The Daytona 500 has always been a unique race because it is run on a monster track with steep banks and a tight pack that lends itself to “contact.” It is a “restrictor plate” race, often the case on superspeedways, so as to keep speeds down to a level that might promote the optimum amount of safety. Drafting is a common practice, and as the careers of drivers evolve, there are some who are simply better using plates. Those who have demonstrated this ability and come in at a long price may just be candidates for an upset and handsome payout, in this battle that BetAnySports customers can see on Fox starting at about 1:30 PM ET from Daytona Beach, FL.
A lot of eyes will be on the drivers for the Joe Gibbs Racing team, and that is not only because this is a particularly strong bunch, but because there has not been a whole lot of success for this group at Daytona, where it has been 23 years without reaching the winner’s circle. Toyota, which provides the “equipment,” has never won this race.
Gibbs fields five cars in this event, and it is a star-studded cast. Denny Hamlin (+850 to win at BetAnySports) is one of them, and he managed to take the checkered flag in the Sprint Unlimited yesterday. Matt Kenseth, who also races for Gibbs, is starting on the front row alongside rookie Chase Elliott. Then there is Kyle Busch (+1000), the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champ, who missed the festivities last year, and Carl Edwards, who is generally known as one of the most popular drivers on the circuit.
None of these guys won the race last year, though. That distinction went to Joey Logano, the one-time prodigy who won on a yellow flag over Kevin Harvick, and is priced at +975 in the NASCAR betting odds. There are a number of people who have captured this title more than once; Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose father died at Daytona in 2001, won in 2004 and 2014 (and is the +325 favorite here); Jimmy Johnson won in 2006 and 2013 (he’s +1050), and Matt Kenseth was the champion in 2009 and 2012. Michael Waltrip (150-1), whose team is no longer a full-time operation but is entered here, is also a two-time winner (2001 and 2003). Chase Elliott (+1600), who is taking over the car left behind by the retired Jeff Gordon for Hendrick Motorsports, won the pole, and he tries to carry on a tradition, as his father Bill was also a two-time champion.
One of the guys we always like to look out for is Jamie McMurray, who is completely comfortable in restrictor plate races and won at Daytona in 2010. He is one of those drivers who is hot and cold and always capable of a surprise. But would it be all that much of a surprise if he won? He goes off at +2850 at BetAnySports, which may be something of a value.
Of the former winners here, aside from Waltrip, the longest shot is Trevor Bayne, who won it in 2011 despite not even being part of the regular Sprint Cup circuit, and who raced subsequent to that with the Nationwide (now Xfinity) series. He has been back to the 500 four times and not finished better than 27th. He is priced at +8500 in the Daytona 500 betting odds.
Danica Patrick comes in at +4500 at BetAnySports, and she has been looking for a breakthrough in NASCAR. She probably had her best moment at this venue in 2013, when she won the pole position, led at one point, and finished eighth.
We might take our chances with McMurray.
BetAnySports represents your “go-to” place for the best in Daytona 500 betting options, including driver matchups…..Get involved through a number of payment options, including your Visa card or the virtual currency of Bitcoin!