Sportsbook Odds: Daytona 500 Betting
The quest for the NASCAR 2012 Sprint Cup Title kicks-off in a big way with this Sunday afternoon’s running of the 54th Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway. The ‘Great American Race’ is by far NASCAR’s most famous and sought-after title on its 36-race schedule.
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Any driver who has already taken the checkered flag here would more than agree that it remains the highlight of their racing career.
The legendary call to ‘start your engines’ is slated for 1 p.m. (ET) and the race will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
There are 43 drivers scheduled to be in this year’s field, but here is a look at my top three picks to win along with their current odds as provided by BetOnline.
Along with Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick has been opened as the favorite to win on Sunday at +1000. He claimed the Daytona 500 title in 2007 and added a second victory at this track in 2010.
His average finishing position at Daytona is 15.4 including five career top-five finishes. The No.29 car has consistently been one of the best in the Sprint Cup series with a third-place finish in the point standings in both 2010 and 2011.
There are four drivers listed next at +1200. Carl Edwards has already secured the pole-position for Sunday’s race, Tony Stewart begins defense of his 2011 Sprint Cup Title, and Jeff Gordon is the wiley veteran, but my pick in this group is Dale Earnhardt Jr.
It has been a rough road for Dale Jr. since winning the Daytona 500 in 2004, but he is coming off his best season in years with four top-five finishes and a seventh-place finish in the final point standings.
He has also had some of his greatest success in the Sprint Cup series at this very track. Junior has eight career top-five finishes here including a second-place finish in the 500 in 2010.
If you are looking for some solid value on some longer odds then take a hard look at Matt Kenseth at +2500.
He won the 500 in 2009 and has finished in the top 10 in 10 other races at this track. He has also remained competitive throughout the past two seasons with a fifth-place finish in the Sprint Cup standings in 2010 and a fourth-place finish in 2011.
Kenseth is one of those veteran drivers who understands the importance of patience at Daytona, which could pay majors dividends come Sunday once the wrecks start piling up.