Oddsmakers Asleep at the Wheel for This Daytona 500 Wager

Oddsmakers Asleep at the Wheel for This Daytona 500 Wager article feature image

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

As bettors, we’re constantly in search of the next valuable wagering opportunity. Frankly, it takes work to win long term and finding profitable spots in which to get down regularly requires a substantial time investment. However, there are those certain times, albeit rare, when bets find you.

While scanning Daytona 500 numbers, one prop bet did not make sense at face value. To be sure I was seeing this correctly, I ran the numbers and ultimately determined that the issue isn’t that oddsmakers aren’t adjusting properly to new information, it’s that they’re not adjusting at all, leaving this wager vulnerable for savvy sports bettors.

Just like the major US sports, Bookmaker.eu offers the largest limits for NASCAR bettors. Because of this, their Daytona 500 futures provide the most accurate representation of what sharp bettors are playing across the NASCAR market. Furthermore, the limits also require oddsmakers at Bookmaker to stay on their toes and be sure to adjust as new information becomes available to ensure they’re not exposed to stale numbers.

In terms of Daytona 500 futures (odds to win the race), they’ve done a great job updating numbers to account for the on-track activity that’s taken place so far, specifically the Clash exhibition race, dominated by Penske drivers Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney. While just an exhibition race, meaning no points were on the line, multiple drivers called it the most important running of this race due to NASCAR’s elimination of the ride-height rule at restrictor plate racetracks, like Daytona.

I don’t want to bore with you the technical details of what this entails, but the change was significant enough to affect how the cars will drive in the Daytona 500 compared to previous years, giving the 17 drivers who ran Sunday’s Clash an obvious advantage over those who didn’t.

Along with Penske’s speed, so went the Daytona 500 futures market. Keselowski, the winner of the Clash, has settled in as the +653 favorite, with Logano now +980 and Blaney +1931 (from an opener of +2524).

While futures are being properly updated, a prop bet on which manufacturer (Chevy, Ford or Toyota) will win the Daytona 500 did not budge. Considering that the Penkse cars are Fords, one would expect the odds for a Ford to win the 500 to move as well.

To confirm my theory that Ford was undervalued in this prop, I converted Daytona 500 futures to implied probabilities and did the same for the current manufacturer prop bet of Chevy +125, Ford +150 and Toyota +250. After adding up the implied probabilities of all drivers for each manufacturer, I then compared to percentages for the manufacturers as a whole.

The table below summarizes the data:

Based on the numbers, there’s no doubt that Ford has an edge as the manufacturer to win the Daytona 500.

This is also a good bet for the action junkies out there just looking to have a reason to watch Daytona. Sure, there are other good Daytona 500 bets available, but there’s always the chance that your driver or handful of drivers get wiped out in a wreck on Lap 10. By having the entire Ford stable, bettors will have cars to root for until the very end.

The bet: Ford (+150) to win the Daytona 500.

Photo via Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports