NASCAR, or the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing to give the motorsport its full title, has been an American favorite since 1948, some 70 years ago.
The sport lends itself to sports betting thanks to there being a few dozen scheduled races each season – 2018 had 36 events planned – giving punters ample opportunities to place some bets and make some money from betting on NASCAR.
When it comes to betting on NASCAR, the most popular and largest series is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series followed by the Xfinity Series and it is these two championships that online sports betting sites will likely offer bets for.
This guide will give you all of the information you require to bet on NASCAR, so if you want to know how to bet on NASCAR or are simply interested in this fascinating motorsport, continue reading!
Where to Bet on NASCAR Online
It is no surprise that there are many online sportsbooks that offer NASCAR betting odds when you look at how popular the sport it. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries around the world, showing the huge following NASCAR has.
Check out the widget below to see some of the online sports betting sites that allow you to bet, complete with the excellent, bankroll-boosting bonuses they have for new customers.
How to Bet On NASCAR
NASCAR Qualifying Times Are Important
The first thing you need to be aware of when betting on NASCAR is how crucial to the betting practice and qualifying it. These parts of the race are so vital that bookmakers almost always remove their NASCAR betting odds from the site before qualifying before returning them on the day of the race.
Qualifying runs are extremely important to NASCAR bettors because they give a true indication of how the actual race will pan out and a driver qualifying first on the grid will likely have much shorter odds than one starting a few places back.
Where a driver qualifies on the starting grid varies by importance depending on the track the race is being held at. All drivers want to take the perfect racing line, often called the “groove” in NASCAR circles. Some tracks are considered one-groove tracks while others have multiple grooves drivers can take.
One-groove tracks make it difficult for drivers to overtake and pass each other, and you often find cars in a bottleneck as they jostle for position in the hope an opponent will make a mistake an allow them to pass.
A Track’s “Groove” Influences Betting Odds Finishing at the front of the grid on one-groove tracks such as Martinsville Speedway or Bristol Motor Speedway makes qualifying at the front advantageous as it means these drivers are more in control of their own destiny.
At multiple-groove tracks like the Michigan International Speedway or the Talladega Superspeedway, there are more than one place for cars to overtake each other. Less emphasis is put on starting position at tracks such as these because there is much more room for the drivers to navigate their vehicles through.
You also need to be aware that a driver qualifying first on the grid gets to choose where his team’s pit stall is. Most, if not all, of the drivers who are the fastest during qualifying will choose the pit stall at the very end of the pit lane. It should be obvious this is an advantage as they have clear track ahead of them when they have finished their pit stop and do not have to worry about navigating cars that are trying to re-enter the race.
Again, like the different grooves on NASCAR tracks, not all pit stalls are created equally. We will mention Martinsville again because its pit lane has very small stalls and there have been multiple accidents over the years. Others that have wider pit roads have a much smaller chance of accidents occurring.
Pay Attention to Practice
NASCAR teams are allocated time to get on the track to practice their race strategies and test the different loadouts of their cars. Often, the pit crews and drivers will be interviewed after practice has finished and they can give some hints and tips about how the car is behaving on the track, if they feel they can improve their laps times and so on.
Pay particular attention to the final practice session because this takes place close to the actual race, so conditions will be similar to race day. Weather can and does play a major role in NASCAR races as hotter days can cause the cars’ tyres to become slicker and wear faster, for example.
Bookmakers will often publish their final NASCAR race betting odds once the final practice session is complete.
Most Popular NASCAR Bets
When it comes to betting on the race, there are a multitude of options, although three main bet types stand out from the crowd.
The first is betting on the overall race winner. As you can imagine, choosing a winner can be a difficult task as there are so many variables in any given race, but it is also the NASCAR betting market that can yield the best profits if your predictions come true.
All you need to do in this market is to wager on which NASCAR driver you think will win, place your bet and hope that he has the drive of his life and finishes in first-place. Betting odds will vary depending on the driver’s current form, past performances at this track, where they qualified and how practice went. If a driver is priced at +1000 to win the race, a $100 winning bet would net you $1,000 while a $50 bet would bank you $50.
Props are also popular, particularly the market for a specific driver’s finishing position. Your favorite sports betting site will often give you NASCAR betting odds on a driver finishing over or under a certain position. For example, they may have a Jimmie Johnson as Over 6.5 and Under 6.5 with different odds attached. This means if he finishes in seventh-place or above you over bet would win, if he finishes sixth or better, your under bet will win.
The final popular NASCAR bet is driver matchups, which are head-to-head matchups between two drivers. In this bet, it does not matter where your driver finishes in the actual race, if he finishes in a better position than the driver he’s matched up with.
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