NASCAR Cup Series: Daytona 500 Betting Odds and Predictions

A Few Drivers Stand out as Favorites for the Great American Race

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series begins in earnest this weekend. The Clash at the Coliseum is in the rear-view; the Bluegreen Vacations Duels begin Thursday evening – and the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing starts Sunday afternoon.

Martin Truex Jr. took the first win in Los Angeles at the Clash to have a little confidence heading into the first points-paying race of the year. He’s not the favorite for Sunday’s race but a few drivers stand out.

Here are the Daytona 500 Betting Odds for wagering:

A Trio of Favorites

Three drivers lead the way at +1200: Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, and Denny Hamlin. That trio makes up the favorites for good reasons.

Blaney’s been a solid runner at Daytona. In half of his eight Daytona 500 races in the Cup Series, he’s finished in the top 10. That includes two second-place finishes but he’s never won. He only has one career win at Daytona, the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400.

Elliott has had similar luck in NASCAR’s biggest race. He notched pole positions in both 2016 and 2017 but failed to finish higher than 14th. His Cup Series career-best at Daytona came in 2021 with a second-place finish. He’s shown speed in qualifying but needs to translate that better to race performance.

Both of those drivers are a stark contrast to Denny Hamlin. He’s won three of the last seven Daytona 500 races. In the four races he didn’t win, he finished in the top five twice. Hamlin’s finished in the top five in 47% of the Daytona 500 races he’s entered.

All three are +150 to finish in the top five in 2023. For Hamlin, those are odds definitely worth taking.

Longer Odds Worth Considering

Ross Chastain (+1600) won the hearts of many with his wall-riding exhibition at Martinsville in the penultimate round of the playoffs last season. He has one career win at Daytona in the Xfinity Series.

But one of his two wins last season came at one of NASCAR’s other Crown Jewel races (in Talladega) and he had the best finish of any driver last season. He had five top-five finishes in the last six races, no other driver had more than three.

Two of Austin Dillon’s (+2500) Cup Series wins have come at Daytona. He won the 2018 Daytona 500 and last year’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. He has an up-and-down history at Daytona. He’s started in the top five twice in 10 races (including pole in 2014). But he won in 2018 and finished third in 2021.

Truex Jr. (+2800) got off to the best start of the season with a win at the Busch Light Clash. In NASCAR Cup Series history, the Clash winner has gone on to win the Daytona 500 six times: Bobby Allison (in 1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997), and Hamlin (2016). He’ll be looking for a win after failing to win a race in 2022 for the first time in eight years. That pace at the Coliseum could continue.

History Shows These Odds Best Avoided

The last driver to win the Daytona 500 from pole position was Dale Jarret in 2000. Alex Bowman (+2000) will start there on Sunday and history is not on his side.

Similarly, just four drivers have won back-to-back Daytona 500 races – Icons Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough, Sterling Martin, and Hamlin. It’d be a major change of trends for Austin Cindric (+2000) to win. He won last year as a rookie but we would bet on history continuing over those trends reversing.

Looking farther down the odds, Cindric was just the second rookie to ever win the Daytona 500 after Trevor Bayne. That’s enough to stay away from 2022 Xfinity Series champion Ty Gibbs (+3300) and fellow rookie Noah Gragson (+5000).

NASCAR Predictions for The Daytona 500

Hamlin looks like the best bet among the favorites thanks to his history at Daytona. If anyone knows what it takes to win it, it’s him. Dillon would be another solid choice for a repeat winner and Chastain would be a fun new face to take a Daytona win. That’d also give him another Crown Jewel victory.

A top-five combination of Hamlin (+150), Elliott (+150), Chastain (+200), Dillon (+300), and Truex Jr. (+350) looks enticing as well. We’ll find out Sunday afternoon.

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