There is nothing quite as exciting as the opening day of a new season. In NASCAR, that means an entire weekend of action to look forward to in Week 1. Making it even better is that the new season begins at one of the most iconic tracks in the world of NASCAR. The drivers will be at Daytona this weekend, with the Daytona 500 the jewel in the opening week crown. We took a look at the big race earlier in the week, promising to revisit the odds closer to race time. The top 4 favorites remain the same from earlier in the week, but the odds have shortened a little. I don’t think we’ll see much change from this point on, so let’s look at the favorites and their current NASCAR Betting Odds.
NASCAR Cup Series Betting: Daytona 500 Race Preview
Denny Hamlin (+800)
Earlier in the week, Hamlin’s odds to win were at +900. There is a reason why he is in as the favorite for the Daytona 500, as he has won it in 3 of the last 6 seasons while also adding another 2 podium finishes to go with those wins. There have been few drivers as consistent as Hamlin, especially over the last 3 seasons. Hamlin has made it into the top 4 for 3 straight years, but he has also come up a little short when it matters most. He will feel as though he has something to prove coming into the new season, so look for him to get out to a fast start on Sunday.
Kyle Larson (+1000)
The defending champion heads into the new season with a tough act to follow after dominating the Cup Series in 2021. Larson was brilliant all season long last year, but he really turned up the heat in the playoffs, winning 4 of the last 5 races of the year. That level of dominance is going to be tough to replicate, so Larson will be looking to get out to a fast start to prove to the rest of the drivers that he is going to be tough to knock off the top spot. As good as Larson has been, he has not had a ton of success at the Daytona 500, with 7th being his best finish to this point.
Chase Elliott (+1000)
Both Larson and Elliott started the week at +1100, but both have seen their odds shorten just a little. Elliott won the championship in 2020 and came close to repeating last season. He made it into the final four, but came up short in the final race of the season, ending the year sitting 4th overall in the driver standings. Last year. Elliott put in a great showing at the Daytona 500, finishing 2nd, so he has to be considered a solid bet for 2022.
Ryan Blaney (+1200)
Blaney has been a consistent performer in the Cup Series over the years, but he has always come up just a little short. A fast start might help him get over the hump this season, and that is a distinct possibility given that he has twice finished 2nd at the Daytona 500.