Engines rumble, rubber burns, and teammates become enemies when the checkered flag is about to be waved. It’s the most exciting race day of the year – the Daytona 500.
The 63rd running of the Daytona 500 takes place Sunday, February 14th, at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Around 31,000 fans will be in attendance this year instead of the usual 100,000, but the buzz surrounding Daytona Beach is just as lively. Some race fans call this NASCAR’s best season ever and anticipate the biggest race day of the year to deliver yet another memorable finish.
The Daytona 500 is a driver’s most coveted day, putting everything on the line and keeping no allegiance to anyone. Denny Hamlin is looking to win his third straight Daytona 500, making this year the first time anyone has had a three-peat opportunity since Sterling Martin in 1996.
With so many states legalizing online gambling, many race fans will be betting on NASCAR for the first time this year. Odds on the event are currently live in the FanDuel Sportsbook. Even better, FanDuel Sportsbook is offering Top-Five Finish Insurance. Place a pre-race outright winner wager on the 2021 Daytona 500 and if your driver loses but finishes the race in the top-5, get a refund in site credit (max $50). You can lock in the promotion by clicking this link.
When handicapping the Daytona 500, always keep in mind that the field is large, and any driver can wreck at any time, ending their chances of winning the race. Unless you have a reliable crystal ball on hand, it’s always tough to find a winner. But if your pick wins, you could win BIG.
Here are the current top-9 betting odds for the Daytona 500:
The top-5 most wagered-on drivers to win the Daytona 500 are:
Denny Hamlin (+800), the favorite, hopes to make history, winning three Daytona 500s in a row and his fourth win overall in six years. He knows the track well, undoubtedly has incredible luck, and has a decent enough starting position (25th) to make this a solid bet.
Right behind him is reigning NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliot (+1000). He was the Daytona 500 pole winner in 2016 and 2017. In August 2020, he came in second at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona and hopes to build off his success there. If Elliott were to win, he’d become the first reigning Cup champion since Dale Jarrett in 2000 to win both the Cup and Daytona 500.
According to the FanDuel Sportsbook, someone placed a $1,875 wager on Ryan Blaney (+1200) to win the race. If he does, that bettor would profit $22,500. Blaney was the second-place finisher last year and in 2017.
A dark horse pick is certainly Ryan Newman (+3800). Newman, who famously survived a horrific wreck at the Daytona 500 last year, was a just few hundred yards away from winning it. Newman says he doesn’t remember the wreck or the events that followed. A comeback win from him would represent one of the greatest in NASCAR history.
There’s another way to bet the race, too. If you’re confident a driver will finish in the top-3 but not convinced he’ll win the race, another option at the FanDuel Sportsbook is betting “Podium Finish.” As long as the driver finishes in a podium position, you win your bet.
Here are the current top-9 betting odds for “Podium Finish”:
The race is for 200 laps, with the checkered flag waved at the end of the 200th lap. Then, a new champion (or reigning champion) will be crowned. The race is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
Who do you think wins NASCAR’s most prestigious race this year?