Daytona 500 Odds: Breaking Down Best Value Bets in This Year's Race

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIFebruary 22, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel 1 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Picking the Daytona 500 winner is always a crapshoot, and when hitching your wagon to one driver, it’s wise to do so based on value.

After winning Duel 1 at Daytona, Kevin Harvick is the odds-on favorite to finish first in NASCAR’s marquee race, according to Sports Book.

Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch—who won the other Duel—and Matt Kenseth are also favorites, but none of these four drivers offer attractive payouts based on their odds.

Here are the drivers further down the list that have a shot to win on Sunday.

Note: all odds are courtesy of Sports Book

Jimmie Johnson, 12-1

Johnson’s only victory at the Daytona 500 came in 2006, and this sparked an unprecedented run of five consecutive Sprint Cup Series titles.

Although Johnson’s sixth-place finish in the standings in 2011 and third-place finish last year would be favorable results for nearly any other driver, they do not meet the lofty standards he has set for himself.

He wants to win another Sprint Cup title, and a victory at Daytona would certainly be a statement to the field.

A motivated Johnson is a scary prospect for other drivers, and since his odds are slightly better than the other favorites, he offers great value.


Danica Patrick, 30-1

While her performance in the Duel was not nearly as impressive as her showing to win the pole position for Sunday’s race, Patrick still offers great odds.

Her talent has been completely apparent in recent years, and the raised expectations for this year’s race may be just the motivation she needs to put it all together.

Starting out in front and kicking off her rookie season on the Sprint Cup Series will ensure that all eyes are on her during this year’s event. 

Pressure can sometimes be debilitating, but it can also spur incredible performances. For those who believe Patrick is capable of stepping up to the plate, the odds are certainly enticing.


Trevor Bayne, 75-1

In any race, it is always a wise idea to at least consider the long shots.

On this year’s list of drivers who are unlikely to be in the mix when the checkered flag makes its appearance, Bayne stands out for one important reason: he’s won the Daytona 500 before.

Just two years ago, Bayne bested the field in Florida.

His results in the Nationwide Series since then have not been all that impressive, and a crash in the Duel means he may have to use a backup car. He is a long shot for a reason, but for those feeling especially daring with their prediction, Bayne is the best pick. 


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