How to Bet on NASCAR

NASCAR Betting Sites Online

NASCAR is a sport with a loyal and passionate fanbase. NASCAR betting is becoming an even bigger phenomenon, and it’s just starting to take off.

In years past, placing a bet on a big race meant that a trip to Las Vegas was in order. That’s no longer the case. Sports betting has been legalized in a number of states, and the list of sports you can legally wager on continues to grow. As a result of the surge in interest, NASCAR has inked a deal with Genius Sports to become the circuit’s exclusive data provider. This means that fans can anticipate advancements in NASCAR live betting, too.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started betting on NASCAR right here including the best online sportsbooks for you to place your NASCAR bets.

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How to bet on NASCAR legally in the US

It wasn’t too long ago that there weren’t many options for those looking to bet on NASCAR. Regular trips to Las Vegas can be costly, and taking a chance with an unregulated offshore sportsbook can be a risky proposition. Today, the legal sports betting environment across the United States continues to evolve. It’s now possible to bet on each of the races on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule legally in several states.

It’s a fluid situation in which many states are in the process of opening the doors for sports betting while others are still hammering out legislation. There’s also a handful of states leading the way and have thriving sports betting markets to show for it.

NASCAR is Back!

Both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series are set to run a full schedule this year.  Weekly odds will be posted at all sportsbooks along with ongoing odds for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series winner. For up-to-the-minute race odds, check the Motorsports tab at DraftKings. Check how the 2021 Cup Series winner odds look at the sportsbooks below:


As of 2018, sports betting is legal in Pennsylvania. Retail sportsbooks opened their doors first, and online and mobile options debuted the following year. A pair of NASCAR Cup Series races are scheduled for the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond every year for those looking to experience the thrill of live racing.

New Jersey

The Garden State was one of the first to act on legalized sports betting. Retail sportsbooks opened quickly once they had a green light, and the online and mobile rollout was well underway soon thereafter. Today, NJ sports betting revenue is rivaling numbers out of Las Vegas. Neighboring Delaware also hosts a pair of races at Dover International Speedway.

  • NASCAR Cup Series at Dover
  • Drydene 400


Indiana took some time to get everything right before giving the go-ahead to sports betting. Retail books opened toward the end of the summer of 2019, and retail and mobile options followed. There’s one NASCAR race scheduled for Indiana in 2021, as well as one over in Chicago.

  • Chicagoland 400 Chicagoland Speedway
  • Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

West Virginia

West Virginia sports betting got up and running pretty quickly. There were initial troubles with the online and mobile rollout, but that has now been resolved. A pair of NASCAR races will be held at Martinsville Speedway in the coming year.

  • NASCAR Cup Series Race at Martinsville
  • NASCAR Cup Series Fall Race at Martinsville

DraftKings and FanDuel are two operators that serve each of the aforementioned states. They both offer an easy sign-up process, smooth platforms and dedicated sections for NASCAR betting. New users who sign up via our exclusive links are eligible for some exciting welcome offers.

Traveling to a regulated state to bet on NASCAR

One other note to keep in mind: If you live close to a fully legalized state and your neck of the woods has yet to make substantive progress, there’s nothing wrong with taking a road trip to place some bets.

For example, those in New York City would have a short trip to New Jersey. While there, you can sign up for one of our recommended operators and place some bets. You can then head home to watch the results and even collect your winnings.

When it’s time to wager again, go back across state lines to New Jersey. Folks in Illinois can do the same with a trek to place a sports bet in Indiana, as can others who live in a state that neighbors a fully legal sports betting state.

The 5 biggest NASCAR events for sports betting

From February through November, the NASCAR calendar is full of events held nearly every weekend. Naturally, some of the races move the needle much further than others. Here’s a look at some of the biggest races for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series and the odds provided by legal sportsbooks.

