By Jerry Jordan, Editor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With NASCAR embracing and even partnering with big-time players in the sports betting world, I decided I would jump on board each week with a short review of a favorite pick, a mid-tier safe bet and a long shot that fans might want to consider – if they don’t get enough out of fantasy games.
Yes, I am talking about real, legit sports betting with actual odds, head-to-head matchups and Top 3 bets. These are the bets you can find on various casino sportsbooks. My goal is to give you advice on who I would, or will, put my money on each week. Although NASCAR has partnerships with WynnBet, BetMGM, Fubo and Barstool Sportsbook the ability to wager on auto racing is still limited. Not all states have embraced the sports betting trend and some who have, aren’t far enough down the road to have their systems in place. Face it, the bureaucrats have to figure out how to collect the taxes. LOL
I am currently using the Sportsbook.ag betting lines. No, they aren’t paying me but I am not against trying to find some sort of endorsement/sponsorship deal. I just have some experience with the Sportsbook.ag platform and have never had an issue with them. You fund your account with bitcoin and are paid the same way, so you will have to be ready to make those conversions. That’s why I always tell people to use whichever site they want.
So, let’s get to it. Who is my pick for the 64th Daytona 500? I am going with Joey Logano.
Why? Let’s look at a few things. First, he is always fast at Daytona. He is a past winner taking the checkered flag in 2015. Despite racing hard in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel #2 and throwing a block that ended up with his nose-first into the wall, Logano is still holding firm in the betting odds. With a few hours to go before the green flag falls, Logano is 12-to-1 on the Sportsbook.ag betting lines.
The only downfall to betting Logano is that he is always set on kill and on the final lap he is going to bring back the steering wheel or the trophy. Still, from a money standpoint, he is a solid bet. A $5 wager will net you $60 or a $50 wager will net you $600 plus your original wager. And despite having to go to a backup car after a crash in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel #2, final practice speeds had him second on the chart.
Obviously, with three Daytona 500 rings on his hand and Harley J. Earl trophies in his display case, Denny Hamlin, is the favorite to win. He has a knack for making the right move at the right time. However, his odds aren’t a good money play. At 11/5 or basically 2.2 to 1, if you bet $5 on Hamlin, a win will only bring you $11. That’s better than a coin flip but as a money play in auto racing, you’d be better off not betting. There’s too much chaos in the Daytona 500 for such a minimal payoff. That’s why I would stay away from Hamlin.
A few other potentially good bets with a nice return would be Brad Keselowski at 14 to 1 and Austin Dillon at 18 to 1. Dillon has a Daytona 500 win but Keselowski is hungry to get his name in the history books. Both drivers have seen their chances evaporate in the closing laps but the key is they were there for the closing laps to try and seal the deal. I have small wagers on each of these but just as “back-up action” and not serious contenders.
In addition to a solid pick for the win, I will try to find a mid-pack bet with good odds for a driver, who actually has a chance to find victory lane. This is a driver, who has odds that will give a good return on investment but is also a bit risky. For today’s Daytona 500, that driver is Tyler Reddick. He is a 25 to 1 long shot, although I still feel he is in the mid-tier range for a NASCAR bet. The reason is that each week, you will find a driver that “can win” but is statistically unlikely to do so – think Michael McDowell.
Last year, I posted $7 on McDowell to win the 2021 Daytona 500. His odds were 66 to 1. That was a $469 payout. In fairness, I also bet a few other drivers that, obviously, didn’t take the checkered flag. However, the long shot paid off, so I had a really good weekend.
In fact, I took some of that money and bet on Christopher Bell to win last year’s Cup Series road-course race the following week at 66 to 1 and also on Ty Gibbs to win the Xfinity Series road course race at 40 to 1. To say it was a good first two weeks of the season would be an understatement. I also put a $5 bet on Kyle Larson to win the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship with 12 to 1 odds. We all saw how that worked out.
Finally, each week, I will give you a longshot pick. For this year’s race, my high-return long-shot pick is Greg Biffle at 75 to 1. He is a veteran of the sport and very smart. We don’t know a lot about how the race will play out with the new car but he could find victory lane in a Richard Childress Racing car powered by a Hendrick engine.
Remember, I am not going to be right each week and gambling involves risk but, hopefully, we all can have some fun and maybe pick some winners through the season. My bets are small, usually $5 to $10 because I don’t want to have a lot of exposure. Honestly, I am just trying to have some fun and if I could get them all right, I wouldn’t be writing this column, I’d be on a beach somewhere, drinking mojitos and watching the sunset behind my laptop screen. Additionally, per NASCAR rules, I am not violating any rules and there are other media members who do similar columns for sports betting and fantasy sports.
CURRENT ODDS FROM SPORTSBOOK.AG
|Bubba Wallace Jr|
|Martin Truex Jr|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr|
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