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2022 Daytona 500 Odds, Picks & Predictions: NASCAR Futures, Driver Matchups & Props To Bet Right Now

2022 Daytona 500 Odds, Picks & Predictions: NASCAR Futures, Driver Matchups & Props To Bet Right Now article feature image
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Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford

Speedweeks officially gets underway Tuesday at 5:05 p.m. ET for the first of the day’s two Cup Series practices, giving drivers and teams their first chance to learn as much as they can about the new Next Gen cars and get dialed in ahead of Wednesday’s qualifying session and Thursday’s Duel races.

With this in mind, I polled the industry’s top NASCAR bettors to find out the best bets, including futures, driver matchups, props and more, to make right now before the on-track action gets underway.

And before you get reading, take a minute to download The Action Network App, which now includes live NASCAR odds and pick tracking as well as the option to follow all of our verified experts.

2022 Daytona 500 Betting Picks

*Odds as of Monday afternoon

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Bell’s performance last year — his first season with powerhouse team Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) — was significantly better than his finishes over the four combined superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega would indicate.

While not terrible, his 17.8 average finish ranked 14th in the series, but was much less impressive than his fifth-best average running position (10.9) and fifth-best driver rating (93.9).

Because of the Next Gen car and the uncertainty regarding how it will race in the Daytona 500, I’m not all that interested in getting too heavy until we see Thursday’s Duels.

But the combination of Bell’s superspeedway prowess in 2021 and the advantage of piloting arguably the best equipment in the series make 29-1 (FanDuel) a fine price to lock in right now.

If you were to tell me that I could get a driver who already won at Daytona, finished third another time, has a runner-up finish at Talladega and drives for a team that nearly won the 2018 Daytona 500 at 66-1 odds I’d make that bet in a heartbeat.

That’s exactly what we’re getting with Erik Jones in the famed No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevy.

My model pegs Jones in the 35-1 ballpark, and that doesn’t even take into account a couple additional points of data that are hard to incorporate into a statistical model.

First, he won the 2020 Busch Clash, a preseason exhibition race which was also on the Daytona oval. Second, he now has a teammate with Ty Dillon being brought in to pilot the team’s No. 42 car.

The 66-1 line is at BetMGM, but he’s widely available at 50-1 or longer, so I wouldn’t grab him below that number.

Who!? Erik Jones! That’s my dark horse pick to win the 2022 Daytona 500.

Jones has a total 11 top-10 finishes across the board at superspeedways in his career and Richard Petty and Co. are INCREDIBLY due for a win.

At 66-1 odds, you can’t not sprinkle a little change on him to bring it home in one of NASCAR’s most iconic rides.


Daytona 500 Matchups

When looking at early bets for the Daytona 500, this matchup from DraftKings Sportsbook stands out to me.

Getting any driver at +150 in a head-to-head matchup is rare for a superspeedway like Daytona.

Michael McDowell has finished in the top 15 in five of his last six Daytona races and does a great job of keeping his car clean throughout the race.

Justin Haley, like McDowell, has a Daytona win. He’s finished 17th, 13th and seventh in his last three Daytona races.

The biggest difference: Haley is running for points in the NASCAR Cup Series this season. I don’t expect him to sit back like he’s been doing, and it could lead to an early exit and a McDowell head-to-head win.

With that said, it’s great value to get McDowell at +150 in this matchup.

Justin Haley is an incredibly talented superspeedway racer, but Michael McDowell isn’t a slouch by any means.

Since joining Front Row Motorsports in 2018, McDowell has finished 14th or better in six of his eight starts at Daytona, including his win in last year’s Great American Race.

No driver should be as heavily favored as Haley is in a head-to-head matchup at a superspeedway.

Nothing is a lock at Daytona, but I think if there’s a bet that’s as close to a lock as possible, it’s this one.

McDowell, the defending Daytona 500 champion, boasts strong consistency at Daytona over the years with 11 finishes of 15th or better, six top 10s and one victory in his last 14 starts at Daytona.

With how tumultuous the racing at Daytona has been over the past decade, his consistency is quite remarkable.

I’m not expecting a Daytona 500 repeat for Mike Mac, but I’ll put my money on the consistent veteran to finish within 5.5 positions of Justin Haley, who is racing for a brand-new, full-time Cup Series team and competing in only his second Daytona 500.


Daytona 500 Props

I don’t have the highest prior on Todd Gilliland coming into the year because the leap from Trucks to Cup is huge.

But he’s priced like a backmarker despite driving for the team that won the Daytona 500 last year.

Gilliland has had success at Talladega in the Truck Series and at Daytona in ARCA, so +650 (FanDuel) just seems too long.

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