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Daytona 500 - Best Bets
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Bet the 60th Daytona 500

If there’s just room in your casual sports fan brain for one motor sport event, make sure that you bet the Daytona 500. This agonizingly long race will air on Sunday, February 18th with Fox serving as the broadcaster. You can check out the odds on our Motor Sports Futures board.

As the kickoff event to what promises to be another drama fueled NASCAR season, the Daytona 500 has it all, and perhaps the best part about it as a viewer is that it’s dumbed down a little for the newcomer. You don’t have to know a garborator from a carburetor to kick a few tall ones back and really sink your teeth in to the action.

People always say that they watch NASCAR for the crashes. Those people are animals, but the point is that there’s a certain unpredictability that comes with betting on these types of races. Crazy stuff almost always happens because the stakes are as high as the speeds these hunks of metal maintain around the oval. Drama usually follows.

So who are the best Daytona 500 bets? Well, usually the longshots pan out. At least, that’s how people like to bet this race in general. Spoiler alert: I’m not going to tell you to bet on Danica Patrick at +6600.

Despite the fact that he’s a longshot, we have to start our potential winners with the one and only Kurt Busch at +2200. The defending champion, who also happens to be the sport’s biggest villain, took advantage of the final four leaders ahead of him all losing gas. There was simply a lot of luck involved in Busch’s unexpected victory and for him to get another taste of milk, he’ll have to hope for some luck to happen again.

The big darkhorse that some of the handicappers are targeting is Paul Menard, a +2500 outsider who has seen his odds split in half in the last few days. Yes, his odds used to be +5000. Why the change? Menard got the nod for the No.21 Ford car and if you don’t know anything about NASCAR, just understand that it’s a really big deal to be behind that wheel. Menard isn’t a dark horse by any stretch, finishing fifth at the 2017 Daytona 500.

Brad Keselowski is the +700 favorite, and most will be rooting for him simply because he’s the best driver in the world and he’s never won the Daytona 500. There’s no doubt that Keselowski will have a target on his back, which is one of the reasons he always flames out in these races. It’s just hard for his team to protect him when competitors have 500 miles of opportunity to take him out whenever they please.

Kyle Busch is also favored, though at +800, and will also be searching for his first Daytona 500 win. Betting on either of the top two isn’t a bad idea. They’re rated that high for a reason. It’s just that the Daytona 500 has been a notoriously difficult race for these guys to win. If you’re going to sprinkle some money around, Busch is a better pick than Keselowski, but you better be hedging with some longshots.

However, right behind these two is Chase Elliott, the 22-year-old wonder kid of NASCAR. He’s by far the most popular driver out there, and is practically royalty in the sport already. A huge coronation could come for the +1000 Daytona 500 hopeful, and my money will ride with him.

Outside of that, I do like Menard at +2500 along with Jimmie Johnson, a +1600 edge play who has won this race two years in a row and will be out for revenge after blowing a tire last year.

Whomever you take, betting on NASCAR is the type of ridiculous fun that betting was designed for. Watching this race will give you a feel for the big players in the sport as NASCAR revs up another eventful season. If you’re looking to fill that football void, why not take a spin with some of the best drivers in the world?

Odds per

Daytona 500 Best Bets:
Chase Elliott +1000
Paul Menard +2200
Jimmie Johnson +1600

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