Defending champion Jimmie Johnson, who won the Daytona 500 for the second time last year, is in the lead as a very attractive +1000 favorite. Johnson, however, is not alone at the top of the Daytona 500 betting board. He’s joined by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth who all boast 10-to-1 odds as well. You can bet on the Daytona 500 pretty comfortably with any of those big names.
However there’s no bigger story leading in to this weekend’s action than Austin Dillon throttling the iconic No.3 car from Richard Childress Racing on to the Daytona pole. Right now, Dillon has very attractive +2500 odds for backers that want to bet on the Daytona 500’s current hotshot. The 23-year old is coming of a 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship after never winning a single race through the season. This is a savvy point getter, who might be out to silence his widespread critics by claiming the checkered flag this coming weekend.
Of course, Dillon isn’t the only one creating a storm at the Daytona 500. Mother Nature is rearing her ugly head as well. Rain is expected to hit the state of Florida throughout the weekend, and there is a chance that we could have a repeat of the 2012 race when it was pushed to a Monday. If you plan to bet on the Daytona 500, just be prepared for a rain delay. It’s in the cards this year, especially with all the insane weather the southeastern United States has been experiencing over the course of this winter.
Speaking of insane, if you plan on betting Danica Patrick at +4000, you might as well take whatever money you were planning on wagering and do something more fruitful with it – like donating it to charity or setting it on fire. Patrick continues to be a big name in the sport and expose auto racing to young women across the country, but she’s never proven that she can hold her own against the best of the best. The Daytona 500 always brings out the best in the elite drivers, and sadly Patrick has never proven that she’s on that level. It might be worthwhile if you have money to burn (both literally and figuratively) but this is a longshot worth staying away from.
A longshot I actually like is Greg Biffle at +3000, a racer who has plenty of experience and has done very well at Daytona in recent years. The Roush-Fenway Racing cars have been running the track extremely well and Biffle is the lead man in this pack of three. I like him over Paul Menard (+4000) and Ryan Newman who are other racers who fall in this range.
The best strategy when you go to bet on the Daytona 500 is to spread your money around on two mid-range plays and then bolster them with a catch-up on a favorite. I like Dillon to be my heavy handed wager this weekend at 25-to-1, with Biffle coming in right behind as a bit of a flier play. Of the four favorites at 10-to-1, Earnehard Jr. is my guy for the simple reason that he persistently dominates this track. How you choose to bet on the Daytona 500 is up to you, but that’s how I’d attack this board this weekend.