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Odds to Win the Daytona 500: Keselowski, Logano Are Pole Sitters on the Oddsboard

Brad Keselowski is favored in the Daytona 500 Odds

The NASCAR schedule kicks off this Sunday as the drivers strap in for 500 miles at Daytona International Speedway. Austin Dillon led the only lap that mattered last year, the final one, to earn the checkered flag and he is at +3000 to be the first back-to-back Daytona 500 winner since Sterling Marlin in 1994 and 1995. However, it is Joey Logano who is the favorite to win this year at +750.

Bovada has Keselowski and Logano as the favorites at +800 followed by Kevin Harvick at +850, and Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin at +1100 as the top contenders on the oddsboard.

Can Busch return to victory lane at Daytona?

Last season was a fairly successful campaign for Kyle Busch as he drove to victory lane eight times and ultimately finished fourth in the standings. Including his eight checkered flags, the Nevada native had a season-high 29 top-10 finishes.

Despite an impressive 2018, the two runnings at the 2.5-mile tri-oval didn’t go as planned. Busch finished seven laps off the pace in the 500, finishing 25th, and he crashed on lap 64 in the July race to end up with a 33rd-place finish. The 33-year-old hasn’t had a top-five finish at Daytona since 2016 and hasn’t been to victory lane there since 2008. At +1200 I’m not sure if that’s a good wager on Kyle Busch.

Johnson Got the Season off right in the Clash

For the first time since his rookie season in 2001, when he competed in just three races, Jimmie Johnson was held without a win in 2018. The seven-time NASCAR champion won at least two races in each of his next 16 seasons following his rookie year, but last season he only had two top-five finishes.

However, NASCAR held its annual exhibition race at Daytona last Sunday and wouldn’t you know it, Mr. Johnson was the man carrying the checkered flag after the race was rain-shortened after 59 of 75 laps. Could this be a sign of things to come for the No. 48 machine? At +1800, Johnson could be a nice pick.

Harvick looks to put an end to his rough stretch at the superspeedway

Similar to what I wrote about Kyle Busch, the same can be applied to Kevin Harvick as he matched Busch with eight trips to victory lane and had the most top-five finishes in the field en route to a third-place finish in the championship standings. Even though he had eight wins on the year, he only had one win in the final 13 races of the season.

It has been tough sledding for the California native at Daytona recently, though, as he has wrecked in each of the last three runnings there and in four of the last five. Harvick has two Daytona wins and nine top-five finishes in his 35 career starts there, but hasn’t been to victory lane since 2010 and hasn’t been on the podium since 2015 when he was the runner-up in the 500. The last time Harvick finished at Daytona, he led the most laps at 50 but finished 22nd, and if he can keep his nose clean, +850 could be a steal.

Should Keselowski be a favorite?

Oddsmakers believe Brad Keselowski, coming off a year with an eighth-place finish in the championship standings, is going to open the season on the right foot. The Michigan native collected three wins among his 20 top-10 finishes last year, with all three victories coming in a row, including the first race in the Round of 16.

There hasn’t been much success at Daytona for Keselowski recently as he crashed out in each of the last four runnings there, failing to finish inside the top 25 over that span. That being said, the last time he finished the race at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, he drove to victory lane, leading 115 of the 161 laps. I don’t think Keselowski should be the favorite where he has grabbed the checkered flag at Daytona just once, so I would stay away at +800.

Here’s the list of odds for the full field for the Daytona 500:

Odds to win The Daytona 500
  • Joey Logano +750
  • Brad Keselowski +800
  • Kevin Harvick +800
  • Chase Elliott +900
  • Kyle Busch +1000
  • Denny Hamlin +1100
  • Clint Bowyer +1300
  • Ryan Blaney +1300
  • Jimmie Johnson +1400
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +1500
  • Paul Menard +1500
  • Aric Almirola +1600
  • Martin Truex Jr. +1800
  • Kurt Busch +2300
  • Ryan Newman +2500
  • Daniel Suarez +2600
  • Alex Bowman +2900
  • Erik Jones +3000
  • Kyle Larson +3300
  • William Byron +3300
  • Austin Dillon +3500
  • Matt DiBenedetto +4500
  • Jamie McMurray +5500
  • Darrell Wallace Jr. +5500
  • Ryan Preece +5500
  • Ty Dillon +6000
  • Daniel Hemric +6600
  • Chris Buescher +7700
  • Michael McDowell +7700
  • David Ragan +9900
  • Corey LaJoie +10000
  • Matt Tifft +15000
  • Cody Ware +17500
  • Parker Kligerman +20000
  • Landon Cassill +20000
  • Tanner Berryhill +20000
  • Casey Mears +25000
Odds as of February 14 at Bovada