Odds on the Daytona 500

  • When: Mid-February
  • Where: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL
  • How to Watch: Fox

Odds on the Brickyard 400

  • When: July
  • Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN
  • How to Watch: NBC

Odds on the All-Star Race

  • When: May
  • Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC
  • How to Watch: FS1

Odds on the Coca-Cola 600

  • When: May
  • Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC
  • How to Watch: Fox

Odds on the NASCAR Cup Series Championship

  • When: Nov.
  • Where: Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, AZ
  • How to Watch: NBC

How the odds work in NASCAR betting

Just like with other sports, some bets are considered to be standard for NASCAR. You’ll be able to find odds for them at the major operators we recommend for online sportsbooks and betting apps. Typically, odds are released early in the week for events to be held over the weekend.

However, some books will get ahead of the curve and post odds for major races such as the Daytona 500 a few weeks in advance. Let’s take a look at the most common types of NASCAR bets.

  • Race Winner: This is a bet in which you’re selecting who you think will win the race. It’s similar to betting on the winner of a golf tournment or betting on a tennis tournament. Odds are listed for all drivers in the field with the favorites on top and the long shots at the bottom.
  • Top 3 Finish: If you have a good feel on a driver for a week’s race, but you’re not super confident that this driver will win, then you can consider a top three-bet. To win this wager, your selected driver simply needs to be one of the top three finishers.
  • Pole Position: In advance of the races, you can bet on the pole-position qualifier. This is an interesting strategic bet to dig into, especially if you have a familiarity with how drivers perform in the run-up to an event.
  • Lap Times: This is a wager that can provide you with even more enjoyment during the race itself, and hopefully, with a profitable return. You’re betting on which driver you think will record the fastest lap time in the race.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the other popular ways to bet on NASCAR.

NASCAR futures betting

A futures bet is a wager that you place on an event that has yet to happen. For example, there’s an active futures market for things such as the winner of the next Super Bowl or odds on the World Series.

For NASCAR, futures opportunities will vary by operator, but some markets are incredibly popular. Here are the most common ones you’ll find.

  • Which driver will win the NASCAR Championship?
  • Which driver will earn the most points this NASCAR season?
  • Which driver will have the most wins this year?

In all cases, you’ll find odds listed just like you would for other outright markets:

  • Driver A +150
  • Driver B +175
  • Driver C +200

And so on, to the long shots racers who may not have as much of a chance. The futures market provides the potential for nice returns for those who feel they have a good handle on how the NASCAR season will play out.

NASCAR head-to-head betting

A head-to-head bet in NASCAR is similar to a game matchup for NBA betting or NFL betting. Oddsmakers will pit two drivers against each other. One will be deemed the favorite and the other the underdog. Your job is to pick which one will have the better performance in the race:

  • Driver A -120
  • Driver B +130

Head-to-head betting can make the race even more exciting while increasing the chance for good returns. Especially for those who have a good eye for drivers who are being undervalued by sportsbooks.

Nascar Head to Head Betting

NASCAR Cup Series betting odds

The NASCAR Cup Series is the season-long chase to determine the top driver for the year. Drivers earn points based on finishing position and number of laps led. Once 10 races are left, the top 16 drivers advance and are seeded based on how they performed during the year.

Those 16 drivers will compete in what is considered playoff races to determine the NASCAR Cup Series winner. You don’t have to wait until the playoffs or the final event to make selections on who will win. The NASCAR Cup Series futures market will go all season long.

Odds will adjust based on the market action and driver performance. For example, here’s what the odds will look like:

  • Driver A +200
  • Driver B +225
  • Driver C +250

There will be odds listed for all drivers competing in the series. If you have a good feel for a driver who may have gotten off to a slow start, this can be a great place to put your knowledge to the test with some calculated wagers.

Nascar betting outright winners

Prop betting in NASCAR

Prop bet offerings will vary for NASCAR, but there are often several quality opportunities to dig into for each race on the calendar. Some will be of the entertaining variety, such as:

  • How many crashes will occur during the race?
  • Which manufacturer will have the winning car?
  • How many caution flags will be drawn during the race?
  • How many racers will finish the race?

