Daytona 500: 6 longshots who you should bet on this weekend

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
AUTO: FEB 04 NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 04: Justin Haley (#31 Kaulig Racing Celsius Chevrolet) completes a lap before winning the pole award during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum on February 04, 2023, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

The 2023 NASCAR season will be given the green flag this weekend. The Daytona 500 is always a thrilling spectacle and while it’s always

Daytona 500: Why betting on longshots is the best strategy

Betting on favorites is rarely the best strategy for the Daytona 500. With wrecks almost a guarantee and the magical nature of speedway racing, there is almost always room for an upset. From the unthinkable Trevor Bayne win at +8000, to Austin Dillon’s +5000 win in 2018, and even Michael McDowell’s +10000 win as recently as 2021, the Daytona 500 is a hotbed for underdogs to upset the odds provided they can keep out of trouble throughout the race.

Draftkings Sportsbook
States: NY, LA, AZ, CO, Il, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
New Player Bonus
Bet $5 on NASCAR
get $200 in bonus bets

Where to find value in the Daytona 500

With over 40 drivers racing wheel-to-wheel, the Daytona 500 is a hard race to predict, but there are trends worth paying attention to.

The pole-sitter hasn’t finished inside the top 15 in 5 years.

Defending champions (series and Daytona 500) rarely go back-to-back.

Per Racerviewonline, 23 drivers have won their first-ever NASCAR race at the Daytona 500. Their in-depth betting preview also mentions that the race has been won by a last-lap pass in 5 of the last 7 runnings.

With all of this in mind, it’s absolutely a good idea to go bargain-bin hunting to try and find some value.

Todd Gilliland

To win: +10000
Top-5: +1600
Top-10: +1000

If you’re looking for a driver that could be searching for their maiden NASCAR Cup Series win, Todd Gilliand fits the bill. He also found himself right in the mix during the Bluegreen Vacations Duel on Thursday, before a tap from Kyle Larson sent him down to 7th. The race was winnable, and speaking of 7th, he finished in the same spot at Talledega in 2022, which is also a superspeedway.

It’s basically astrology at this point, but at 100/1, you probably won’t find many deeper options with the upside of someone that will be hungry after having a duel win snatched from him on Thursday.

Ryan Preece

To win: +3000
Top-5: +850
Top-10: +500

Ryan Preece

7th in the clash and 10th in the duel sounds like pretty solid form. Preece has finished inside the top-10 at the Daytona 500 twice here already (6th in 2019, 8th in 2021) so it’s not like this should be a surprise. He’ll start 20th on Sunday, but will do so in a Stewart-Haas car. With upgraded machinery and a great run in the duel, don’t write Preece off.

Justin Haley

To win: +4000
Top-5: +1300
Top 10: +500

If you want someone that is always going to be in the conversation when those final laps are on the horizon, look no further. He’s yet to win a 500 here, but he did win the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona in 2019 and is very much the silent assassin of this NASCAR grid. He came 3rd at Darlington last year along with two top-5 playoff finishes. He’s only young, races fearless (which can haunt him at times) and is searching for a long-term contract. A win here might just tilt the scales in his favor.

Aric Almirola

To win: +3500
Top-5: +1000
Top-10: +450

I love playing Almirola in DFS formats. He came fifth here last year and came 18th in the recent Bush Light Clash. Fans will remember how he was half a lap away from winning this race back in 2018. Will this be the year of redemption?

Tyler Reddick

To win: +8000
Top-5: +1600
Top-10: +650

Reddick has been a great name to watch over the past few years and the Daytona 500 doesn’t just mean a new season, but a new era. Reddick will be replacing Kurt Busch in the 23XI #45 car. His previous record at the Daytona 500 has been dismal, but perhaps a change of scenery will yield better results for the talented driver.

Austin Dillon

To win: +2500
Top-5: +700
Top-10: +330

Dillon won the non-500 race at Daytona last year, as well as finishing third in the 500 last year. He bettered that in 2018 with a win at the Great American Race. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on his odds, which have already dropped from +3000.

Betting prediction for The Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 is ultmately anyone’s race, which is what makes it so fun to bet on. You could pick a +4000 longshot and have every chance once the wrecks have settled and those final laps draw near. I do like Austin Dillon as an outsider, but I can’t look past Chase Elliott as the outright winner.

Draftkings Sportsbook
States: NY, LA, AZ, CO, Il, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV
New Player Bonus
Bet $5 the Daytona 500
get $200 in bonus bets

Daytona 500 betting offers

John Cordes/Icon Sportswire