Daytona Betting Preview
The Daytona 500 — NASCAR’s first and biggest race — is set for Valentine’s Day this weekend.
This is the largest wagered on auto racing event of the year in North America and online sportsbooks have been seeing steady action all week on the Daytona betting options.
Danica Patrick is getting a lot of the media attention as she makes her debut on the Nationwide Series, but the sports betting public is focused on the big Sunday race.
Four-time Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson has been receiving action, despite struggling in his last few starts on this track. While Johnson has dominated the Sprint Cup series, the past four years, the same can’t be said of his performance at Daytona Beach.
Johnson did win this race in 2006, but hasn’t had any success in subsequent years, finishing 39th in 2007, 27th in 2008 and 31st in last year’s race.
Jimmie Johnson is listed at +300 (odds courtesy SPORTSBETTING.com) to take his fifth-consecutive Sprint Cup championship.
While Matt Kenseth is defending champion, he generally hasn’t done well at Daytona International, with only two other Top 10 finishes since 2000.
Besides a ninth-place finish in 2004 and 10th place in 2000, Matt Kenseth has finished as low as 42nd in 2005 and only as high as 15th in 2006.
But the betting public is backing him, with Kenseth getting 17% of all the volume on the “To win Daytona” option at the sportsbooks.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished last year’s Daytona 500 in 27th place but he has performed well in the past, with four Top 10 finishes over the last six years.
Junior finished ninth in 2008, eighth in 2006, third in 2005, won the race in 2004 and is +2000 to win the 2010 Sprint Cup.
Bettors like Junior, with 29% of all the volume coming in on him.
Kevin Harvick was runner-up to Kenseth in the 2009 Daytona 500 and has three Top 5 finishes dating back to 2002 — he finished fourth in 2003 and 2004 and won the race in 2007.
Harvick has grabbed 9% of the betting action at this point.
Tony Stewart has also placed well when taking part in the Daytona 500.
Besides a disastrous 43rd place finish in 2007, Stewart has finished in the Top 10 in six of his last seven appearances at Daytona International.
Stewart is a +900 fave to finish atop the overall Sprint Cup standings.
10% of the betting public has bet on Stewart
NASCAR Head-to-Head Matchups
There are also head to head matchup wagers for the entire NASCAR season as well; racers must be in at least 33 races in order to see action.
Jimmie Johnson is a 1.5-win favorite in a season-long matchup with Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart is also -1.5 in a matchup with Jeff Gordon.
In Total season win betting, the Over/Under for the total amount of races Kevin Harvick will win is 2.
The O/U for Jimmie Johnson is 5.5 and 3.5 for Tony Stewart.
If you love NASCAR, the Daytona 500 is the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day.
Stop by SPORTSBETTING.com for all the Daytona 500 odds.
Posted: 2/12/10 4:50PM ET