NASCAR stands for National Association of Stock Car Racing. Its history is not as long as that of some other sports in the USA: NASCAR began in 1948. Back then, it was an amateur car race, with competitors often competing one-on-one. But now, these big-city races attract huge audiences in America, both on the venue and on TV; it’s a huge industry, churning out billions of dollars. NASCAR is consistently ahead of the NHL in all popularity ratings, and in some regions of the United States is successfully competing for supremacy with American football. This material is for those who plan to bet on NASCAR, but do not yet know how to do it and what to look for in the first place.
The crowning glory of the NASCAR system is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It features 36 rounds, with races taking place on looped circuits every week from February to November.
Like other American leagues, there is a regular season and a play-off – the competitors earn points in the first 26 races, and elimination stages start from the 27th. Only 16 drivers qualify for the play-offs. The season finishes with the final championship race in mid-November where only four drivers are in contention for the title.
The love of NASCAR in America has often been fostered across generations and the sport is hugely popular with working class and country folk. Races are full of struggle and aggressive overtaking, which sometimes compare favorably to the same Royal Formula 1. Therefore, and outside of the U.S. there are many fans of auto racing closely following NASCAR.
Types of bets on NASCAR
There are three main types of bets on NASCAR races, which can be found on the websites of most bookmakers.
Winner of the race. You simply bet on whether or not a particular competitor will win the race. These predictions can be both the most difficult to analyse and the most profitable. But it is not at all easy to make consistent profits by betting only on this line.
The bookmaker offers a list of several riders who have a high chance of winning a particular weekend, and often the last odds, “any other rider”, comes at the end. By betting on this odds, you’re counting on any “dark horse” to win outside the list of designated favourites.
Who’s higher. With this betting option you get to pick whoever is higher at the end of the race between the two offered entries. These can be more exciting and do not require a high score from either rider – just a head-to-head duel between the two identified contenders to ensure a winning outcome.
Race position. This is the race analogue of the bet on the total more / less. The bookmaker offers a certain expected position for the rider, and you can choose whether the competitor can perform above or below this bar. For example, the total for Kyle Busch is 5.5, and by betting less, you predict that Busch will finish in fifth place or higher.
In addition to the main results of any NASCAR race, these three types of bets can also be seen on the results of qualifying races. And in addition to the lines for individual weekends, many bookmakers are constantly updating long-term offers, where you can make a prediction on the winner of the NASCAR Cup at the end of the season.
How to bet on NASCAR
Before you start betting on NASCAR, you need to understand the importance of the days leading up to the race itself and how they can affect the outcome. Most betting shops open their lines for the next round at the start of the week. And already after that, teams hold their first practice sessions.
During these practice sessions the teams’ engineers try to find the best settings for the cars, and the drivers try to adjust to the track. This is an important preparatory phase, which is why bookmakers take the event off the line for the duration of the practice run, and then update the betting odds at the end of the practice session.
Often the riders who have had success in the past at a particular event can show themselves better from the first practice runs. Some drivers do feel more confident at certain circuits year on year, and this, combined with good form in previous weeks, can be a good bet.
A driver’s current form and movement through the week on a particular track are paramount factors for analysis. From the heats, and then on to qualifying and the race itself, you need to monitor driver and team performance, and note possible technical problems, with the entire pool of favourites to be monitored.
As with many sports, the big names in NASCAR are often slightly overvalued by bookmakers. It’s not the bookies’ fault, and it has nothing to do with a driver’s chance of winning the event, just that the odds drop under the influence of a large number of bets – the public has always loved favourites. If that’s the case, guided by current weekend information, you might seriously consider betting on the underdog.
For F1 betting fans, it should be noted that in NASCAR the technical part is more of a common denominator, and the technical development of the team the driver is driving for is not that important for big results. The driver of the car plays a key role and is the main star of the series, while the engineers have a purely auxiliary role.
Racing rules limit engine power, weight and wheelbase length. But team strength does matter, and the analogy with road cycling is closer. Classy riders around one star can form a more reliable protector on the track for their partner. In NASCAR, where contact between cars is relatively frequent, this is an important factor. A good driver without support is unlikely to produce consistent results.
NASCAR betting tips. It is generally advisable to pay particular attention to your driving style. Some drivers are tactical and cautious, burning seconds in corners wisely. Others risk the car more in an aggressive, contact-based battle, trying not to concede an inch in each area. In the fight for the final victory in the championship the first strategy is preferable, because to get to the top-5 or top-10 on a regular basis is enough for great success.
The roar of motors and uncompromising struggle, frequent overtaking and interesting system of NASCAR tournament should not leave you indifferent with proper attention and involvement.
There is no such thing as a no-win strategy – successful NASCAR betting requires a serious commitment to the world of racing and a constant awareness of the drivers, line-ups, track conditions and more.