2024 Daytona 500 Picks: NASCAR Betting Odds, Picks & Race Preview

Denny Hamlin's won the Daytona 500 three times — can he pull it off again? See how one of the most prolific superspeedway drivers stacks up with the field as we break down the NASCAR odds with our Daytona 500 picks.

Feb 19, 2024 • 12:55 ET • 4 min read
Denny Hamlin NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Gentlemen, start your engines!

We're about to see another season of NASCAR Cup Series odds play out, beginning with this afternoon's Daytona 500, as NASCAR bettors try to find an edge in one of the most celebrated — and chaotic — races of the year. 

Luckily, Covers is here to break down the field with the latest Daytona 500 odds from multiple top sportsbooks, and the best NASCAR betting picks for this February 19 race.

Editor's Note: The Daytona 500 was postponed to Monday at 4:00 p.m. ET due to inclement weather.

Odds to win 2024 Daytona 500

Driver DraftKings FanDuel bet365
Denny Hamlin +800 +850 +1,100
Joey Logano +900 +900 +1,000
Kyle Busch +900 +1,000 +1,600
Brad Keselowski +1,200 +1,000 <+1,200>
Ryan Blaney +1,200 +1,100 +1,200
Chase Elliott +1,200 +1,400 +1,400
Kyle Larson +1,400 +1,700 +1,800
William Byron +1,800 +1,800 +1,800
Martin Truex Jr. +1,800 +1,600 +2,000
Christopher Bell +2,000 +1,400 +1,400
Bubba Wallace +2,000 +1,800 +1,800
Michael McDowell +2,200 +2,000 +2,000
Ty Gibbs +2,200 +2,000 +2,000
Tyler Reddick +2,200 +2,100 +1,800
Chris Buescher +2,200 +1,600 +1,600
Ross Chastain +2,500 +2,500 +2,200
Erik Jones  +2,500 +2,100 +2,500
Austin Cindric +2,800 +2,800 +2,800
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +3,500 +2,800 +2,800
Corey LaJoie +3,500 +5,000 +5,000
Alex Bowman +3,500 +2,800 +2,800
Jimmie Johnson +3,500 +5,000 +6,600

Odds as of February 19, 2024.

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Daytona 500 field

As usual on a superspeedway, we're seeing fairly long odds, even for the favorites, with virtually the whole field north of +1,000 at most books. 

Among the favorites is Ryan Blaney, defending Cup Series Champion and superspeedway specialist, who won here in summer of 2021. Also among the favorites is Denny Hamlin, who's won the Daytona 500 three times and will look to shake the slow starts that have plagued each of his past two NASCAR campaigns as he chases that elusive championship.

A slew of household names also occupy the top odds tier, like Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and pole-sitter Joey Logano.

Overall, the field is distributed in about as linear a manner as you'll see for a Cup Series race, with no serious bottlenecks or chasms in the odds table. Even the longshots aren't priced as drastically as you'd find on a typical track, because this is Daytona — where pretty much anything can happen. 

Daytona 500 expert picks and predictions

Odds listed below courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, February 16, 2024.

Daytona 500 favorites

Denny Hamlin (+1,000)

Pretty low odds for a superspeedway race, but Hamlin has won the Daytona 500 in three of the past eight years, including two of the last five. Hamlin (three wins) is the only driver to repeat in the past 12 years.

Since 2012, he’s finished outside the Top-5 in just four of his 12 Daytona 500 tries, including recent finishes of third, first, first, fifth, 37th, and 17th, respectively. He starts eighth on Monday. 

Chris Buescher (+1,800)

He won the 2023 Coke Zero Sugar 400 and was fourth in this race last February. This feels like Buescher trending towards a win in NASCAR’s Super Bowl after his breakout last year. Being a Ford driver helps.

(Editor’s Note: Buescher has returned home to North Carolina to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. He is expected to return for the Daytona 500.)

Daytona 500 sleepers

Austin Cindric (+3,500)

The 2022 Daytona 500 winner has been strong this week; fourth-quickest in qualifying on Wednesday and finishing runner-up in Thursday night’s Duels. He’ll start Monday's race in sixth.

Corey LaJoie (+4,000)

A pair of Top-10 finishes in his last four Daytona 500 starts and was 10th in last August’s Coke Zero Sugar 400. He fits the bill of a new winner.

Noah Gragson (+5,000)

This car he’s driving has been fast. Gragson looked good in 2022 before being caught up in a late-race crash. He finished fifth in the August 2022 race. He’s won an Xfinity Series race at Daytona, as well as the 2022 NXS race at Talladega.

Ryan Preece (+5,500)

A pair of Top-10 finishes in four Daytona 500 tries and those came with JTG Daugherty Racing. He was strong in both races here a year ago before being collected in late-race crashes. He could very well be this year’s Michael McDowell, Austin Cindric, or Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Daniel Suarez (+6,500)

Ross Chastain’s Trackhouse Racing teammate scored four Top-10 finishes on the six superspeedway races a year ago, including seventh in this very race. He starts 13th.

Zane Smith (+7,000)

He fits the bill. Starts 14th in a race in which nine of the last 12 winners have come from the Top 7 Rows. He was sixth on Thursday night and is the two-time defending winner of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race here during Speedweeks.

Riley Herbst (+8,000)

Had a fast car during the Duels, was 10th in this race a year ago, and ninth in the fall Talladega playoff race. Worth a look for an upset winner.

