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7 Popular NASCAR Bets You Need to Know


Sportsbooks have expanded their NASCAR offerings to provide gamblers with the ultimate betting markets. It has progressed well beyond the days of a simple place bet being the pinnacle of complexity and risk.

These new bets are more exciting, and they also allow you to draw on every bit of your brain’s NASCAR knowledge. This can be leveraged to more significant profits if you are bold enough to take the risks.

Here are seven popular NASCAR bets you need to know.

1 – Outright Win

Before I get into the latest additions to the NASCAR sports betting repertoire, I want to touch on the most popular one of them all. The “outright win” bet is perhaps the simplest of all NASCAR bets. An “outright win” aims to select the driver that will win a particular race.

You won’t find a more straightforward bet than this one. You simply select the driver that you think will win the specific race. If your driver gets the checkered flag, you win. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

One of the most significant advantages to this bet is that you are typically going to get a much better payout for a winner. So, while it is definitely more challenging to pick correctly, when you get it right, you’re going to reap massive rewards.

In most cases, the payouts are so generous that you can bet on multiple drivers to take the win. If any of the drivers you selected win the race, you still make a nice profit.

2 – Fastest Lap

The fastest lap time bet is probably my favorite in the world of NASCAR. You are handsomely rewarded for selecting the driver that posts the single fastest lap during the race. And it has no relation to the final outcome of the competition.

This can keep you in the action even if your driver falls behind early. Also, if your driver posts the fastest lap of the race on lap 4 and on lap 6, go into the wall and are out of the race, you’re still a winner. As long as there isn’t a faster lap during the remainder of the race, your bet still holds true.

The fastest lap bet is another in NASCAR that promotes betting on more than one driver. Placing bets on multiple drivers is one of the most common strategies in online NASCAR betting. You just need one of the drivers to win the bet for you.

3 – Podium Finish

Sometimes, you just get a feeling that a driver is going to shine on a particular track. But you may not be as confident that they will take the win. The podium finish is the perfect bet for these situations.

To win the podium bet, your driver only needs to finish in the top 3 drivers. Regardless of where they end in the top 3, you still win the same amount of money.

Obviously, the podium bet doesn’t pay out as well as the outright win bet, but you still get a solid return. This is literally the definition of hedging your bets.

4 – Pole Position

The pole position bet is an interesting one. It will test your knowledge of who is fastest on an empty track under time trial conditions.

This popular bet will allow you to pick the driver that will have the fastest qualifying time. Pick the fastest driver, and you win the bet.

This bet is fantastic because it can get you some action in the middle of the week instead of waiting for the weekend races. You also have a high potential to make some quick cash if you are privy to specific teams’ and drivers’ qualifying habits.

5 – Head-to-Head Matchups

Head-to-head matchups are among the most profitable wagers when it comes to betting on NASCAR. This is incredibly convenient for you because they are also the most exciting bets you can place.

Driver matchups are bets set by the sportsbook. Two drivers are selected by the sportsbook to go head to head. You are challenged with picking one driver, and whoever finishes ahead of the other driver wins.

It makes absolutely no difference how they finish relative to the other competitors. It merely comes down to which of the drivers finishes faster than the other. It’s a two-man race.

Savvy NASCAR enthusiasts can leverage their familiarity with individual drivers who may not be able to win the race.

Frequently, the head-to-head matchups will be favorites to be in the lead, and others will get pairings from the middle-rung drivers. The drivers in these matchups are typically pretty evenly matched. Still, it’s not uncommon to see drivers that are clearly of different calibers. Whenever the latter occurs, you will see it reflected in the payout odds.

Brick and mortar sportsbooks offer far fewer of these bets than you can find at a real money online sportsbook. In fact, if you are in a casino sportsbook, you may not have any of these matchups available at all.

If you are doing your NASCAR gambling online, you’ll have a great selection of these bets to choose from. It’s not uncommon to see 10 or more for the bigger races.

6 – Futures

Have you ever predicted which driver would win the championship before the season even began?

If you’ve ever sat around wishing you could back up that prediction with cold-hard cash, then you’ve been waiting for the futures bet. A futures bet is basically just predicting an outcome in the not-so-near future.

For NASCAR, you’re almost exclusively looking at which driver will win the season championship. Occasionally, you may see other future bets on things like the season’s points leader or if a driver will make the playoffs. But most often, it will be for the biggest prize in NASCAR.

Futures bets will be most widely available before the season begins or directly preceding the start of the playoffs. You’ll still be able to make futures bets throughout the season. Nevertheless, you’re going to get the absolute best payout by betting as early as possible.

As the season progresses and drivers begin to separate themselves from the others as favorites, the odds for them will change dramatically. You’ll be handsomely rewarded if you pick correctly and early. Like they say, “Fortune favors the bold.”

The futures bets are another place that you can place bets on multiple drivers and still turn a decent profit. Of course, one of your drivers will have to win first.

If you want to win big money, futures bets are going to allow you to receive some massive odds.

7 – Prop Bets

Prop bets are wagers made regarding the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events during a NASCAR race. This could be anything, but usually sticks to things like, “Will Kyle Busch lead the most laps?” or “Will a Chevy finish in the top 3?”

Prop bets for races tend to vary. It comes down to what sportsbook you choose and their approach to prop bets. The bigger the race, the more prop bets you are likely to see.

Proposition bets fall under one of two categories, skilled or unskilled. Understanding the difference is paramount to your success.

A skilled prop bet will require you to use any knowledge you have to make a selection, something akin to the examples I provided above. You need to correctly predict how Busch or Chevy will perform in the race. If you have the required skill to predict these things accurately, you will see a long-term profit.

Unskilled prop bets are 100% based on having fun.

Having a vast knowledge of the sport definitely helps, but it’s not really required to make a correct bet.

In general, you’re going to be making a guess. And prop bets are a lot of fun, just don’t expect to be supporting your bankroll when you make one. These should only be used for entertainment purposes.

The sportsbooks will do you the favor of separating prop bets into different categories. But it’s going to be up to you to make sure that you’re only making bets that are a good fit for you.


By now, you should be ready to launch headfirst into NASCAR betting. NASCAR has a ton of betting options. So, you should easily be able to select bets that best suit your individual style.

Just be careful about getting carried away betting on too many drivers or you might just end watching your gambling profits go up in smoke.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. …

View all posts by Michael Stevens

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