We’re on to Daytona — for the sport’s most famed race of all. Yes, it’s once again Daytona 500 time in the world of NASCAR. Keep reading this for a preview of what lays ahead come race time plus our expert predictions on which driver wins you money at Daytona!
We must start with the Daytona 500 odds, however. They’re available at the top-used betting sites for sports right now. Things could change between now and February (when the race takes place), but we expect more stability in the lines than not. Here are the drivers most favored to take the victory:
Preview Of 2023 Daytona 500
While Daytona is the kick-off of the Cup Series schedule (with points on the line), the NASCAR season unofficially officially began in Los Angeles on February 5. The second-annual exhibition race was held in the Los Angeles Coliseum again. Though, that race — with a smaller track and racing field — doesn’t compare to the superspeedway of Daytona which promises to be chaotic like usual. Let’s quickly preview what could lie ahead at Daytona in 2023.
Last year’s event was won by Austin Cindric. It was a Cinderella win considering Cindric had never won a Cup Series race before. However, first-time event winners would turn out to be the theme of the 2022 season. This was the first with the Next Gen Car, and the whole circuit was learning on the fly — which lead to unpredictable finishes. But with a full year under the belt with the new whip, we expect less unpredictability going forward, starting with Daytona.
As usual, the Daytona 500 race is capped at 40 drivers. These drivers will duke it out at the famed 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked track. The 36 chartered entries are locked in, however, four more drivers will join the fray based on single-car qualifying session on February 15 and 16.
Best Bets To Win 2023 Daytona 500 Race
Did you see the staggering odds across the board for Daytona? We mean, the co-favorites are as long as +1200 to take the checkered flag. Given those types of lines, you’d be crazy to not throw money on different drivers to win the 2023 Daytona 500. We’d vouch for at least three cars to bet on at Daytona 500 — at minimum.
Martin Truex Jr.
When we covered the Clash earlier, we neglected to mention the exhibition race was won by Truex Jr. He was one of the few drivers to avoid much of the cautions that plagued the race and took the lead late (with 25 laps left in the 150-lap race). Even if Truex gained zero Cup Series points from the competition, he might’ve gained something more important — mental confidence.
There’s no denying Truex had a rough go in 2022. He was held winless during the campaign, struggling to adjust to the Next Gen vehicle. Not only that but Truex didn’t even finish a single race inside the top three. Not one! This meant Truex missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2014. At 42 years of old now, Truex is knocking at the door of retirement.
So yes, winning an exhibition race is a much-needed shot of confidence for the embattled driver. We think his +3000 odds are too long given the recent win and history of success. We’ll take that type of value with Truex, whose career-best result at the Daytona 500 was No. 2 in 2016.
Here’s another driver that went winless in 2022, but unlike Truex, Blaney was in the thick of many races. He had a whopping 12 top-5 finishes, which catapulted him into the Championship 4 — a race he finished runner-up.
But here’s why we’re picking Blaney here: his track record at superspeedways. Three of Blaney’s seven career Cup Series wins have come at such tracks — two in Talladega and the other in Daytona (not the 500, but the Sugar 400). That history of success gives us confidence Blaney is worth taking here.
Is anyone surprised by this pick? No? Well, that’s good because every NASCAR bettor knows that Hamlin is money at the Daytona 500. Hamlin owns three victories at “The Great American” over his career. He’s the best modern-day-era driver at the event, and it’s tough not to bet alongside that. Hamlin is a perfect alternate bet in this spot.
How To Watch & Bet On 2023 Daytona 500
Now that you know who to bet to win the Crown Jewel race, let’s cover some housekeeping. You likely want to see the Daytona 500 unfold on TV once you have money on it. If so, the place to watch the Dayotna 500 is FOX for those in the United States. The live broadcast kicks off at 2:30 pm EST on February 19.
When it comes to placing bets, you can’t go wrong with one of the bookies listed underneath. All featured sites are leaders in motorsport racing gambling, as stated in our newest sportsbook reviews. You could even leverage a sportsbook bonus and bet on the Daytona 500 for free. Reference the below table for more details on these bonuses.