contingent.
Top Toyota Finisher
|Martin Truex Jr.||+260|
Consistently high finishes are difficult to muster at Daytona, where finishes are often predicated on pre- and mid-race drafting alliances and how emotion and circumstance jumble. Denny Hamlin’s two Daytona 500 wins are obviously notable, but his additional finishes of second, third and fourth twice since 2009 make him the pick with Unibet in an attrition category.
Top Ford Finisher
Yes, Ryan Blaney has crashed out of four of his past five races at Daytona, but he won a stage and led 118 of 207 laps in 2018 before being consumed in a late 12-car melee and finishing seventh. He was among 21 cars wrecked out of contention last year, finishing 31st.
The good news? His pit crew found $5 on his grille during the race. If NASCAR rules allowed them to wager, they would have done well to put it on their driver to finish best among the Fords with Unibet.
Top Chevrolet Finisher
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+800|
Chase Elliott has finished 37th, 14th, 33rd and 17th in his four forays into NASCAR’s most-celebrated race, so his status speaks to how far the Chevrolets are expected to lag behind. Same for the odds of sports betting advocate Austin Dillon, who in 2018 earned Chevy’s first 500 victory in five years.
Buy Jimmie Johnson for at least a souvenir as he embarks on his final full season at NASCAR’s highest level and buy Kurt Busch because he always seems to be in the mix at the fastest tracks.
Watch @austindillon3 Lose A $100 Bet . . .— Bookies.com (@bookies) February 7, 2020
The @NASCAR driver challenged a friend to run up and back on the @AmalieArena ice in less than 2 minutes.
It was a costly mistake.
Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick to win the Daytona 500 at +700
The FOX Bet sportsbook has an interesting market between two drivers most any fan would like to see settle it on the last lap. Kevin Harvick won the race in 2007 and Kyle Busch seeks one of the few remain bullet points for his Hall of Fame resume.
This one is worth a shot.