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Daytona 500 Betting Odds – Johnson begins drive for five at Daytona

Posted by Lee-Roy Buckles on 2/3/2010 3:17:36 PM

Daytona 500 Betting Odds: Pick Tony Stewart


Online betting players can start their engines: The Daytona 500, or the Great American Race, will kick off the 2010 NASCAR betting season. Restrictor-plate racing is often a roll of the dice, and could be moreso this year as the drivers will be able to draft harder than ever.  Jimmie Johnson has gotten to be arguably the best restrictor-plate driver on the circuit, as he seems to know when to make his move and when to hang back and avoid the “Big One”. All of his skills will be on display at Daytona.

Daytona 500 Betting Odds
WHAT: NASCAR betting
WHEN: Sunday, February 14, 3:20 PM ET
WHERE:Daytona International Speedway, Daytona, FL
KEY STAT: Jimmie Johnson’s 13.6 average at restrictor-plate tracks is the best among active drivers

Tony Stewart is the favorite at +750, and this seems to be the only thing left that the No.14 driver hasn’t done yet. Stewart, who finished sixth in his first year as a driver/owner, finished eighth in the Daytona 500, and then he won the Coke Zero 400 in July. It’s either hit or miss when Stewart lines up in the 500, as he has the same number of top-fives as DNFs (three) in this event.

Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are listed at +800, and “Junior” won this race in 2004. Busch had a rough 2009 at Daytona, coming in 41st in the 500, and he was wrecked by Stewart as the two fought for the checkered flag at the Coke Zero 400. Earnhardt didn’t finish higher than 27th at either Daytona race last year, but he’s still known as one of the best restrictor-plate drivers there is.

Between Jeff Gordon at +900 and four-time defending champion Johnson at +1000, these two have eight titles and four Daytona 500s, so sportsbook players could do a lot worse than bet on either. Gordon finished 13th in the 500, while Johnson finished second to Stewart in the summer race, and along with Stewart, these two are in the top five in terms of finishing average at restrictor-plate tracks. If these two team up, it could be a long day for the rest of the field.

A pair of drivers to watch out for are Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch, both rated at +1200. Hamlin tore his ACL, but he’s putting off surgery until the end of the year. He finished third in the Daytona summer race, two spots ahead of Kurt, the older of brother of Kyle, who is Hamlin’s teammate at JGR. Busch is also in that top-five list of restrictor-plate drivers, and he pushed Ryan Newman (now a driver at Stewart-Haas) to the win in 2007.

There’s a few darkhorses to pay attention to, like last year’s winner Matt Kenseth at +1500, Kevin Harvick at +2500, Newman at +3000, and Jamie McMurray and David Ragan at +8000. The first three have won the last three Daytona 500s (Newman’s 39th-place start was the lowest ever for a winner), while McMurray’s lone wins have come on restrictor-plate tracks (the 2007 summer race at Daytona, and last year’s fall race at Talladega). The wild card could be Ragan, who has three top-10s in six trips to Daytona, and he won a Nationwide race at Talladega.

Lee-Roy’s Pick: Because of the drafting, restrictor-plate races are often a roll of the dice, especially in the final laps where anything goes, and if you lose the draft, you’re toast. However, NASCAR said they would open up the holes in the plate that covers the engine, which means more horsepower, so you have to look to the guys that generate the most horsepower. That would probably be Hendrick Motorsports, which has essentially dominated NASCAR over the past few years. Johnson will lead the Hendrick train to the front of the pack, so snag him while you can, because there’s no way you’ll get NASCAR odds like this on the No.48 driver all year. Bet on Jimmie Johnson. For more of the best sports betting odds and picks when it comes to NASCAR, check out Lee-Roy in the Betting Edge at BetOnline.



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