Betting on NASCAR can be as simple as choosing the winner of the race. With that said, if you’re looking to take things to the next level, plenty of options exist that can help you capitalize.
Keep in mind that in order to be consistently successful in these types of bets, you’ll need to do a little research and get to know the drivers you’ll be wagering on. In addition, it’s recommended that you fully understand how the bets work before throwing any money down.
In this article, I’ll dive into some of the things to consider that can help you make the most educated high-value plays available. I’ll go beyond just the betting options available, and explain what your thought process should be heading into a race.
With any luck, these tips will help you grow your bankroll over the course of the long NASCAR season.
1 – Know the Drivers
This should go without saying, but if you’re unfamiliar with the sport (as many sports fans are) and want to get involved with the betting side, researching the drivers is a good place to start.
Casual fans might know the top names in the sport, but this also means that the majority of the action will come in on these drivers. As most bettors know, if you’re able to really learn the lesser-known commodities, you can really take advantage in places where others are missing. It’s a similar concept as betting on small-conference college football or basketball.
Because of matchup bets specifically, it’s extremely helpful to be able to pick out where there might be some opportunity to get an underdog on a high-value bet.
Unlike the “major” sports, but similar to tennis or golf, the playing conditions can change from competition to competition. Some drivers have more success on certain tracks or different types of races. If you can find a driver who might not be on the public’s radar, but has success at in specific conditions, you can capitalize on this knowledge with favorable odds.
2 – Know Your Betting Options
Just as in every other sport, there are multiple ways to be successful betting on NASCAR races. It’s important to consider all of your options in order to find the play that best suits your knowledge and risk tolerance.
The most common type of betting options are:
Choosing the Overall Winner
While this is undoubtedly the most difficult bet to win, it also provides some pretty appealing odds.
I’m always a fan of a bet where you can choose multiple results and still come out ahead. Choosing the overall winner of a race typically will give you at least 10 to 1 odds, even on the favorites. This means you can split up your money between the top few most favored drivers, select a longshot, and still come out significantly ahead if any of your plays hit.
Matchup bets are exciting, and although they don’t offer nearly as favorable odds in one-on-one situations, you have a much better chance to win.
NASCAR matchup bets set one driver against another (unless you group them, which I’ll explain more about) and whoever finishes higher wins. The odds for these bets vary depending on which drivers are in the play, but typically you’re looking at a -110 to -150 proposition.
If you want to add a little more risk to the equation (for a much better reward, obviously), you can employ a matchup group bet strategy. Group matchups, as the name suggests, offers odds on a group of drivers, and the highest finish wins.
Group matchups are so appealing because you’ll almost always be in a plus-money situation, regardless of who’s in the group. Another benefit to group matchups is that there are odds on groups with different numbers of drivers, so you can bet according to your risk tolerance.
Depending on which book you use, you can bet on groups of two, four, six, eight, and occasionally even more. The odds will be adjusted accordingly based on how many drivers are in your group.
While you have a much better chance of winning in a matchup bet only between two drivers, choosing a driver to win out of a group of four or more will be a better value.
3 – Futures Bets
Futures bets, because of their uncertainty, always provide a nice payday if you’re able to hit.
In terms of NASCAR, most futures bets will involve choosing the winner of the Sprint Cup. When playing this futures bet there are two options: choosing before the field is selected, and choosing the winner once the field is selected.
Although there is more uncertainty when choosing before the field is selected, if you’ve done your research you should have a decent idea about who will qualify. Choose one or two drivers from the expected qualifiers for the best overall odds.
Other options for futures bets include over/under betting on how many races a driver will win throughout the season, number of wins rookies will have, and how many drivers for a specific team will make the “playoffs.”
As always, futures bets require a little bit more knowledge to make educated picks, so do your research before throwing money down.
4 – Props
If you’re one of those bettors who always feels compelled to throw in a prop bet or two to your regular betting strategy, you’re in luck. NASCAR provides some fun bets you can make in addition to wagering on the eventual finish of the drivers. I’ll lay out a few of the most common:
Number of Lead Changes in a Race
Nothing is more exciting than seeing a number of drivers battle it out in the front of the pack. One popular prop bet option is choosing the number of lead changes in a given race.
For example, the over/under in the 2019 Daytona 500 was 29. If you’re curious as to how that played out, the under hit with 15 lead changes between nine different drivers.
Which Car Manufacturer Will Win
Choosing which car type will win a race takes into account a number of factors – and almost none of them have to do with which car brand is best.
Odds are set on these bets based on how many of a certain type of car is in the race and who’s driving those cars. The fun thing about this type of bet is that it allows you to have a few more options to win with.
These are the types of bets that really don’t require much knowledge to make or win. In fact, they’re mostly due to chance and so while they may be entertaining, don’t wager too much of your hard earned money on them.
Some examples of these plays might be: number of times the caution flag will come out, number of laps the winner of the race will lead, and some books will even place odds on the number of pit stops for certain drivers.
Again, these are fun and can be an entertaining addition to your other bets, but don’t go wagering the farm on the hope that the yellow flag makes an appearance for a fifth time.
If you’ve ever had the feeling that the typical sports betting is getting a bit tedious, or if you’re having trouble putting wins together, I’d recommend switching things up and giving NASCAR a shot.
Although it may receive some criticism as being boring to watch because it’s just “cars going around in a giant circle,” I have a feeling your opinion will be swayed when you have a few bets on the line.
If you decide to make the switch, try your hand at betting on some of the more notable races throughout the season. You might be surprised at how enjoyable NASCAR betting can be if you give it a chance.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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