NASCAR Betting Guide 2023: Odds, How To Bet And Strategy

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane
NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway

America’s foremost auto racing circuit is NASCAR, which competes on tracks around the country in cars made to resemble those driven on the street. Founded in 1948, NASCAR was long a niche sport popular mainly in the South before star drivers like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt helped it go national in the 1990s.

NASCAR’s top circuit, the Cup Series, now competes everywhere from rural South Carolina to the streets of downtown Chicago, and it will offer a variety of NASCAR betting odds when legal sports betting launches in North Carolina.

NASCAR 2023 Schedule

NASCAR’s 2023 Cup Series schedule includes 36 points races spanning 25 tracks in 20 U.S. states. The first 26 races constitute the regular season, while the final 10 determine the series champion.

  • 📅 Feb. 19: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • 📅 Feb. 26: Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.
  • 📅 March 5: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • 📅 March 12: Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.
  • 📅 March 19: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.
  • 📅 March 26: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
  • 📅 April 2: Richmond (Va.) Raceway
  • 📅 April 9: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
  • 📅 April 16: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
  • 📅 April 23: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
  • 📅 May 1: Dover (Del.) Speedway
  • 📅 May 7: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
  • 📅 May 14: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
  • 📅 May 29: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
  • 📅 June 4: World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill.
  • 📅 June 11: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway
  • 📅 June 25: Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway
  • 📅 July 2: Streets of Chicago
  • 📅 July 9: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.
  • 📅 July 17: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
  • 📅 July 23: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa.
  • 📅 July 30: Richmond (Va.) Raceway
  • 📅 Aug. 7: Michigan International Raceway, Brooklyn, Mich.
  • 📅 Aug. 13: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • 📅 Aug. 20: Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International
  • 📅 Aug. 26: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • 📅 Sept. 3: Darlington (S.C.) Raceway
  • 📅 Sept. 10: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
  • 📅 Sept. 16: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
  • 📅 Sept 24: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
  • 📅 Oct. 1: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway
  • 📅 Oct. 8: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
  • 📅 Oct. 15: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • 📅 Oct. 22: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.
  • 📅 Oct. 29: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
  • 📅 Nov. 5: Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Odds 2023

The 2023 campaign opened with Kyle Larson the NASCAR championship betting favorite at +360, followed by Chase Elliott at +500. But late in the season, William Byron and Denny Hamlin emerged as +350 co-favorites for the title.

Byron leads all drivers in victories, while Hamlin rode a playoff hot streak into championship contention. Larson was close behind at +450, while Elliott was out of the running—he missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboard accident, missing the NASCAR Playoffs as a result.

Ryan Blaney (+500), Martin Truex Jr. (+600) and Chris Buescher (+750) are other top title contenders.

How to Bet on NASCAR Online

In states that allow mobile wagering, over 90% of bets are placed online, and there's every indication that North Carolina will follow suit. Top online North Carolina sportsbook apps will offer NASCAR championship odds as well as a full menu of online betting options for each week’s race.

You can bet on one driver to win outright, or go with other options like a top-three, top-five or top-10 finish. Head-to-head driver matchups and group betting will also be available online, as will props like winning car manufacturer or top-finishing driver for each team.

The bigger the race, the more online wagering options sports bettors will find.

Most Popular NASCAR Races & Series to Bet On

While NASCAR’s national division consists of three series—the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Craftsman Truck Series—the overwhelming majority of NASCAR betting odds in North Carolina will involve the Cup Series.

Within that 36-race Cup Series schedule, some races stand out more than others, akin to major championships in golf. Those events like the Daytona 500 will typically offer a broader array of NASCAR betting odds than other races, though bettors will find staples like outright winner every week.

NASCAR Odds: Daytona 500

  • 📅 When: Feb. 18, 2024
  • 📍 Where: Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
  • 📺 How to Watch: TBD
  • 🏆 2023 Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The “Super Bowl of NASCAR” is the sport’s season-opening points race. Contested since 1959, the Daytona 500 is held on a big, fast 2.5-mile oval track that’s known for 190 mph speeds, and it produces the occasional surprise winner.

