NASCAR is the most watched form of car racing in North America, as the stock car series offers plenty of speed, thrills, and crashes.
Of course, if you can watch it, you can bet on it. There are a ton of good NASCAR betting opportunities for those who know the sport inside out, especially when it comes to live betting.
If you’re new to NASCAR or betting on it live, let’s get you up to speed.
Understanding NASCAR Odds
The most basic NASCAR odds are very simple and easy to understand. If you’re going to be on NASCAR live, you’ll need to be able to read and decipher odds quickly.
The main type of odds you’ll see is for picking an outright winner of the race. It might look something like this:
When picking outright winners, each driver is assigned different odds. What you’re looking for here is the sign in front of the odds.
If it’s a “+”, that indicates the amount of money you’d win if you bet $100. In this case, a $100 bet on Busch wins $200, a $100 bet on Truex Jr. wins $1,200 and a $100 bet on Johnson wins $2,000.
As you can see, Johnson offers a bigger payout than the other two. That’s because the bigger the number, the bigger the underdog that driver is. On the other hand, the smaller the number, the bigger the favorite. Since the driver is expected to win, the payout will be smaller if he does.
Nascar Head-to-Head Odds
You might also see odds for head-to-head matchups like this:
In this case, what you’re looking at is a head-to-head matchup where you pick which driver will finish the race with a better position. Again, what you’re looking at is the sign, which in this case is “-“. That denotes the amount you’d have to bet if you win $100, which in this case, is $250 for Busch. Again, that shows how much of a favorite.
What Is NASCAR Live Betting?
NASCAR live betting is betting on the race any time after it begins. Once the race has started, all sportsbooks will take the pre-race lines off the board and switch over to offering live betting odds (if they have that available).
Once the race starts, you are going to see the odds shift around significantly. That’s because the oddsmakers will be adjusting the lines as different things happen in the race. Additionally, sportsbooks charge bettors additional juice on live betting lines.
If Kyle Busch was a +300 favorite going into the race and he gets out to an early lead through 20 laps, his odds will get shorter to +250 or lower because now he’s more likely to win the race. Or let’s say he started in the pole position, but has fallen back to 20th after 50 laps, then his odds might head in the other direction and hit +800 because now he’ll be less likely to win the race.
As a bettor, you can watch all of the action transpire and decide who you want to bet on at almost any point in the race.
Benefits of Live Betting on NASCAR
There are several different benefits to live betting on NASCAR races.
The most obvious benefit of live betting on NASCAR is that you get to see some of the race before you actually place your wager.
Just as with any type of pre-game handicapping, you do your best to project what you think will happen. However, live betting allows you to see some of the action transpire before making a decision.
This allows you to calibrate your bets based on things that have actually taken place within the race. By following the race once it’s begun and keeping tabs on how it’s going, you can improve your chances of accurately forecasting a winner.
Diversify Your Bets
Live betting on NASCAR helps you to diversify your bets. That means you could have a couple of bets before the race and a couple of bets once the race has started.
It’s just like with investing in the stock market: diversifying your bets puts your bankroll down on uncorrelated events, mitigating your risk if one of your bets is a loser.
If you bet a driver pre-race in a head-to-head matchup and he’s performing well, that’s a good sign. Then after 20 laps of racing, you can add in a couple of other bets live during the race on drivers to win it outright.
This counts as diversification as if for some reason your pre-race driver starts to falter, you’ve got some money on alternate outcomes, giving you a chance to secure a profit regardless of the fate of your pre-race driver.
Hedging is a big advantage offered up by live betting. However, it’s definitely trickier with NASCAR.
The general strategy behind hedging is that if you bet on a driver before the race and they’re not looking good early on, you can bet against them in the race.
Some sportsbooks might have yes/no props to win the race, so you could bet on ‘no’ and get some of your money back.
Or if you bet on a head-to-head matchup but want to back out of it, you can possibly bet the other side. These are examples of the benefits of paying attention to the race once it has started and monitoring potential hedges.
NASCAR Live Betting Tips
There are some important tips to remember when live betting on NASCAR in order to help drive up your profit margin.
Handicap the Race Before It Begins
First of all, it’s important to handicap every single race before it begins. While a lot will unfold once the race starts, you still want to have a pretty good idea of what to expect heading in.
Before you place your live bets, have an idea of who you like to win beforehand, and then evidence you see during the race to supplement your decisions.
For example, if you like Kyle Busch beforehand and he falls behind early on, you might see that as a great opportunity to bet him at a better price than he was before the race.
Understand the Race Implications
Make sure that you understand the race implications, so that you know what each driver has on the line.
Remember, with the NASCAR playoff format, some drivers might not push as hard down the stretch of the regular season if they already have a playoff spot secured. Obviously, this has major implications for your bets.
When you are considering placing a bet on a driver, you have to know exactly what they are trying to accomplish in the race.
Study the Track History
Track histories are often the key to predicting future success in NASCAR. Every single track on the NASCAR schedule is different, and there are drivers that are better suited to some courses than others.
By reviewing track histories, you can get a better idea of which drivers have had success there before and which drivers have not. This information can be extremely helpful once the races begin.
If an undervalued driver that has a strong track record there is performing well early on, that can reinforce your decision to buy in.
Current Form Is Key
Knowing the current form of drivers is crucial in NASCAR live betting. Has the driver struggled and finished outside of the Top 10 several times in a row? Has the driver picked up a win and two Top 5’s in his last three outings? Those are two very different temperatures. You’re looking for drivers who are hot.
If you see a driver who has struggled in recent weeks and then again starts slow, you’ll know to avoid him for live betting. That’s why it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of current form going into the race.
Boost Your Knowledge, Boost Your Bankroll
Live betting on NASCAR is a thrill as your heart pounds as the drivers fill their need for speed. Now that you’re well-versed on the subject, you’re able to get going and place some bets on the big races.
If you need more information on sports betting, strategy, or how to read odds check out our how-to section for more useful articles on the particularities of sports betting.