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Handicapping Theory for NASCAR

By Michael Cash
Pregame Pro Handicapper


Over the last 10 years NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) has been the fastest growing spectator sport in the world. It now boasts over 75 million fans worldwide and can be seen on television each week in over 150 countries. NASCAR holds 17 of the top 20 attended sporting events in the U.S. each year. Not surprisingly, is the growing number of NASCAR fans who have turned to betting on this popular pastime.

How to Handicap NASCAR:

When handicapping a NASCAR race there are a number of things to keep in mind:

Trends: NASCAR can be very streaky, much more so than other sports. When drivers get hot, they tend to stay hot, and when drivers are running cold it tends to take them a number of races to get things turned around. You will want to look at not only recent performances but historical performances, as well. Given that a NASCAR driver’s career can last 30+ years in some cases, knowing how to analyze information is crucial to long term profits

Drivers: Just like any other sport, NASCAR has its superstars. It is important to review driver statistics such as number of races run, top 5 finishes, and top 10 finishes – for each track. Some drivers who only have average talent can still perform well on certain tracks just as some top drivers struggle at the same tracks every year. It is important know your driver’s history so you will know if betting on him will offer you value or not.

Tracks: NASCAR has 4 distinct types of tracks, Short, Intermediate, Superspeedway and Road Course. Not all drivers do well on all track types. It is important to research a driver’s history on a specific type of track before placing your bets. You want to be especially careful when handicapping NASCAR's road races because there are very few drivers who consistently perform well on road courses.

Crews: This is often an overlooked aspect of NASCAR handicapping. Some of NASCAR’s races can last in excess of 5 hours. Knowing who has a strong Crew Chief and pit crew is imperative to betting successfully.

Many outsiders believe that NASCAR is just Full Throttle and left hand turns. However, the experts know that it's a combination of many little things that get a car to victory lane.

Financial Benefits to Betting on NASCAR

Yes, it’s true! Compared to other sports, there are many financial benefits to wagering on NASCAR.

NASCAR betting is quite favorable and attractive to bettors due to the large payouts one can receive by simply picking the Race Winner. Odds on the most popular drivers start at 4/1, which means that a single winning NASCAR bet can pay for your next four, or more, bets. This is much better and potentially more lucrative compared to the regular 1/1 payout that bettors of NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. typically experience. Here are a few more reasons:

There are No “Favorites”: NASCAR odds to win bets are always underdog (+) bets and even the drivers who oddsmakers feel are the strongest competitors for a particular race will start at least at 3/1 or 4/1 underdogs.

There is Time to Build a Bankroll: NASCAR wagering has a very high break-even point compared to other sports. This means that you can make several weeks worth of losing wagers without fear of getting buried because, in most cases, it will only take 1 race win to cover your losses in 5 or more races, depending on the line of the winner you select.

Same Competitors, Same Tracks: Because a NASCAR career can span decades, it's relatively easy to get a handle on the competition in a short period of time. Also aiding in your handicapping is the fact that, with a few exceptions, NASCAR visits the same tracks year after year so you can use this historical information to make very accurate race predictions from season to season.

Types of NASCAR Bets

There are several different types of NASCAR bets available for each race including:

Odds to Win: This particular bet is the most simple and most popular. Simply pick the driver you think will win the race.

Matchups: This bet is offered for the Qualifying run and the actual race. It pairs two drivers together with one being the favorite (-) and one being the underdog (+). To win this bet you need to select the driver you believe will either qualify higher or finish the race higher.

Top Finishing Driver: This wager is similar to a Match Up bet but offers higher odds by setting a pool of drivers to pick from. To win this bet, the driver you select must finish higher than all the other drivers in the pool.

Manufacturer to Win: This is another very simple wager. Place a bet on which car maker (Ford, Dodge, Chevy or Toyota) will finish first in a particular race.

Manufacturer exacta: Those who have ever bet a horse race will recognize this term. To win this bet, you must pick the manufacturer of the first AND second place finishing cars in the correct order of a particular race.

> Learn the Betting Basics for NASCAR!

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