NASCAR betting: Daytona 500 preview and odds

Feb 22, 2013 |
NASCAR betting: Daytona 500 preview and odds
Twenty-seven of the 54 Daytona 500 races have been won from a top-five starter.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Twenty-seven of the 54 Daytona 500 races have been won from a top-five starter.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Greg Engle is the editor of the racing blog and covers the Sprint Cup Series for the Examiner. You can follow him on Twitter @cupscene.

The lineup has been set and the green flag is ready to fall on the 55th running of the Daytona 500, the Great American Race and the start of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season.

The end to Speedweeks is the most anticipated race of the season and winning carries more significance than anywhere else.
After last Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited and Thursday’s Duel qualifying races, choosing favorites is a bit easier. But the Daytona 500 is also one of the longest and more grueling races in motorsports, so anything can and usually will happen.
The top driver so far this week has been Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing team. Harvick won last Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited and repeated the performance Thursday during the first Duel.
Overall, Harvick has 23 starts at Daytona International Speedway, including 11 in the Daytona 500. In that time, he’s scored two wins - the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2010 Coke Zero 400. He also has five Top 5s and 10 Top-10 finishes. He has completed 94 percent of the laps run in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition at Daytona since July 2001 (3,768 of 4,025).

“Speedweeks is always a little bit different from any other race because the week kind of evolves from start to finish,” Harvick told reporters. “I’ve been through weeks where you wreck everything in sight and I’ve been through weeks where you’ve won races and been successful. You just have to stay calm and not get too high on the highs or too low on the lows, and be ready for Sunday.”
Don’t count out: Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers here with six wins at Daytona. If he and his Hendrick Motorsports team can overcome the gremlins that seem to follow them everywhere, he could be a show stealer Sunday.
Bottom Line: Twenty-seven of the 54 Daytona 500 races have been won from a top-five starting position. Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009 - the deepest a race winner has started. Nine have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Dale Jarrett in 2000. Sixteen Daytona 500 races have been won from the front row.
Check out the rest of the Daytona 500 preview and get Greg's picks to win here.

Odds to win Daytona 500 (Courtesy of JustBet):

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 8-1
Kyle Busch 10-1
Jimmie Johnson 10-1
Matt Kenseth 10-1
Denny Hamlin 12-1
Kevin Harvick 12-1
Jeff Gordon 12-1
Brad Keselowski 12-1
Tony Stewart 12-1
Carl Edwards 15-1
Kasey Kahne 15-1
Clint Bowyer 18-1
Greg Biffle 18-1
Martin Truex Jr. 20-1
Joey Lagano 25-1
Kurt Busch 25-1
Jamie McMurray 25-1
Jeff Burton 30-1
Mark Martin 30-1
Ryan Newman 30-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 30-1
Marcos Ambrose 50-1
Paul Menard 50-1
Juan Montoya 50-1
Aric Almirola 60-1
Danica Patrick 75-1
Casey Mears 75-1
Trevor Bayne 75-1
Austin Dillon 75-1
Dave Blaney 100-1
David Gilliland 100-1
Travis Kvapil 100-1
Bobby Labonte 100-1
Field (Any Other Driver) 20-1

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