Daytona 500 Favorite Denny Hamlin Aims For NASCAR History

Written By Ian St. Clair on 02/11/2021 - Last Updated on September 16, 2021

From the Super Bowl to the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing.”

The “year” of firsts for Colorado sports betting continues with the Daytona 500.

This Sunday is the first opportunity for bettors in the market to wager on the race.

Based on the numbers since the launch in May, the interest in racing isn’t really there.

In the first eight months of sports betting revenue, motorsports hasn’t reached higher than seventh and hasn’t been in the top 10 wagered sports since August. The highest monthly total motorsports betting has garnered is $617,682 in June.

But this is “The Great American Race.”

As one of the most popular racing events out there, it’ll be interesting to see if that sparks the betting interest in Colorado.

Daytona 500

What: The Daytona 500

When: 12:30 p.m. MST, Sunday

Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.

Watch: FOX

Daytona 500 promos

As you would expect, the sportsbooks are also offering promotions for the race.

DraftKings is offering a “3’s a Crowd at Daytona” promo.

Users can get Denny Hamlin to finish in the top 3 boosted to +333.

FanDuel Sportsbook has a “Top-Five Finish Insurance.”

Users can place a pre-race outright winner wager on the Daytona 500 winner, and if your driver loses but finishes in the top 5, you get refunded in-site credit (max bet is $50).

Daytona 500 odds

Daytona 500 odds BetMGMDraftKingsFanDuelFox Bet
Race winner top five D. Hamlin +500
C. Elliott +900
J. Logano +1,000
R. Blaney +1,100
B. Keselowski +1,200
K. Harvick +1,200
Ky. Busch +1,200
D. Hamlin +750
C. Elliott +1,000
R. Blaney +1,200
J. Logano +1,200
Ky. Busch +1,300
K. Harvick +1,400
B. Keselowski +1,400
D. Hamlin +700
R. Blaney +1,000
C. Elliott +1,000
J. Logano +1,000
Ky. Busch +1,200
B. Keselowski +1,200
A. Almirola +1,400
K. Harvick +1,400
K. Larson +1,400
W. Byron +1,600
M. Truex Jr. +1,600
B. Wallace +1,600
D. Hamlin +750
C. Elliott +1,000
R. Blaney +1,000
J. Logano +1,000
B. Keselowski +1,100
K. Harvick +1,300
Ky. Busch +1,300
W. Byron +1,500

The consensus favorite at the various sportsbooks is Denny Hamlin.

This isn’t a surprise to NASCAR fans since Hamlin has won the last two Daytona 500s.

If he wins on Sunday, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver will become the first in NASCAR history to win the race three-straight times.

As Beyond the Flag points out, in the 62-year history of the Daytona 500, only three other drivers have won the Daytona 500 in back-to-back years: Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84), and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).

On top of the mystique of the race, whether Hamlin completes the trifecta adds to the NASCAR betting excitement this weekend.

As for the starting position on Sunday, Hamlin was the 12th-fastest in qualifying.

The pole position belongs to Alex Bowman.

As the NASCAR website points out, that gives the Hendrick Motorsports driver a record fourth consecutive front-row start at the Daytona 500.

However, most of the sportsbooks don’t think Bowman will carry the pole position to a win.

Other drivers the sportsbooks like: Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano.

Who do the drivers think is the favorite?

The NASCAR website did a fun video by asking the drivers who they think will win the race.

The first one up was Bowman and he bucked the trend a skosh. He went with Elliott.

Aric Almirola, Elliott and most of the other drivers agree with the sportsbooks and think Hamlin is the favorite.

Meanwhile Hamlin went with Kyle Busch.

If you want a little more insight on what the drivers think, it’s worth the short watch.

Now that the Super Bowl and the NFL is behind us, bettors are on the lookout for what to wager on next.

Obviously Russian table tennis is the star attraction, but maybe the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing” could divert some attention.

In the words of Darrell Waltrip, “Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go race betting.”

Photo by AP / John Raoux
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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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