In addition to bets of this nature, you should also find opportunities specific to major drivers in the race. For example:

  • Martin Truex Jr. finishing position
  • Over 6.5 +110
  • Under 6.5 -125

Live betting on NASCAR

Once the races get underway, the betting action doesn’t stop. Thanks to the wonders of live sports betting, you’ll be able to react to what’s happening on the track in real-time. Be forewarned that live betting is not for the faint of heart.

Odds and markets move quickly here, so you need to be ready to pounce in an instant. Additionally, perspective can quickly change on what you thought looked like a sure thing a lap or two ago.

That only adds to the thrill, and it’s a good part of the reason why interest in live betting continues to grow at a rapid pace. Opportunities will vary, but some of the types of bets you may see include the outright winner of the race, top three finishers, and over/under on finishing positions for certain drivers.

How to enter free pick ’em contests for NASCAR

Interested in NASCAR betting but not quite ready to put any skin in the game? Then perhaps a free-to-play pick ’em-style game is in order. Games of this nature can help you gain an even better feel for NASCAR in advance of placing real money bets.

Last season, NBC Sports offered a free contest that provided viewers and players with the chance to win real-money prizes. The contest was well-received, so we would imagine that it’ll be coming back for 2021.

It’ll be interesting to see what one of NASCAR’s other broadcasting partners has up its sleeve, as well. Fox Sports has made headway into sports betting with its Fox Bet app.

During the NFL season, there was a free-to-play contest on that platform. It’s safe to say that won’t be the last free-to-play contest we see from Fox, so keep your eyes peeled.

Regular viewers of NASCAR on Fox and NBC properties will undoubtedly see a boatload of commercials touting any free contests offered.

Take advantage of risk-free sportsbooks for NASCAR

Sportsbooks aim to attract users and keep them as active players. Welcome offers, such as those offered by our recommended operators, help with the former. For the latter, a regular set of promotions can go a long way toward keeping users engaged.

When it comes to ongoing or one-off promotions, offerings will vary. You could see a deposit bonus offer, risk-free bets, insurance on certain parlay bets or even an odds boost for NASCAR drivers in upcoming races.

Keep an eye on the promotions tab at the sportsbooks you sign up for via our exclusive links. There’s usually a rotating banner of ads that feature promotions as well. Also, be sure to opt-in for promotional emails to see all of the latest offerings.

How the NASCAR season works

The NASCAR season begins in February and runs through November. NASCAR is unique in that one of the most important events of the year is held in the early part of the season. The Daytona 500 is held annually in February, and the race attracts a lot of betting and viewing interest.

Throughout the season, drivers earn points based on how they finish in the races and how many laps they have led. There’s an ongoing leaderboard for fans to track and see which drivers have the best shot at taking down the season-long NASCAR Cup.

The final 10 races on the schedule are considered playoff races. Only the top 16 drivers in the standings advance from this point, and they all compete to crown the ultimate champion at the final event of the season, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

How does the point system work in NASCAR?

NASCAR drivers are awarded points based on their finishing position in a race. For example, a first-place driver in a race with 40 drivers would earn 40 points, second place 39 points and so on. In addition, drivers earn bonus points for things such as winning a race, leading any lap in a race and for leading the most laps in a race.

Points are tallied all season long. When 10 races remain, the field is cut to the top drivers. The points system continues through the playoff races, and the ultimate points leader when all is said and done is christened the NASCAR Cup Series champion.

NASCAR betting made easy

Just as with betting on any other sport, research is your friend when it comes to NASCAR wagering. That said, the overall approach will vary. For example, in team-based sports, there are typically reams of data that are easily accessible for you to peruse.

NASCAR isn’t as stat intensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to wing it. There’s still homework that you can do for each race on the season-long schedule. For starters, it’s essential to understand that not all tracks and events are the same.

