What if the NFL season began with the Super Bowl?
That is what the Daytona 500 is for NASCAR and it all goes down this weekend. The 60th running of the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway is this Sunday afternoon.
The first race in the Monster Energy Chase for the Cup routinely brings out the best in every NASCAR driver. The favorite is Brad Keselowski at +800. Can anyone beat him? Who is the smart pick? Can a longshot take the checkered flag?
Odds & Picks to Win the Daytona 500
What: 2018 Dayton 500
When: Sunday, February 18, 2018
Start Time: 2:30 PM ET
Where: Daytona Beach, Florida
Stadium: Daytona International Speedway
Watch: FOX Sports
Stream: Fox Sports Go
The 2018 Daytona 500 Betting Favorite: Brad Keselowski +800
Keselowski starts in ninth position in Duel 1. If Keselowski can steal away the pole, he’ll be an even bigger favorite than +800 to win the Daytona 500 this Sunday on Feb. 18. The less than double-digits on Keselowski are a cause for concern. He’s never won the Daytona 500 before. He did start seventh in the 2017 Daytona 500. An accident forced Keselowski into a twenty-seventh place finish.
There’s all sorts of reasons to believe Keselowski shows up and drives well on Sunday. Although those reasons are valid. They’re not exactly valid to the tune of 8 to 1. The odds are simply too short on the Daytona 500 favorite for a bet.
The 2018 Daytona 500 Smart Pick: Kevin Harvick +1200
Harvick starts fourth in Duel 2. There’s no reason to believe one of the best drivers in NASCAR doesn’t parlay the fourth place start in Duel 2 to a Top 10 start in the Daytona 500. Harvick has never won the Daytona 500. He did finish second in 2015. He also finished fourth in 2016. At last year’s Daytona 500, he started fifth and finished in twenty-second place after a crash.
Things could set up perfectly for Harvick on Sunday. He’s ready to win the most famous race on the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup circuit. If he grabs a great starting position for Sunday’s race, I believe he’s the one to beat. Harvick’s due to finally win the Daytona 500.
The 2018 Daytona 500 Longshot: Ryan Newman +5000
There are all sorts of reasons why Ryan Newman won’t win the Daytona 500. Since winning the race in 2008, Newman’s best finish has been fifth. That happened back in 2013. Since 2013, he’s finished twenty-second, thirty-eighth, and eleventh. He finished in twenty-first place last year.
But, Newman has a shot to secure a decent starting position in the Daytona 500. He starts eleventh, a spot off Brad Keselowski, in Duel 1. If Newman can manage a Top 10 starting position for Sunday’s race, he could be in line to take home another Daytona 500 trophy a decade after his first.
The Complete 2018 Daytona 500 Odds
- Brad Keselowski +800
- Denny Hamlin +1000
- Joey Logano +1200
- Kevin Harvick +1200
- Chase Elliott +1200
- Kyle Busch +1200
- Kyle Larson +1200
- Ricky Stenhouse +1400
- Martin Truex Jr. +1400
- Jimmie Johnson +1400
- Erik Jones +2200
- Clint Bowyer +2200
- Kurt Busch +2500
- Ryan Blaney +2500
- Jamie McMurray +2500
- Alex Bowman +2800
- William Byron +2800
- Aric Almirola +3300
- Daniel Suarez +3300
- Trevor Bayne +4000
- Austin Dillon +4000
- Ryan Newman +5000
- Darrell Wallace Jr. +5000
- Paul Menard +6600
- Kasey Kahne +6600
- Ty Dillon +8000