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What are the rules and how do you bet on a NASCAR driver to win a race?
NASCAR can be wagered in several different ways. The most common form of betting on NASCAR is wagering on a driver to win the race. Generally, odds are posted for at least the top 20 drivers who are predicted to contend for the win.
An example of this could be a driver who is the odds favorite to win the race at a price of 4-1. This simply means that $1 dollar is layed or bet to win $4 dollars. If this wager was made and the driver did in fact win, the total collection would be $5 dollars. Your wagered $1 dollar is returned along with the winnings of $4 dollars, making the total return $5 dollars.
As you can imagine, if laying $100 dollars or more on the same wager, both the risk and the reward of a massive payday rapidly grows. We will cover this in deeper detail later on, along with some wagering techniques.
Drivers that do not have individual odds posted to win the race fall into the “Field” wagering pool. Betting on the Field to win a race gives the bettor widespread coverage with the many drivers who make up the Field wager. If any of the Field drivers win the race then the bettor also wins. Typically the drivers who make up this wager are not considered to be likely winners, but one could argue that there is strength in numbers by having a team of drivers to support the wager.
There are specific tracks where betting on the Field makes more sense than at others. Further, each sportsbook sets their own Field drivers, and sometimes finding a longshot driver posted outside the Field is a great value. In general, I usually do not endorse wagering on this bet.
Another very common method of betting on NASCAR is by wagering on head-to-head driver matchups. These are simple wagers that usually offer the best rate of success, and they are the type of wagers that many professional NASCAR handicappers seek to bet on.
In a driver matchup wager, two drivers are only competing against each other. The higher finisher between the two drivers is the winner of any given matchup. An example of this could be as follows. Driver (A) finishes 4th, while driver (B) finishes in 6th place. In this matchup, driver (A) is the winner as they finished higher (better) than driver (B), whom they were matched up against.
One reason driver matchups are such strong wagers is because the handicapper is able to zone in on specifics of a single matchup if desired. One such criteria for handicapping NASCAR driver matchups involves the weekend progression of the drivers and their cars. Often evaluating driver matchups by using information from pre race events, such as qualifying and especially happy hour practice, can offer quality insight into the situation of both drivers.
In terms of the rules of wagering on NASCAR, they are usually pretty straightforward but could be changing. Once the race is deemed official by NASCAR (stage 1 & 2 completed) then in the eyes of most sportsbooks, the race is official for wagering purposes. This is important when it comes to rain-shortened races or other variables that can happen.
However, with the new post-race inspection process, some sportsbooks have decided that the winner is now decided only once this post-race inspection is final. This is an area of fluid change as not all sportsbooks have addressed a possible change in policy. If the race for wagering purposes is not final until the inspection is completed, then generally, the wait time to cash a ticket is about ninety minutes after the checkered flag for those sportsbooks.
As always, the bettor should check the house rules before making any wagers on any sport. If there is any question about the house rules, your friendly ticket writer should be able to clear up any questions you might have. If wagering electronically, there is normally a FAQ section that will detail the house rules for any sport where wagering is offered. Please be sure you have a full understanding of all rules before wagering.