There will be races of varying lengths throughout the season, and they’ll be held at various racetracks across the country. When handicapping a weekly race, it’s important to keep this in mind. Some drivers excel on certain tracks and fall flat on others. The same holds true for certain distances. Be aware of this information and use it to your advantage.

In the lead-up to the race, there will be qualifying races that are used to determine positioning. Study the performance of the drivers in the qualifiers. Who fared well? Who had a tough time?

As with all athletes, NASCAR drivers experience strong runs and times in which they struggle. Learn how to spot this ahead of time, and you may uncover some sleepers who excel and favorites who may disappoint. The same holds for practice runs, which can also be a solid indicator of who is in line for a positive or poor showing.

There’s a learning curve with NASCAR betting, much like other sports available for wagering. Following these simple tips can help you get off on the right foot.

NASCAR DFS is another option

Betting on NASCAR races can be loads of fun, but the same holds true for playing daily fantasy sports. Yep, there’s a DFS version of NASCAR.

The two major operators in the industry, DraftKings and FanDuel, both offer DFS games for the weekly races. Just as in other DFS markets, you’ll find a wide array of contests at various buy-in points, all with the chance to win real money.

Scoring is similar to the two platforms. Drivers are awarded points for things such as laps completed, laps led, place differential and finishing position. The main difference comes in roster requirements.

On DraftKings, you select six drivers and stay under the salary cap. Over on FanDuel, it’s just five drivers while staying below the cap. NASCAR DFS is another excellent way for you to enjoy the races even further, and hopefully, turn a profit while doing so.

A brief history of NASCAR

NASCAR was founded back in 1948 with the goal of becoming the top circuit of the popular sport of stock car racing. Let’s say that it has been a successful venture.

What was once a niche pursuit has grown into a major sport that has partnerships in place with top US broadcasters. While incredibly popular in the US, that’s not the end of NASCAR’s reach. Races are broadcast worldwide to more than 150 countries.

Throughout its colorful history, several legendary figures have made their mark on the sport.

  • NASCAR founder: Bill France Sr.
  • Current chairman and CEO: Jim France
  • Most races won: Richard Petty, 200
  • Drivers with most Cup Series Championships: Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, all tied with seven Cup wins.
  • Most consecutive Cup Championships: Jimmie Johnson, five from 2006 through 2010.
  • 2019 Cup winner: Kyle Busch

As NASCAR has experienced tremendous growth, so too has the earning potential for drivers. In the earliest attempts at a full NASCAR season, the top driver would earn $1,000. Fast forward to today, and top performers are earning millions annually.

Like betting on alternate sports? Check our full guide to betting on “fringe” sports here:


How long before the race starts can I still place a bet?

For standard bets such as the outright winner of a race and head-to-head matchups, you’ll need to get your bets in before the race begins. However, live betting affords you the opportunity to place additional wages as the action unfolds.

What does NASCAR stand for?

NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.

How long do NASCAR races take?

This will vary based on the length of the race and number of laps. As a general rule of thumb, most races are completed in between one and a half and four hours.

How many laps are NASCAR races?

For a race that’s 400 to 500 miles long, it’s in the neighborhood of 200 laps depending on track size. Race length will vary, but you’ll be able to research track length and number of laps for each race on the NASCAR calendar.

When are NASCAR odds released?

For a standard weekly NASCAR event, odds are released early in the week for races that are held over the weekend. For major events such as the Daytona 500, odds can be released weeks in advance. Future odds for the overall winner of the NASCAR Cup are active throughout the season.

How does the NASCAR playoff work?

For each race on the NASCAR schedule, drivers are awarded points based on how they finish and for other instances such as laps led. When 10 races remain, the top 16 drivers on the points leaderboard qualify for the playoffs. The points system remains in place throughout the playoff races, and the ultimate winner is crowned at the final event of the year, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

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