Daytona 500 Betting Odds and Predictions

It’s that time of year again! The Super Bowl has concluded and now Sundays are for NASCAR racing. I know your wife is going to say something about Sunday Funday or maybe your kid has a soccer game.

Family isn’t important anymore. I’m kidding but you do have a window before it warms up outside and you have no excuse to sit in front of your big screen and watch the “yoom, yoom, y-yoom, yoom…”

Daytona is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit and the Daytona 500 is known as The Great American Race. It is strange how NASCAR has their biggest and seemingly most important race for bragging rights as the first one of the year.

It is what it is, though, and even though we really have no idea which team or driver to back this week because it’s the first competition of the year, we can still win!

Hey, we did in 2020. We went with the proud Virginian Denny Hamlin to take the checkered flag at possibly his best track. We finally cooled off towards the end of the last Monster Cup Series season but were rolling with winner and top 3 picks for months prior.

I believe we hit on 8 winners last year and that was within an 18 race span. That is pretty good considering we were only taking 2-3 drivers per race to get the W. Our top 3 bets rocked as well. It was a great year for us but as they came down the stretch for the playoffs, I lost my confidence and left the picks alone for the last few races.

We still finished the year in profit for NASCAR, golf, and mixed martial arts. MMA is off to a so-so start to 2021 but we have been smashing golf and I hope we can do the same on the tracks this year as well.

2021 looks like it will be a lot of fun for drivers, fans, and bettors of NASCAR. And BetOnline has betting odds for this race. Let’s take a look at those and make our picks to win and place at the Daytona 500.

Denny Hamlin: +800

The sportsbooks aren’t releasing any top 3 or podium placing betting odds but there are still some mega sites that we love for NASCAR betting that have odds on drivers to take the checkered flag this Sunday evening in Daytona.

You also have access to our favorite NASCAR betting sites to use for your bets to win or place in 2021. For a comprehensive betting guide on NASCAR races, click here.

I think Denny Hamlin is a play you should always make at the Daytona 500. The only reason his betting odds aren’t down closer to (+500) is because he isn’t “in form”. He races so well here that if this was happening mid season, he would be maybe a 5 to 1 or even less than that.

Denny Hamlin has shown zero signs of slowing down and this is his best track and race so why not throw a few bills down on Denny Hamlin here?

Ryan Blaney: +1000

Denny and Blaney finished 1st and 2nd at last year’s event and the latter crashed at the 2019 race.

Ryan Blaney finally emerged in 2020 as one of the top drivers in NASCAR’s Cup Series. He was our top 3 guy for a while during the midseason as the sportsbooks kept disrespecting him with (+450) betting odds for a podium finish.

I think we hit on him 3 times as a top 3 finisher in 5 attempts. Blaney especially loves tracks like Daytona where he can get wide open and full speed. He is coming along on the smaller tracks and certainly isn’t on the level of his best friend, Chase Elliott, who won the Monster Energy Cup by year’s end.

Elliott is much more technical and well rounded as he has already seemed to master the road courses but I guess that’s what happens when you have it in your blood as thick as Chase does.

I think Blaney is the second most likely driver to take the checkered this weekend outside of Denny Hamlin and that is where the books have him lined as well. Again, Daytona is an opportunity to take a higher payday than normal on any driver here.

Yes, we do have a history here of randomness with Austin Dillon getting a W a few years ago but it is usually one of the top guys who gets the win here.

Blaney is likely going to show improvement from last season considering his youth and potential movement up the ranks at Team Penske, I like him as our second selection to win the first NASCAR Cup Series race of 2021, the Daytona 500.

My Picks
Denny Hamlin
+800
Ryan Blaney
+1000

In Conclusion

This is just the first race of the year for NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series so we have no idea who has the best car for each team or even which team has the best cars.

We know the drivers for each team and car but not enough to have a strong lean anywhere. This is why we must look to history and the driver who has won two consecutive Daytona 500s is 8 to 1 to win.

If this were any other race in the middle of the year, the betting odds would not be so wide. This is obviously for the reasons that I just told you. We don’t know who is running well, who is going through a Ricky Bobby or should I say Kyle Busch level divorce, and who might have one foot out of the car on their way to retirement.

There are too many unknowns for the books to have any of these drivers lined too low so we have the advantage of these long odds and it paid off last year backing Denny so I am going to do it again.

A 3-peat would be pretty impressive but Denny is the only NASCAR driver sponsored by Jordan and that guy did it twice! The two men have joined forces to back Bubba Wallace so I would be on the lookout for him as well.

Please Note:

If he wins the Daytona 500, though, we know it was fixed. Forgive my conspiracy theory but we have seen how bad of a driver Bubba is, at least compared to those at the highest level, and him beating out everyone in the biggest race of the year would just be too “perfect”.

We will see what happens. He does have rather modest betting odds of (+1600) considering he has 36 starts at NASCAR’s highest level in the Cup Series without a win. William Byron and Rickie Stenhouse Jr have both won at Daytona and they have the same odds.

Hmm…Austin Dillon has a win here and he has longer odds than Bubba. Alex Bowman, another driver with multiple Cup Series wins and the pole on Sunday who also has odds longer than those of Bubba. I’m not trying to take a crap on the guy, just stating what is obviously conspicuous.

Kurt Busch and Erik Jones have won here and their odds are far behind those of Wallace. Erik Jones who has some of best history here in the past 3 years, is 50 to 1!

If you believe that NASCAR might pull some funny stuff on Sunday, throw a few bucks on Bubba. Otherwise, keep your bets to just two drivers, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.