As a huge sport that continues to grow internationally, most online betting sites offer betting on the two largest NASCAR racing series’ – the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series.
When comparing NASCAR to Formula 1 racing, there are a couple of big advantages to betting on NASCAR. There are generally 36 Sprint Cup and 35 Nationwide Series races per season, while Formula 1 typically runs 17-19 races. This means there are a lot more betting opportunities in NASCAR, along with better competition deep into the year.
In other top racing series’ around the world, a few drivers might dominate a season. NASCAR is much more competitive, and a lot of drivers win races each year. This creates greater odds for every driver, and more interesting betting options.
How to Bet on NASCAR Racing
Picking the outright winner of a race and matchup bets are the most popular ways to bet on NASCAR. At some online betting sites, podium finishers and prop bets are available as well. Futures bets for the Sprint Cup can be found at most sites, and a few books offer futures for the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.
Below we explain the different type of NASCAR betting, but if you’re already familiar with the types of betting and want to get started make sure you check out Ryan’s opinion on the Best NASCAR Betting Site and get access to any NASCAR picks we have posted here at The Sports Geek before placing your bets.
Outright Winner Bets
Outright winner bets are self-explanatory. Pick the driver you think will win and place your bet. If he wins, you win. If he loses, you lose. Since NASCAR is a sport where a lot of fans have a favorite driver, these are the most popular types of NASCAR bets.
Many handicappers like to place bets on 2-3 drivers per race. For example, you could take the favorite at 5/1, another relative favorite at 12/1, and a long shot at 30/1. If each of these bets were the same size, you would take home a profit if any of your picks win the race. If the favorite wins at 5/1 you’ll take home a small profit, but if the 12/1 or 30/1 drivers win the race, you’ll have a very nice payday.
Driver Matchup Bets
NASCAR matchup bets generally come in two forms, head-to-head, and standard matchups. Head-to-head matchups consist of two drivers and the handicappers job is to figure out which driver will have the highest finish in the race. Standard matchup bets consist of three or more drivers (usually 5-6), and the goal is the same – to pick which driver will have the best finish. To keep these bets interesting and competitive, sportsbooks generally pit drivers that are considered to be closely matched against one another. For example, you’ll often find the top 5 drivers all in one matchup.
Matchup bets are very popular for a couple of reasons. First, with only a small number of drivers to choose from, these are much easier bets to win than outright winners. Second, there’s a certain amount of ‘luck’ involved in NASCAR. So, even if you’re picking the driver with the greatest odds in a particular matchup, you’ll always have a decent shot to win.
NASCAR Prop Bets
In sports like football, basketball, or soccer, almost every online betting site offers a nice variety of prop bets. It’s different in NASCAR where some books have a nice selection, and others may not offer any props at all. Big races like the Daytona 500 draw more betting interest, so most sportsbooks offer a better variety of props for races like these.
Some typical NASCAR prop bets:
- Will driver X finish in the top 5?
- Will driver Y win a race this season?
- Winning car number – even or odd?
NASCAR Futures Bets
Futures bets are wagers based on the final results of a season or event. In NASCAR, most online sportsbooks offer futures bets for the winner of the Sprint Cup Championship and Nationwide Series Championship. A few books also offer futures betting for the Camping World Truck Series.
Some online betting sites post NASCAR futures odds just a few days after the prior season has ended, while others wait until the season is about to begin. Also, some books close these bets once the season begins, while others continually update odds and keep them open deep into the season.
Since NASCAR seasons consist of a large number of races and a lot of different winners, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series championships often go right down to the wire. This means you’re more likely to have a driver in the hunt and someone to root for late into the season.
The downside to NASCAR futures bets is that they take a long time to pay off. If you’ve made your bet in January or February before the season begins, you won’t collect your winnings until late November when the season finally ends. For casual handicappers looking to have some fun, this isn’t much concern. However, for serious & professional punters, this is too long to be tying up much of your bankroll. For this reason, we recommend that serious handicappers keep their NASCAR futures bets down to a maximum of 1% of their bankroll.