2020 Daytona 500 Betting Strategy: Let Us Help You Find the Right NASCAR Driver to Back
Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images. Pictured: Erik Jones, driver of the #20 Sport Clips Toyota, leads a pack of cars
- Want to bet on the Daytona 500 but don't know which driver to pick?
- Take our short Daytona 500 betting quiz and we'll match your tastes with the right driver to back.
It’s almost that time of year. Football is over and with that ending comes an impending sense of loss for me — not only from the perspective of an NFL fan, but also as a bettor.
While I can certainly get my gambling fix(es) from basketball (uhh), baseball (eww) or hockey (yikes), it’s just not the same as sitting down on a Sunday to sweat a full NFL slate, beer in hand.
But … I am here to tell you that there is another option: NASCAR.
Whether you’re a long-time NASCAR fan, just getting around to checking out the hype or have never watched a second of “cars driving around in circles,” this is the article for you.
Now, I am by no means a NASCAR expert, but I know a couple of people who are. In fact, I am married to one of those people. I grew up in a household that watched NASCAR, but I never fully understood it’s potential until I met and later married bettor/bad beat whiner, PJ Walsh.
So, let’s start at the beginning and consider this a NASCAR Betting 101, if you will. If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you have or are considering betting on NASCAR in the near future.
And the Daytona 500 — NASCAR’s Super Bowl — is the best place to start.
2020 Daytona 500 Betting Strategy
In its most basic form, NASCAR has a handful of different track types, including superspeedways, intermediates and short tracks. Each category offers a different type of racing, which, in turn, provides additional much-needed information for bettors.
With a total track size of one mile or less, short tracks are known for their constant bumping and banging, excessive spin-outs and smaller wrecks with lots of cautions. The reason is because the track is so small that all of the cars remain close to each other throughout the race.
If a short track race was a movie, it would be a drama — there is a seemingly endless amount of low-grade action at all times to keep your attention.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have superspeedways, which include Daytona International Speedway. Daytona checks in at a whopping 2.5 miles in length and is synonymous with explosive, action-filled racing and a scattering of massive wrecks that can take out large portions of the field in an instant.
In order to keep speeds from getting out of control, the race package for Daytona results in “pack racing,” where you find groups of cars drafting together because that is the fastest way around the track.
This is one of the reasons that you get those large wrecks. It takes only one mistake, bobble or equipment failure from a single car to cause a massive wreck because others racing in close proximity have nowhere to go.
In movie terms, the superspeedway is a thriller — you know something is going to happen, but you don’t know when. And boy, when it does, it’s usually big and scary as hell.
With the unpredictability and overall popularity of the Daytona 500, there are plenty of betting options. Below, I have put a list of some of my favorite ways to bet this race:
1. Make a bet on the manufacturer
Do you like Toyota, Ford or Chevrolet? I asked PJ for his thoughts on which manufacturer, if any, has an advantage in the Daytona 500 and this is what he said:
“In recent years, Fords have had an advantage because they have so many good cars in the race and all work together.”
In fact, he recently published an article on the manufacturer with the biggest edge to win the Daytona 500.
2. If all else fails, bet on chaos
This is my favorite angle. It’s the Daytona 500 and you never know what’s going to happen, so take a wild card and run with it. Wrecky (uhh, I mean Ricky) Stenhouse Jr. is a great example. If you want someone fun to watch who also has the potential to completely and utterly annihilate the field, look no further.
In fact, some books will offer an over/under cautions prop. If you’re rooting for a crazy, unpredictable race, bet the over.
And if you’re still feeling a little like Goldilocks with none of those bets fitting just right, I’ve come up with a fun way to determine your driver to bet and root for in the Daytona 500.
Just answer these four easy questions, then find which driver matches your responses and poof, you have your next sports obsession.
Daytona 500 Driver Betting Quiz
- Which source do you prefer when getting your daily news/information?
- Wall Street Journal
- USA Today
- Social Media
- Barstool Sports
- What is your favorite game-day food?
- Hot dogs/sausages
- What is your favorite game-day beverage?
- Soft drinks (water, soda, etc.)
- Hard liquor (neat or on the rocks)
- Mixed drinks/shots
- Which of the following all-time great athlete is your favorite?
- Derek Jeter
- Peyton Manning
- LeBron James
- Serena Williams
- John Daly
Daytona 500 Betting Quiz Key
*Add up the total points for each of your answers above and match your score to the driver below who best suits your sports-betting personality. Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of Saturday at 11:20 a.m. ET.
- 4-5 Points: Chase Elliott (14-1)
- 6-7 Points: Martin Truex Jr. (11-1)
- 8-9 Points: Jimmie Johnson (20-1)
- 10-11 Points: Kyle Larson (25-1)
- 12-13 Points: Kevin Harvick (11-1)
- 14-15 Points: Joey Logano (10-1)
- 16-17 Points: Kyle Busch (9-1)
- 18-20 Points: Ryan Blaney (16-1)