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Walsh: The Daytona 500 Bet to Make Right Now

Jan 11, 2019 9:23 PM EST

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (78) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) lead the field

  • Sportsbooks across the betting market have opened odds for NASCAR's 2019 Daytona 500.
  • With odds varying greatly from sportsbook to sportsbook, one driver is offering too much value to pass up betting right now.

NASCAR isn’t the most popular sport for bettors, especially early in January when the NFL playoffs are rolling strong and the Daytona 500 is still more than one month away.

But that doesn’t mean bettors should be ignoring the Great American Race. While those who do wager on the Daytona 500 likely won’t do so until raceday, sportsbooks across the market are already offering odds for NASCAR’s season-opening race.

And with early openers comes betting value, especially in niche markets like motorsports.

With Daytona 500 odds now widely available, I’ve jumped on one driver who should be an immediate autobet for anyone getting down on this race.

Ryan Blaney to Win Daytona 500 (20-1)

This is the bet to make right now. In my mind, Blaney should be listed among the favorites, so a price of 20-1 is a must for any motorsports bettor.

Blaney dominated the Daytona 500 last year, posting the best average running position (4.0) of all drivers while leading 118 of 200 laps, according to loop data from Average running position measures where a specific driver runs, on average, throughout the course of an entire race.

But it’s not just last year’s 500 in which the driver of the #12 Penske Ford showed speed.