Betting Auto Racing at Online Sportsbooks

Betting any type of auto race could be compared to betting an individual horse race. The big difference is auto racing odds are based on the driver not the car while the odds posted for horse races are based more on the horse not the jockey.

There are various forms of auto racing events staged all around the world. This includes cars, motor bikes, trucks and boats. The three biggest racing series using cars for betting purposes are NASCAR, Formula 1 and IndyCar.

All three of these series race a distinct type of automobile with their own individual set of drivers but the actual racing events are basically bet the same way. The three most common ways to wager on any auto race would be through a:

  • Win Bet
  • Top 3 Finish Bet
  • Head-to-Head Matchup Bet

Betting a Driver to Win

The most common way to bet an auto race is on a specific driver to win. While this may be the easiest way to bet, it is the hardest bet to win.

Any number of variables come into play over the course of an auto race. Engine failures, other faulty car mechanics, wrecks and bad pit stops all have an impact on the outcome. That is why even the favorite often goes off at higher moneyline odds.

In NASCAR’s Cup Series, it is common to see the race favorite at +400 odds or higher to win. The return on going chalk at those odds is excellent but this is still a very low percentage play. Betting any driver to win the race outright is more about luck then it is about racing skill.

Betting a Driver to Finish in The Top 3

Most online sportsbooks such as Vice will expand the betting odds to include a Top 3 finish. This becomes an easier ticket to cash, especially when betting favorites. The return on the moneyline odds for a Top 3 finish will be much lower. Yet, a bettor’s chances to cash a winning ticket increases dramatically.

The two biggest factors to take into consideration when handicapping any auto race is a driver’s current racing form along with their past track record at any particular racing venue.

Betting a Driver in a Head-to-Head Matchup

The best way to bet on an auto race involves the online sportsbook odds posted for a head-to-head matchup between two drivers. These are presented in the form of a moneyline for each half of this bet.

The winning driver in a head-to-head bet is the one that finishes in better position than the other  driver in the final running order. They do not have to win the race or even finish among the top 20 drivers. They simply have outduel their opponent for that better position when the final checkered flag waves.

Using NASCAR’s Cup Series as an example, a positing for a head-to-head matchup would be presented as follows:

Martin Truex Jr -115

Joey Logano +105

In this matchup, betting Truex Jr. as the slight favorite would cost $115 to win $100. Logano would return $105 on a $100 wager if he has the better finishing position at the end of the race.

Many of the top drivers are listed in several matchups on the betting board. This presents the opportunity to go all in on one driver with multiple bets. Bettor’s can also hedge their action by going with a driver in one particular matchup and against them in another.