How to Understand NASCAR Odds


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In the United States, especially in the southern states, NASCAR is a hugely popular sport. Every weekend throughout the year, a major race takes place around the country, culminating in the crowning of a NASCAR Cup champion at the end of the season. Bettors flock to sportsbooks each weekend to see the most updated NASCAR odds for that weekend’s race.

How to Interpret NASCAR Odds 

There are essentially three methods to gamble on NASCAR: futures wagers, which include picking which driver will win the Cup, and weekly wagers, which include outright winner and head-to-head bets. Unlike traditional North American sports, where you may wager on the moneyline, cover a spread, or go over/under a certain total, NASCAR is all about picking the winning driver. 


The favorite will nearly always have a plus sign next to their odds in NASCAR betting. The favorite in other sports is usually represented with a negative sign next to the odds. If the favorite contains a minus sign, such as -120, you must bet that number to make a profit of $100 – invest $120 to win $220 and make a profit of $100. 


If the favorite has a plus sign, such as +120, you may make a profit of $120 by betting $100 and winning $220. The higher value in NASCAR is due to the numerous unknowns that might occur during a race, such as an accident, mechanical failure, or even a pit road error, all of which can wreck a driver’s chances of winning. 

Betting on Futures 

You may put a futures bet on which driver will win the NASCAR Cup at the conclusion of the season if you’re looking for a longer-term gamble. Because there is a lot more volatility throughout a season, a futures bet may usually deliver more value than your weekly wagers. 


Because one race does not derail a whole season until the playoffs begin, futures chances may have modest movements throughout the season. Once the playoffs begin, greater swings occur as drivers are removed from contention. However, if the odds alter dramatically later in the season, you may be able to hedge your wager for a higher chance of profit. 


For example, you put +500 on Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Cup at the start of the season, and he makes it to the championship round. Denny Hamlin, who is also in the playoffs, has odds of +500, so betting on him would give you two drivers in the finals to benefit from. 

Betting On The Winner And The Place 

Unlike a futures bet, where you must wait until the end of the season to collect your earnings, you may bet on which driver will win the race every week. Furthermore, many bookies will enable you to be a little more conservative and predict whether a driver will finish in the top three, top five, or anywhere else. 


Because there are crashes, mechanical breakdowns, and even troubles on pit road, picking a driver to win a race may be tough. To overcome all of this while also fending off the other 39 drivers is a big task, which is why the favorite’s odds are +300 or higher, with higher odds for each driver after that. It’s not uncommon to come across a driver that pays +1000 on any given race. 


Many online bookmakers provide the option of betting on a driver to finish in the top five to mitigate some of the risks associated with picking a driver to win the race outright. This gives you the option of selecting a strong driver who may be passed on the final lap; you are still a winner, albeit the payments are somewhat smaller. 


For example, if Kevin Harvick was the +300 favorite to win the race, he may have odds of -120 to finish in the top five.

Head-to-Head Betting Pits Two Drivers Against Each Other

Many sportsbooks offer head-to-head betting markets, in which two drivers are pitted against one other and you must pick the winner. A head-to-head wager, unlike a futures bet or an outright winner, has substantially lower odds, resembling a team sport in which one driver is a slight minus favorite and the other driver is a slight plus underdog. Denny Hamlin, for example, is a -130 favorite to win the race against Kevin Harvick, who is a +110 favorite.



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