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Everything You Need To Know About Betting On NASCAR

Stock cars on a NASCAR track

NASCAR is an extremely popular sport in the United States, especially in the country’s southern states. Just about every weekend all year long there is a big race around the country leading up to the end of the season when a NASCAR Cup champion is crowned. Fans of NASCAR can bet on the winner of each of these races as well as the overall winner of the NASCAR Cup championship.

How To Read NASCAR Betting Odds

There are essentially three main ways to bet on NASCAR, placing a futures wager which is choosing which driver will win the NASCAR Cup and weekly wagers such as outright winner and head-to-head bets. Unlike conventional North American sports in which you bet on the moneyline, cover a spread, or go OVER/UNDER a specified total, NASCAR is all about choosing which driver will win.

In NASCAR betting, the favorite will almost always have a plus sign next to their odds. In other sports, the favorite is typically indicated with a minus sign next to the odds. If the favorite has a minus sign such as -120, you have to wager that number to profit $100 – bet $120 to win $220, a profit of $100.

If the favorite has a plus sign like +120, then you profit that number by betting $100 – bet $100 to win $220, a profit of $120.

The reason for the better value in NASCAR is there are many unknowns during a race such as an accident, mechanical failure, or even a mistake on pit road that could derail a drivers’ chance to win.

Futures Betting

If you are looking at a longer-term wager you can place a futures bet in which you are choosing which driver will win the NASCAR Cup at the end of the season. Typically, a futures bet can provide better value than your weekly wagers because there is a lot more volatility over a season.

Here's an example of how futures odds would be displayed at a sportsbook:

Odds to Win the NASCAR Cup
DriverOdds
Kevin Harvick+500
Kyle Busch+500
Martin Truex Jr.+600
Denny Hamlin+700
Brad Keselowski+1000
Joey Logano+1000
Kyle Larson+1000
Chase Elliott+1200
Erik Jones+1800
Ryan Blaney+1800
William Byron +2800
Clint Bowyer+3300
Alex Bowman+4000
Jimmie Johnson+4000

Futures odds may also have smaller fluctuations throughout the season as one race doesn't derail an entire season until the playoffs begin, then there are larger swings as drivers get eliminated from contention. That said, with large odds changes later in the season, you may have an opportunity to hedge your bet to have a better chance of earning a profit.

For example, you place a bet on Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Cup at +500 at the start of the season and he advances to the finals. Denny Hamlin, also in the finals, also has odds of +500 a bet on him would give you two drivers in the finals that could you earn you a profit.

Outright Winner And Place Betting

Unlike a futures bet where you have to wait for the season to conclude to collect your winnings, each week you can place a bet on which driver will win the race. Additionally, many books will allow you to be a little more conservative and choose whether a driver will finish in a range such as the top three, top five, or some other variation.

Picking a driver to win a race can be quite difficult as there are accidents, mechanical failures and even problems on pit road. To overcome all this and still fend off the other 39 drivers is a difficult feat and that’s why the odds have good value of +300 (3:1) or greater for the favorite and higher for each driver after. It’s not out of the ordinary to hit on a driver that is paying +1000 (10:1) on any given race.

To take away some of the risks from choosing a driver to outright win the race, many online sportsbooks provide the option of betting on a driver to finish in the top five. This allows you to have some flexibility of choosing a strong driver that maybe gets passed on the last lap, you are still a winner, though the payouts are much lower.

For example, if Kevin Harvick was the +300 (3:1) favorite to win the race, he may have odds of -120 (wager $120 to profit $100) to finish in the top five.

Head-to-Head Betting

Many sportsbooks offer head-to-head betting markets in which there are two drivers matched up and you have to choose which one will finish better. Unlike a futures bet or an outright winner, the odds are much lower for a head-to-head wager, looking more similar to a team sport in which one team (driver) will be a slight minus favorite with the other team (driver) coming back as a slight plus underdog. For example, Denny Hamlin is a -130 favorite to finish higher than Kevin Harvick who is coming back at +110.

  • Denny Hamlin -130
  • Kevin Harvick +110

  • William Byron -150
  • Jimmie Johnson +130

  • Kyle Busch -120
  • Martin Truex Jr. +100

How To Sign Up At A Betting Site

Step 1: Pick a betting site. We at Odds Shark have done some of the heavy lifting to help you choose a betting site that you will use moving forward with our sportsbook review page. Here you will be able to check out various sportsbooks and the different offerings they provide. Some books offer a wider range of sports, entertainment or bonuses, explore the different options and choose the best one for you!


Step 2: Signing up for a sportsbook. Joining a book is very easy and quick. Simply fill out your name, date of birth, email, phone number and mailing address. You don’t have to make a deposit at this point, you are just building your profile which will allow you to look at the different options before putting money in an account and placing a bet.


Step 3: Making a Deposit. Now that you have chosen the sportsbook that you would like to use for you betting future, you have to deposit funds to be able to place wagers with. Books will offer different payment options such as credit card or bitcoin and in some cases Interac or etransfer. You will want to deposit an amount that you are comfortable losing, make sure all your essentials are paid before you allocate money to sports betting. Think about what your average bet size will be whether it’s five dollars or 100 and that should be between 1-5 percent of your bankroll.


Step 4: Place a wager. The signing up process is complete and there is money in your account, now is the fun part where you can start placing bets. Look through the sportsbook for the market you would like to have action on and simply put in your unit size, click on place bet, and just like that you have made a sports bet.

Find the best NASCAR Betting Sites Here!