Round and round they go, who’s going to win, nobody knows … OK, so maybe we’ve twisted the age-old expression. But NASCAR is definitely a game of chance, just like any sport you bet on.
Maybe you’re a lot more familiar with football, baseball and basketball and the myriad ways you can bet on those sports. Will they go over or under, will Team X cover the spread, will Aaron Judge hit a home run?
And maybe you’re just not that familiar with how to bet on NASCAR, how to bet on stock car drivers trying to go 400-500 miles around an oval track just a bit faster than their track foes.
But that’s why you’re reading this. We’ll give you a tutorial on how to bet on NASCAR and some of the most popular types of wagers and best strategies so you can have a bit more fun watching all those colorful cars with the big numbers roaring round and round.
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How NASCAR Betting Works
For the most part, betting on NASCAR means betting on how well certain drivers, teams and manufacturers do in any race. To win a bet, your driver has to finish well enough, depending on what your bet is.
It’s not really a different philosophy than betting on other teams or athletes in other sports. If you bet on them and they do well, you’re most likely going to win the bet. But let’s dive deeper.
Types Of NASCAR Bets
This is the most basic NASCAR bet. Put money on the race winner and hope they beat out 35 other drivers to the finish line. A simple bet, but also a risky one, considering there are three dozen racers on the track and a lot of things can happen over 500 miles – crashes, bad pit stops, engine malfunctions, overly aggressive drivers, etc.
That’s why the odds are set pretty high. Let’s look at an example from the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Aug. 6. Denny Hamlin is the favorite, but he’s going at +650 moneyline odds to win. That means if you wager $100 on him to win and he does, you get a payout of $750.
Instead of betting on a win, your driver only needs to finish better than a few others in a specific group. For instance, looking again at the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Aug. 6, you could bet on one of these drivers to be the Group 1 winner:
- Kyle Larson +230
- Denny Hamlin +255
- Kevin Harvick +265
- Kyle Busch +275
These include some of the more intriguing betting options. Example: For the FireKeepers Casino 400, Tipico lets you wager on whether the winning car number is even or odd, or if the number is greater than or less than 12.5.
You could also bet on whether certain drivers will finish among the top three, five, or ten.
Just as you can bet on which NFL team is going to win the Super Bowl, or which MLB team is going to win the World Series, or which nation will win the World Cup, you can also bet on a driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship.
A recent look at Tipico’s Cup Series futures odds, we see:
- Martin Truex Jr. +430
- Kyle Larson +570
- Denny Hamlin +650
- William Byron +670
- Kyle Busch +770
So, if you place $100 on Busch to win the title and he does it, you get a $870 payout — $100 back from the money you bet and $770 because of the odds.
On this one, you can bet on which racer will do the best for their manufacturer, i.e., the company that designed the driver’s vehicle. For the FireKeepers Casino 400, you can place wagers on which Chevrolet, Ford or Toyota driver will do the best for their particular carmaker.
Will Denny Hamlin (+265) be the best Toyota driver that day? Martin Truex Jr (+310)? Christopher Bell (+400)? Who will be Ford’s best at the FireKeepers? Kevin Harvick (+185)? Ryan Blaney (+230)?
This form of NASCAR betting allows you to wager on the winning team, be it Chevy, Ford or Toyota or the team that wins. That gives you a wider chance to win. For example, in the FireKeepers Casino 400, Chevy had 17 drivers. So, if you bet on Chevy to win, you’ve got 17 chances to collect. And since basically half the field consists of Chevy drivers, the odds are not high — +150 in this case.
Tips For NASCAR Betting
Consider the Race
There are four types of courses that NASCAR uses for its races — speedways, superspeedways, short circuits and road courses. And some drivers do better at some types of courses than others. Websites such as DriverAverages.com will help inform you about how racers have done at all the different courses. Here’s a snapshot of what you can find:
Look into Driver History
Some drivers have literally great track records at certain racecourses. For example, heading into the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, a bit of internet sleuthing uncovered that Kevin Harvick had won four of the past five races at Michigan International Speedway, and Ford drivers have won the last eight Michigan races. That could inform your wagers.
Pay Attention to Team & Equipment
A NASCAR driver isn’t on an island when he races. He has to rely on his pit crew, who help him navigate track conditions, weather conditions, how the car is running, etc. Plus, the pit crew has to save precious seconds during pit stops, filling tires, changing tires, and checking all the various mechanisms of the vehicle.
A quick check of the NASCAR standings gives you a glimpse of how teams are doing this season. Also, be mindful that a team might sacrifice one of its drivers trying to win a race if he needs to help a teammate finish higher during a race in order to get more points to move up higher in the standings.
Make Multiple Bets
You can really maximize your payout potential by making several bets, or legs, on a single betslip. Here’s an example of a multi-leg parlay you could have done at the FireKeepers Casino 400 in early August:
There are countless parlay combinations you can do in any NASCAR race, and if you’re feeling really creative, you can combine NASCAR legs with other sports. Go for it!
Bet On NASCAR With Tipico!
So, since now you know how to bet on NASCAR, check out Tipico’s page on betting on racing. And when you’re ready to start your engines and place some bets, sign in or register at these locations, if you reside in one of the four states where Tipico is serving customers:
- New Jersey