NASCAR Odds: GEICO 500

  • 📅 When: April 21, 2024
  • 📍 Where: Talladega Superspeedway (Lincoln, Ala.)
  • 📺 How to Watch: TBD
  • 🏆 2023 Winner: Kyle Busch

This is the annual spring race at Talladega, a 2.66-mile behemoth of a racetrack that can make even Daytona look tame. Talladega’s high banks generate tremendous speeds, drivers race in five-wide packs, and the winner feels joy and relief in equal measure.

NASCAR Odds: Coca-Cola 600

  • 📅 When: May 29
  • 📍 Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway (Concord, N.C.)
  • 📺 How to Watch: TBD
  • 🏆 2023 Winner: Ryan Blaney

The 600 is a Memorial Day weekend tradition in Charlotte since 1960. A crown jewel of the sport, the modern 600 runs from late afternoon into evening, forcing drivers to adjust to changing track conditions as well as the distance of NASCAR’s longest race.

NASCAR Bank of America ROVAL 400

  • 📅 When: Oct. 8, 2023, at 2 p.m. EDT
  • 📍 Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
  • 📺 How to Watch: NBC
  • 🏆 2022 Winner: Christopher Bell

The annual fall race in Charlotte was switched in 2018 to a “ROVAL” which incorporates the infield road course in addition to the four corners of the oval track. The result is a race with lots of action, all of it magnified by the event’s placement deep in the NASCAR Playoffs.

Track the latest Bank of America ROVAL 400 odds for 2023's race!

NASCAR Odds: Cup Series Championship

  • 📅 When: Nov. 5, 2023, at 3 p.m. EST
  • 📍 Where: Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.
  • 📺 How to Watch: NBC
  • 🏆 2022 Winner: Joey Logano 

For the title contenders in NASCAR’s top series, it all comes down to this. NASCAR’s playoff whittles the postseason field down to four final drivers, and the highest finisher among that group on the 1-mile oval takes home the championship.

NASCAR Playoff Schedule

The top 16 drivers at the end of the regular season qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, which over the season’s final 10 events progressively reduces the field down to a “Championship 4." Winning races is prioritized—winning automatically gets drivers into the playoff, and automatically qualifies them for the next round.

Without a race victory, drivers are left to survive on points gained from their finishing positions, which means one wreck or breakdown can destroy their title hopes. Every three playoff events, the field is reduced, and those who get eliminated are racing only for pride the rest of the way.

Round of 16

  • Sept. 3: Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (Darlington, S.C.)
  • Sept. 10: Hollywood Casino 4000 at Kansas Speedway (Kansas City, Kan.)
  • Sept. 16: Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, Tenn.)

Round of 12 

  • Sept. 24: Autotrader Echopark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway (Fort Worth, Texas)
  • Oct. 1: Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Lincoln, Ala.)
  • ✅ Oct. 8: Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Concord, N.C.)

Round of 8 

  • ✅ Oct. 15: South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Las Vegas, N.V.)
  • 📅 Oct. 22: NASCAR Cup Series Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Homestead, Fla.)
  • 📅 Oct. 29: Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Ridgeway, Va.)

NASCAR Championship Race

The NASCAR Cup Series Race Championship will be held on Nov. 5, 2023, at the Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.

Top 8 NASCAR Playoff Standings

William Byron and Ryan Blaney have already qualified for the Round of 8, thanks to race wins in the Round of 12. Here's the top eight in championship standings, with position relative to the cut line:

PositionDriverTotal Points 
(Playoff Points)
+/-
1William Byron3136 (41)+0
2Ryan Blaney3078 (14)+0
3Denny Hamlin3108 (32)+50
4Christopher Bell3080 (16)+22
5Chris Buescher3077 (21)+19
6Martin Truex Jr.3075 (36)+17
7Kyle Larson3073 (24)+15
8Brad Keselowski3060 (12)+2

Top NASCAR Playoff Picks

Drivers have to be able to win races to win the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs—that’s the way this format is set up. Joey Logano won two of the final four events to claim the 2022 title, while Kyle Larson won four of the last five races to earn the 2021 crown. Just running well isn’t good enough.

Sports bettors when making NASCAR championship picks should look for drivers who have proven they can win races at the most important time of the year.

Denny Hamlin (+350)

The best active driver without a championship, Denny Hamlin is peaking at the right time and has been in the thick of race contention for four consecutive weeks, with one victory over that span. The veteran driver exudes confidence and owns an excellent career record on the playoff tracks that remain.

