The 2021 NASCAR season begins this coming Sunday with the Daytona 500. This race is always one of the most anticipated during the NASCAR season, so plenty of reasons to be excited about what’s coming. With just a couple of days before we get to the action, time is running out to make predictions and get a wager on for the big. Picking an outright winner in any NASCAR race is tough, simply because there are so many different scenarios that can play out over the course of a 500-mile race. Let’s take a moment to break down some of the bigger stories that are dominating the Daytona 500 so you can get ready to make your bets against their NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Betting Predictions for the 2021 Daytona 500
Will the Defending Champion Start with a Win?
Repeating as the champion in any sport is tough, such is the level of competition across the board. A lot of people were excited to see Chase Elliott break through and win it all last season, and he is among the favorites to win again this year. Getting off to a good start is important, but that doesn’t necessarily mean getting a win. This is a long season, so having a solid run and picking up early points is often good enough to start building some early momentum. For Elliott, Daytona is a track that he has not really performed well at. I don’t think he will win, but given his record there, I think he would be pleased with a top 10 run.
Will We See History Made?
While we have seen several drivers win the Daytona 500 multiple times, none have ever won it 3 times in a row. This year, Denny Hamlin has the chance to make that happen, as he has won it in each of the past two seasons. It is worth noting that he has actually won this race 3 times in the last 5 years, so there is a very good reason why he is in as the favorite this coming Sunday. Favorite or not, that threepeat looms large and may put too much pressure on Hamlin. I like him to be in the mix, but I think he comes up a little short.
Potential Longshot Winner
This is a race that anyone can win on any given day, so even the drivers who are in as longshots aren’t really out of it altogether. There are a few potential dark horses to consider, but how about Bubba Wallace as a pick? Wallace, who is currently on the board at odds of +2500, finished second in this race a couple of years ago and has looked very impressive in qualifying runs. That does not always translate to a strong showing in the race proper, but it might also mean that he is worth taking a look at.
Who Wins the Daytona 500?
Now that I have ruled out some drivers and offered up a potential longshot, it’s time to put my neck on the line and pick a winner. After a great season in 2020, Kevin Harvick faltered coming down the stretch. He will feel as though he has something to prove this year, and what better way to show that than by starting the season with a win.