NASCAR is an extremely popular sport in the United States, especially in the country’s southern states. In the past 15 years NASCAR has moved from a cult sport into the mainstream and for all practical purposes has passed the NHL as the fourth major sport in the United States. Just about every weekend all year long there is a big race around the country leading up to the Chase For the Sprint Cup in October and November.
The popularity of the sport has transcended into the world of sports gambling, where wagering on NASCAR events continues to increase on an annual basis. Fans of NASCAR can bet on the winner of each of these races as well as the overall winner of the Sprint Cup championship.
BASIC ODDS AND BETTING OPTIONS
Before you can successfully bet on NASCAR, it’s important to understand the days leading up to a race and how they can affect the event itself. Most sportsbooks post their NASCAR odds at the beginning of the week. After the lines initially open, the Sprint Cup Series teams qualify and run multiple practice sessions.
During these practices, drivers and teams get their cars ready for qualifying and fine-tuned for the race. Because practice and qualifying is so important, sportsbooks take their NASCAR odds off the board before qualifying and repost their updated odds on race day.
Betting on NASCAR is fairly straight forward as most bettors simply bet on the driver they expect to win the upcoming race. Odds for each driver are commonly listed in one of two ways; with fractions or in the moneyline format.
In addition to betting on the results of individual races, bettors can also wager on the future bet of which driver will win the Sprint Cup Championship in a given year. The top 16 drivers qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which is a playoff that is decided over the last 10 races of the season.
NASCAR BETTING STRATEGIES
Elite drivers such as Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson will always be near the top of the betting board to win individual events. And these favorites can certainly provide good value as they are almost always in the mix on race day. But the biggest paydays come from finding guys lower on the board that will pay out bigger amounts when they win.
Many factors go into handicapping NASCAR races, but two important ones to really hone in on are recent form and past history at specific race tracks.
Some drivers excel at some courses while struggling at others. Whether these successes and failures come from the design of the track or are mostly mental, a quick study of a driver’s past races at this week’s course could give you great insight on what to expect. A NASCAR driver that has a history of strong finishes on a specific track could provide great betting value as an underdog of 10/1 or higher.
Recent form is important to separate past perception of a driver from how they are currently driving. If a driver feels confident in his car and has been driving well of late, that confidence is likely to continue to roll, in the same way that slumps are often hard to break out of for drivers.
As NASCAR continues to grow in betting popularity, more sportsbooks are adding prop bets to NASCAR. NASCAR betting is similar to betting on events such as golf or tennis and the simplicity of NASCAR betting has played a role in its growth.
There are generally four different types of wagers you can make on any given NASCAR race. Bettors can wager on a particular driver to win the race, wager that a driver will place in the top three, bet on the highest-finishing driver from a pool of five to seven drivers or bet that a particular driver finishes higher than another driver.