William Byron (+350)

William Byron leads the circuit with six wins and has already punched his ticket to the next round. Byron is cool and unflappable; he drives for the team with the most reliable cars around—but he’s also never been this deep in the championship hunt, and no one knows how he’ll fare under pressure.

Kyle Larson (+450)

Kyle Larson hasn’t had his best season, but he keeps hanging around thanks to wins like his victory in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff opener at Darlington. At his best, Larson can be better than anybody, and his title hopes hinge on whether that dominant driver who led 201 laps to win the spring Phoenix race shows up again.

NASCAR Odds Explained

NASCAR odds are expressed in moneyline format—the higher the number, the bigger the longshot and the larger the prospective payout.

Taking Brad Keselowski +1800 to win the championship means you’d earn $1,800 for every $100 wagered if he hoists the trophy. A minus sign, by contrast, means you’d have to bet that much to earn $100 in winnings; Ryan Blaney -110 for a top-10 finish means you’d have to bet $110 to win $100.

Outright winners, matchups, props, group betting—they’ll all use moneyline odds, which make NASCAR bets very easy to understand and place.

NASCAR Types of Bets

North Carolina sports bettors will soon be able to choose from an array of NASCAR wager types. Although outright winner picks get the most attention, bettors will also be able to wager on head to head and group bets, futures, props and live betting. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular types of NASCAR bets and how to bet in North Carolina on them.

NASCAR Odds: Head to Head

You’re betting on one driver to finish ahead of another, regardless of what happens in the rest of the race. Head to head bets pit two drivers paired by the sportsbook; an example would be Kevin Harvick -120 vs. Austin Cindric -110. You’d earn $100 for every $110 wagered should Cindric finish ahead of Harvick.

NASCAR Odds: Race Winner

You’re betting on one driver to win the race. Taking Kyle Busch at +1400 to win at Charlotte, for example, would pay $1,400 for every $100 wagered should Busch prevail.

Although it’s easy to learn what tracks favor which drivers, this is still a hard bet to win.

NASCAR Odds: Futures

These are bets placed on events coming up in the future, and you get more favorable odds by betting in advance. The most common NASCAR futures bet is the championship. William Byron, for example, was an +800 championship bet in February, and he’s +350 now. Betting far ahead gets you more profitable odds, but the risk is that an injury or another unforeseen event scuttles your hopes.

NASCAR Odds: Prop Bets

Props are fun wagers that often don’t have much do with which driver wins the race. Who will be the top-finishing driver for each manufacturer? Who will be the top-finishing driver within a group of three or four drivers? Will the race go into overtime?

Props are numerous, and big races like the Daytona 500 can feature lots of them.

NASCAR Odds: Live Betting

You’re betting on live events happening right now with odds shifting as the race unfolds. A pre-race favorite can suddenly become an underdog if he falls behind early, which presents an increased value possibility for the bettor confident in the favorite rallying to win.

NASCAR Betting Tips

Want to make the most of your NASCAR wagering experience once North Carolina sports betting goes live? Just follow these tips.

  1. ✅ Don’t just bet race winners: You’ll stand a better chance of winning by varying your bet types, and incorporating top-fives, head to heads, and other wagers that aren’t as difficult to win.
  2. ✅ Do your research: Some drivers thrive at certain tracks, while others may be in a long slump. Do your research, and get familiar with driver trends and overall performance.
  3. ✅ Shop around: Odds differ depending on the sportsbook, with some offering better value than others. Getting Larson +350 to win at one book, as opposed to +300 at another, means a potential extra $50 in winnings for every $100 wagered.
  4. ✅ Keep updated on news: Twice this season drivers haven't been able to race because of injury. Meanwhile, a road race ringer from New Zealand won the Chicago street race in a one-off. Keep abreast of who’s in the field that week—and if they’re out, for how long.
  5. ✅ Set a bankroll, and stick to it: Perhaps the most elementary tip in all of sports betting is not to overextend yourself. Savvy bettors stick to a set bankroll, and once it’s done, so are they. Be smart with money, and take advantage of promo offers to load up on bonus bets.

 🔥 Learn More: North Carolina Sportsbook Promos

NASCAR Betting FAQs

Author

Veteran motorsports expert David Caraviello is bringing his knowledge of NASCAR odds and drivers to BetCarolina.com. He has covered major NASCAR Cup Series events, including the Daytona 500.

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