NASCAR Betting Guide: How to Bet on NASCAR in 2024

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

Last Updated:

Read Time: 6 minutes

William Byron NASCAR Cup Series Las Vegas 2023

With three dozen drivers in each race, betting on NASCAR is a bit more of a crapshoot than betting on an NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL game, or any other event where only two teams or players are facing off.

But while that can make turning a profit more of a challenge, don’t let that put you off of trying your hand at wagering on the Cup Series, Xfinity Series, or Craftsman Truck Series. In fact, you can have a lot of short and long-term success with placing NASCAR bets.

Types of NASCAR Bets

Kyle Busch NASCAR

Betting on NASCAR is a lot like golf betting, both in terms of there being a large field to choose from and in the types of bets that are offered. So, whether you are betting on the U.S. Open or the Coca-Cola 600, you will find a lot of similarities.

What kinds of NASCAR bets can you find at many sportsbooks?

Outright Winner

This is the most common type of NASCAR bet that you will find, even at sports betting sites that don’t offer as much variety as others.

With an outright winner bet, you are picking who you think will win the race. Outright winner betting offers the highest rewards, but it also comes with the highest risk because if your chosen driver does not end up in Victory Lane, your bet will not win.

How does outright winner betting work? Here is an example using odds from the 2023 Grant Park 220, the inaugural Chicago street race.

  • Chase Elliott +575
  • Tyler Reddick +650
  • A.J. Allmendinger +750
  • Martin Truex Jr. +775
  • Kyle Larson +850
  • Kyle Busch +1000
  • William Byron +1200
  • Ross Chastain +1200
  • Chris Buescher +1800
  • Michael McDowell +1800
  • Shane van Gisbergen +2200
  • Christopher Bell +2500
  • Daniel Suarez +2500
  • Austin Cindric +2800
  • Denny Hamlin +3300
  • Joey Logano +3300

This race was won by Shane van Gisbergen, who became the first debutant to win a top-level NASCAR series race in six decades.

If you placed a $100 bet on van Gisbergen to win the race at those odds (+2200 comes out to 22-to-1, so you would multiply your stake by 22) you would have won $2200.

Finishing Position (Top 3, Top 5, or Top 10)

NASCAR Daytona

Finishing position betting is not available at every sports betting site that has NASCAR odds, but BetUS and Bovada are two books that offer bets on finishing in the top three, top five, or top ten.

If you think that a driver will do well, but you don’t want to take the risk of betting on them to win the race–or you want to make another play in addition to your outright winner wager–then finishing position betting offers less risk.

Less risk does mean lower winnings than you will get with an outright winner bet if the driver happens to win the race, but you will still have reason to celebrate if they come up just short of the victory.

Here is an example of a finishing position bet, using BetUS’s top-five finish odds for the Cook Out 400 at Richmond.

  • Martin Truex Jr. -150
  • Denny Hamlin -115
  • Kyle Larson -115
  • Christopher Bell +115
  • William Byron +130
  • Kevin Harvick +130
  • Kyle Busch +160
  • Joey Logano +175
  • Chase Elliott +220
  • Ross Chastain +225

In the first Richmond race in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Larson took the win, while Chastain, Bell, and Harvick all finished in the top five.

If you think that Harvick, who won this race in 2022, will score a second top-five finish at Richmond in 2023, a $100 bet at those odds (+130 is 1.3-to-1, so you would multiple your stake by 1.3) would give you winnings of $130.

Group Betting

Group betting is a kind of finishing position betting but with a twist. Instead of betting on someone to finish in the top three, top five, or top ten, you are betting on your chosen driver to have the best finishing position of a group of drivers.

Here’s an example of group betting odds from BetUS’s odds for the 2023 Cook Out 400:

  • Martin Truex Jr. +200
  • Denny Hamlin +275
  • Kyle Larson +275
  • Christopher Bell +300

If Larson finishes second, Truex finishes fourth, Hamlin finishes fifth, and Bell finishes eighth, Larson will be the winner of this group. As a result, a $100 bet at odds of +275 (2.75 to 1) would give you winnings of $275.

Manufacturer Betting

Along with the variety of betting markets dedicated to how specific drivers will fare in a race, some online sportsbooks also offer odds on the winning manufacturer.

Here is an example, using Bovada’s winning manufacturer odds for the 2023 Cook Out 400:

  • Chevrolet +150
  • Toyota +160
  • Ford +220

Unfamiliar about the manufacturers used by the top drivers and teams in the NASCAR Cup Series?

Hendrick Motorsports, the team of former NASCAR Cup Series champions Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, as well as William Byron and Alex Bowman, uses Chevrolet cars. So does Richard Childress Racing, home of two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon.

As for Ford, the two most prominent Ford drivers are two-time Cup Series champion Joey Logano (Team Penske), 2012 Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (RFK Racing), and 2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, who will retire at the end of the 2023 season.

Currently, there are only two Toyota teams, 23XI Racing (Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick) and Joe Gibbs Racing (2017 Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Ty Gibbs).

Championship Futures Betting

The above bets are all types of race bets, but in addition to outright race winner betting, the most common NASCAR bet you will find is for which driver will win the championship at the end of the season.

The Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Craftsman Truck Series all have a regular season followed by championship playoffs. Some sportsbooks even offer odds on who will win the regular season championship, in addition to the overall championship futures.

NASCAR Betting Strategies and Tips

Martin Truex Jr. Denny Hamlin NASCAR Cup Series

With so many cars in the field and all of the twists and turns that can take place over the course of a race, there are no sure things when it comes to NASCAR betting.

But you can maximize your chances of success by following a few helpful tips.

Know When and Where to Pick Your Spots

As with betting on any other sport or event, being smart with your choices is important.

Which drivers are most consistent throughout the season? Does a driver have a history of success at a particular track? Which drivers are strongest on road courses?

For example, despite being a NASCAR debutant, Shane van Gisbergen had shorter odds than most of the field for the Grant Park 220 because he is accustomed to driving on non-oval courses in the Supercars Championship.

Limit Unnecessary Risks

You can get excellent value with outright winner betting even if you bet on the race favorite. But your smallest outlay should be on those kinds of bets because they carry the most risk.

By the same token, taking or putting a significant amount of your bankroll on extremely short odds on a driver to finish in the top ten isn’t the way to go either, given how things can change in an instant in a race.

This isn’t to say that you can’t jump on the occasional long shot or pick your favorite driver on a regular basis regardless of how they are doing.

Play the Long Game

The NASCAR seasons are very long. As of 2024, there are 36 races in the Cup Series season, 33 in the Xfinity Series season, and 23 in the Craftsman Truck Series season.

There are going to be highs and lows. That is true of betting on anything for an extended period of time. There may be a week where you sweep the board, then the next week you are on the wrong end of the sweep.

But over the course of the year, you can have a lot of success by being a smart bettor each week and managing the highs and lows as well as possible.

Every week, you can find predictions, picks, and analysis for each NASCAR Cup Series race at Betting News, and we cover the Xfinity Series and Truck Series every now and then as well. You can ensure that you don’t miss out on that content by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, The Weekender.

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