NASCAR Betting – How to Bet on NASCAR Racing
Swinging Johnson may have a funny name but when it comes to handicapping, he’s all business. Betting games and drinking fine wine have always been his passions. As he’s fond of saying, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”
NASCAR, an acronym for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, has become more mainstream than ever and because of its increasing popularity, the major online sportsbooks routinely offer a full menu of race odds on upcoming races.
Betting on NASCAR used to be something relegated to only those regions of the country where auto racing thrived, but now we can find race-to-race betting action at many of the best offshore sportsbooks, and bet types of all kinds are there for your wagering pleasure.
Best Sportsbooks for NASCAR Betting in 2023
The History of NASCAR
William France Sr. founded the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing on February 21, 1948. Initially, there were to be three divisions – Modified, Roadster, and Strictly Stock. The Roadster division was quickly dropped as it held no appeal for southerners as they viewed the roadster to be a Midwest or Northeast series of racing cars. The first NASCAR race was held at the old Charlotte Speedway and was won by Jim Roper on June 19th, 1949.
Jim France and his brother Bill Jr. took control of NASCAR after William Sr. passed away in 1992. Currently, Jim France is the CEO and Chairman of NASCAR. Bill’s daughter (Jim’s niece), Lesa France Kennedy, is the Executive Vice Chair of NASCAR and has been a powerful force in auto racing and professional sports.
Lesa France Kennedy has been cited in such prestigious lists as “25 Most Influential People in NASCAR” (2006) by the Charlotte Observer, “The Most Powerful Woman in Sports” (2009) by Forbes, “30 Most Powerful Women in Sports” (2016) by Adweek, and named one of Sports Business Journal’s “Most Influential Property Pacesetters” (2022).
Since 2001, the NASCAR Cup Series has evolved into 36 races over 10 months. Three drivers, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the all-time lead with seven championships. Joey Logano is the reigning (2022) NASCAR Cup Series champion.
How to Bet on NASCAR Races
Offshore betting sites offer a myriad of NASCAR betting opportunities but three main types of bets are most popular among most avid auto racing fans. Below we will list each one and explain what it means and how to bet on it.
All you need to do is go to the main menu of your sports betting app and scroll down the list of sports until you see Auto Racing or NASCAR. From there you will find the different kinds of bets you can make, and you will always find the following NASCAR betting options available.
Before each NASCAR race, there will be a list of each driver and the corresponding NASCAR odds on him to win the event. The more experienced and talented drivers will have lower odds, while those who lack experience, especially if it is their first-time racing on a particular track, will have long odds attached to them. But whether you bet a favorite or a longshot, watching a NASCAR race is guaranteed to get your heart pumping.
Offshore sportsbooks are experts in creating betting action and one of the things they do is pair drivers up against each other and assign odds based on that head-to-head matchup. The driver who places ahead of the other when the race is over is declared the winner of the head-to-head wager.
Proposition or prop betting usually has more to do with details that happen during the race than with the drivers. Often, we will see props on the total number of lead changes during the race or even caution flags. The bettor can wager either over or under that number.
Betting lines are established on the outright winner of the race. The driver who comes in first place and is declared the winner will reward any bettor who made an outright wager on them to finish first. The odds that the bettor received on the driver when they made the bet will determine the payout.
Speed Lanes & Matchups of Drivers
Much like head-to-head matchups, speed lanes pit three drivers against each other with accompanying odds on each as to who will place the highest of the three at the finish of the race and be declared the winner.
This is just another type of betting strategy offered and is similar to head-to-head bets but the odds on each driver are a bit more generous in speed lanes because there are three possible outcomes instead of two. Regardless of the magnitude of the event, these wagers are routinely offered at any of the best offshore sportsbooks and online betting sites.
NASCAR Futures Bets
Betting futures in NASCAR is no different than betting them in any other sport. Betting on the correct winner in the NASCAR Cup is like betting on a team to win the World Series, the Stanley Cup, the NBA Championship, or the Super Bowl.
The racing season is 10 months long including the regular season, playoff races, and lastly the season championship race. Picking a winner in a future event that is so far in the distance can be challenging but the rewards are handsome if you can pick the right driver to win it all.
All of the best online sportsbooks will have drivers listed and their corresponding odds to win the NASCAR Cup with favorites like Chase Elliott (+1200), meaning a $100 bet will profit $1200 if Elliott is to win the Cup at the end of the season.
However, a much less likely driver to win is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+20.000) which means a $100 bet would win $20,000. Obviously, Stenhouse is a long shot and there are odds listed on all of the drivers but the choice belongs to you as to who you believe will hoist the Cup and take the checkered flag when the season ends.
NASCAR Props Bets
There are many, many popular prop bets in NASCAR. Among them are the stage winner, pole finish, number of caution flags and podium finish bet.
There are three stages in most NASCAR races with the Coca-Cola 600 being an exception due to the length of the race, which necessitates four stages. The first-place driver at the end of the stage is deemed the stage winner, a popular bet among NASCAR fans.
There is also the pole finish where the drivers qualify for pole position and props are available on that, as well as the number of caution flags during the race where the oddsmakers will put a total that bettors can either bet over or under that total.
Other prop bets are podium bets, which only cash if a driver finishes first, second or third. And while it is more likely a driver will come in any one of those three spots than betting on him to finish first, the odds are much lower on a podium bet because of this.
Other prop bets include which driver will have the fastest lap. But instead of betting on drivers, it is possible to bet on car manufacturers to finish first or have the fastest lap, or place on the podium (1st, 2nd, or 3rd).
The 2023 season-opening event of the NASCAR Cup is the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum on Sunday, February 5 at LA Coliseum. The regular season ends on August 26 at Daytona with the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
The NASCAR Playoffs begin on Sunday, September 3, and end on Sunday, October 29, which brings us to the season championship race on Sunday, November, 5 at the Phoenix Raceway.
What are the biggest NASCAR events?
Naturally, the most important events in a season of races are the playoff races. But the biggest and perhaps the most popular race is the season championship, which will be held on November 5, 2023.
However, some of the biggest regular-season races feature the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR All-Star Race. Let’s highlight those and a few others to circle on your calendar.
- Sunday, February 5: Busch Light Clash
- Sunday, February 19: Daytona 500
- Sunday, April 23: GEICO 500
- Sunday, May 21: NASCAR All-Star Race
- Sunday, May 28: Coca-Cola 600
- Saturday, August 26: Coke Zero Sugar 400
How does the NASCAR season work?
The racing season spans 10 months, from February through November, and the events are held at different racetracks throughout the country. Like any professional athlete, a NASCAR driver has a regular season full of qualifying runs that determine pole positions before the actual races begin.
If a driver makes the cut, then they will compete in playoff races which will culminate in a season championship race for those who qualify.
FAQ – NASCAR Race Betting Online
Online sportsbooks such as BetOnline, Bookmaker, Bovada, Heritage Sports, and BetAnySports are some of the most trusted names in the industry and also have a robust race betting menu.
Yes, sportsbooks do accept parlay wagers and it was not too long ago that a $13.49 four-team parlay of top-10 finishers in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 returned nearly a million dollars.
Betting odds on a NASCAR driver work the same as they do in other sports. Moneylines are used so if you see Kevin Harvick at +3,000 that would mean a $100 bet on Harvick would return $3,000.
While everyone has their personal favorite, the consensus of NASCAR fans would give Chase Elliott the distinction of being America’s favorite driver.
No, quite the contrary. With the advent of legal sports betting sites in the United States, NASCAR has exploded in popularity and is now considered one of the top four sports in America.
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