Daytona 500 fades

William Byron (+1,800)

The good? Seventh, first, eighth, and runner-up in his final four superspeedway starts of 2023. The bad? His Daytona 500 finishes are 23rd, 21st, 40th, 26th, 38th, and 34th. 

Bubba Wallace (+1,800)

The good? Two runner-up finishes in this race. He’s also had a victory in the Talladega playoff race. The bad? His other four Daytona 500 finishes have been 38th, 15th, 17th, and 20th. His superspeedway finishes a year ago were 20th, 27th, 28th, 25th, 12th, and 23rd, respectively. 

Christopher Bell (+1,600)

Finished third a year ago and had three Top-8 finishes in six superspeedway starts as a whole in 2023. While he’s had three Top-2 finishes in the last four Duel starts, he’s had one Top-15 Daytona 500 finish to show for it. 

Tyler Reddick (+2,800)

In five Daytona 500 starts, his best finish is 27th (twice). Need I say more?

Daytona 500 prop pick

Kyle Busch (-145) vs. Martin Truex Jr. (+110)

This feels like stealing candy from a baby. Busch had this race won a year ago and did in fact win the Talladega spring race. Truex has just one Top-5 finish in 19 Daytona 500 tries and is winless in 79 starts on drafting tracks. In fact, he has just six Top-5 finishes in 75 combined Daytona and Talladega starts. 

Pick: Busch (-145 at DraftKings)

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Popular motor sports futures odds

Daytona International Speedway track analysis

Daytona International Speedway is a fast 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway that differs from all but one other track on the schedule — Talladega. These two tracks produce four of the 36 points paying races over the course of a season and look entirely different than the other 32 events.

That’s because they use a tapered spacer on the engines to restrict speeds and by the design of the aerodynamic package used on these two tracks, it forms a pack to race in. Basically, these cars are going flat-out without using the brake pedal and all are pretty much going the same speed. Drafting is key here, and that’s an art in itself. 

The good drivers on these tracks are good for a reason and can sense when the pack is getting too aggressive and sometimes find a way out of it in order to avoid the incoming carnage. However, there are times where they can’t get out in time, and end up wadded up in the infield like the rest of them. 

That’s why winning at Daytona is like winning the lottery. It’s as even of a race for every car and driver combination as you’ll get all season. 

Nothing has changed on the track since last year, so what you saw a year ago is what you’ll get this time around. The only difference is that Ford and Toyota show up with different body styles, so how they’ll race is a question mark for a season opener. 

Fords swept the front row while Toyotas swept the Duels. Neither are necessarily a great trend. 

First-time winners are rare in the Daytona 500, but have happened more lately than in most other eras of this race. Of the 65 Daytona 500 races, a driver posted his career-first NASCAR Cup Series victory only nine times; although the most recent to accomplish the feat were in two of the last three years — Austin Cindric (2022) and Michael McDowell (2021).

The previous was Trevor Bayne in 2011 and then Michael Waltrip in 2001. 
Daytona International Speedway has actually seen a first-time winner in at least one of its NASCAR Cup Series races in five of the last seasons (2018-2022). 

The kicker of this is “first-time winners” and not “rookie winners.” Neither McDowell nor Cindric were rookies in their respective Great American Race wins. In fact, only two drivers have ever won the Daytona 500 in their first appearance. Those were Lee Petty (1959 inaugural race) and Trevor Bayne (2011). While that excludes Carson Hocevar and Josh Berry, it doesn’t Herbst since he competed last year. 

  • The pole winner hasn’t won this race in 24 years. In fact, 17 of the last 22 races have seen the pole winner finish outside of the Top 10.

  • Five of last six pole winners have failed to even get to 16th in the end, with the best result since 2015, outside of Alex Bowman being fifth last year, was 14th by Chase Elliott in 2017. 

  • Furthermore, Bowman was the first pole-sitter to score a Top 5 since Bill Elliott in 2002.

  • The last win for the second-place starter came in 1993 (Dale Jarrett). They've finished in the Top 10 just four times since 2006. In the last 28 years, only five second-place starters came home with a Top-5 finish. 

  • The last driver to win a Duel and the Daytona 500 in the same year was Matt Kenseth in 2012. He’s the only one to do so in the last 19 years.

  • In 2020, Denny Hamlin became just the fourth driver to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. Richard Petty did it in 1973 and 1974. Cale Yarborough did it in 1983 and 1984. Sterling Marlin was the last to do so in 1994 and again in 1995. The odds don’t look favorable for a repeat on Monday. 

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Previous Daytona 500 winners

While Hamlin's easily the most decorated Daytona champ of the recent era, underdogs have come out of relative obscurity to capture the checkered flag in each of the past three seasons.

Year Winner
2023 Ricky Stenhouse Jr
2022 Austin Cindric
2021 Michael McDowell
2020 Denny Hamlin
2019 Denny Hamlin
2018 Austin Dillon
2017 Kurt Busch
2016 Denny Hamlin
2015 Joey Logano
2014 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

How to make Daytona 500 picks

NASCAR betting is a nuanced process that can take any number of factors into account, and spans several different types of bets. Fortunately, our How to Bet NASCAR guide walks you through the basics, including how to read odds, different markets that are available, and what to consider when making your bets. 

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