The biggest race of the 2024 NASCAR season is on Sunday, February 18th, the Daytona 500. The Great American Race as it’s known is the Super Bowl of NASCAR with its pomp and circumstance. The biggest crowds of the year show up to watch 500 miles of side-by-side racing at 200 mph. 

The Daytona 500 is the most prestigious race in NASCAR and it’s also the biggest race to bet of the year. How do we bet on the Daytona 500? Are there strategies we can use to improve our chances of winning at Daytona? All that plus winner predictions and prop bets in this 2024 Daytona 500 predictions article.

*Editor's Note: Be sure to check out our NASCAR best bets all season long for picks, previews and more!


How To Bet The 2024 Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 is a standout race. Not only is it the biggest race of the year, on one of the biggest tracks of the year, but the betting is different too. We’re going to see longer odds for most bets than we would at most other races on the schedule. A typical race favorite is +400 to +550 to win. At Daytona it’s rare to see favorites shorter than +1000 to +1100. Top-10 props are the same way. 

Normally you’d see a handful of drivers between -100 to -250, here though it’s more than half the field. Why? The chaos and unpredictability in the race mean a lot of drivers have fair shots at top-10 finishes. Even with the longer odds, we still want to bet what we’re comfortable with, don’t overextend just because the return is better because, frankly, there’s a reason they are.


Daytona 500 Betting Strategies for 2024

The Daytona 500 is about anticipating chaos and hedging against it. That’s the main strategy for Sunday. We’ll have 40 cars on track all within a couple of seconds of each other and that’s always a recipe for big wrecks. So how do we anticipate and hedge the chaos? By understanding the typical race flow for the 500. 

The first half of the first stage will be spent side-by-side before settling down into a mostly-single-file line. The second stage is likely to be more of the same as drivers try and make it to the pivotal third stage. That’s where things will get nuts.

History suggests that drivers who lead the most laps don’t win the race in the end, nor do we see drivers who have won the first stages win the race. The drivers who have a history of top-10s here and completing the most laps (not leading but completing) are the ones we want to look at. Simply put, the longer they’re on the track the better shot they have at finishing well.

All odds are from DraftKings unless otherwise noted.


NASCAR Daytona 500 Winner Predictions For 2024

Denny Hamlin +1100 (BetMGM)

He’s won this race thrice in his career and was up front in the duels on Thursday night. The Toyotas look fast and handle well which is a very good combo at Daytona, especially for a driver of his ilk. Hamlin is starting P8 but will likely spend a lot of the race toward, or in the back, and wait until late to move up and avoid the wrecks.

Christopher Bell +1700 (BetMGM)

Bell has had a rough history in the Daytona 500 but has generally run well in other plate races. However, he did win his duel race on Thursday at nearly these same odds (+2000). Perhaps that’s a switch in confidence he needs to nab his first Daytona 500 win and kick off the 2024 season in the way he wants.

Bubba Wallace +1800

He’s always a threat when it comes to plate races and has won at Talladega in the past. He’s been leading the 500 in a spot to win previously too. His skill is enough to put him here but then add that the Toyotas are looking great, and now there’s more to work with, and it makes him a very interesting bet.

Ross Chastain +2500

We know Chastain as an aggressive driver. That might not work elsewhere but it does here. Chastain has been fast this week and if he can avoid the big one, he should have a shot let to make the key aggressive move for the win.

Martin Truex Jr. +2500 (BetMGM)

He’s not typically a driver we think of at plate races given his rough finishes. But hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut at some point. He looks fast this week and would’ve had a shot to win the duel if not for his pit crew. Yes, it’s another Toyota but sometimes you have to strike when the iron is hot and that’s the case with Truex.

Corey Lajoie +5000 (BetMGM)

Lajoie is always in play at plate tracks. He circles these races as his best chances to win on the NASCAR schedule. He’s proven that too as he’s been in a spot to win a couple of times now, including leading on the last lap on the backstretch. Besides, who doesn’t like cheering for the margarita car? That’s what we have here with his Chili’s paint scheme.

Harrison Burton +6000

We can play the what-if game a lot with Burton at plate tracks, but the case remains that he’s been in good spots late in races here before he’s been involved in wrecks. If, and it’s a big if, he can avoid those, the Wood Brothers 21 car is always a good one on plate tracks and this return is quite nice. Not to mention that a 66-1 winner won two years ago in Michael McDowell.

Justin Haley +8000

Haley has several wins across all three NASCAR series at Daytona and Talladega. Making his move to Rick Ware Racing won’t hurt him this week at Daytona where are the equipment is nearly equal and so why not sprinkle a few bucks on an 80-1 long shot with his kind of winning history in style of racing?


Best Prop Bets For The 2024 Daytona 500

Brad Keselowski Top-10 Finish -130 (BetMGM)

Keselowski is known as one of the best plate racers in the field on Sunday and while he’s not won as often recently at these tracks, he’s generally always in contention. The Fords are also the manufacturer that is the best at managing the pack and strategically pushing which will lead to a late-race top-10 spot for Keselowski.

Kyle Larson Top-10 Finish -115 (BetMGM)

Larson isn’t known as a plate racer, but he has gotten better at making it to the finish lately. That recent run of success is enough to make this bet intriguing just needing to finish in the top-quarter of the field.

Bubba Wallace Top-10 Finish +100 (BetMGM)

Here’s a hedge. It’s just that simple, if he doesn’t win but does finish and lands in the top-quarter of the finishes we double our money. Not a bad bet for a guy who’s one of the best plate racers in the field.

Chris Buescher Top-10 Finish +110 (BetMGM)

Dad power! Buescher’s wife is giving birth to a child this weekend (he’s back in North Carolina for the birth) and he’ll be back for the race Sunday. We love a good narrative bet and this is as happy of one as we’ll get. The RFK duo has strong cars and is looking for a strong start to 2024, this’ll do it.