Scores of passionate racing fans have NASCAR topping their list of entertainment options. Race day is better now that you can legally and safely bet on every race in Iowa.
NASCAR is betting-friendly as well with the introduction of its proprietary Genius Sports platform. In a nutshell, the platform helps you stay on top of the racing action. That’s what we call a win-win situation, and there’s a whole lot more to get excited about for this fast-moving sport.
Betting on NASCAR is fun and exciting, and it can be potentially profitable. Our guide to NASCAR betting in Iowa will get you up to speed, so let’s begin with the best sportsbooks, latest odds and the biggest events on the docket.
The NASCAR season rolls along nearly all year-round. For 10 months, from February through November, there’s a big race nearly every week. Here’s a peek at the top races on the circuit:
While those are the top highlights, there’s a whole lot more to see during NASCAR season. Here are the other top races to look forward to on a month-by-month basis.
From the opening race of the year to the final championship event, a whole lot is going on with NASCAR. Even better, you can legally and safely bet on NASCAR races at online and mobile sportsbooks in Iowa.
The yearly racing schedule is packed, and so too is the NASCAR betting menu. For each race on tap throughout the season, you’ll have several ways to bet. Here’s a look at the top wagering options and how they work.
At the end of each race, only one driver will be the winner, and you get to place your bets on who it will be. Sportsbooks will release odds for all scheduled to compete from the favorites down to the long-shots. Here’s an example:
|Joey Logano +350|
|Kevin Harvick +450|
|Martin Truex Jr. +550|
You can also pick out the drivers who you think will be among the top performers. It works much like an outright winner bet with odds listed for all scheduled to compete. Most of the offerings in this category cover the top three or top five at the conclusion of the race. Here’s an example of the NASCAR odds:
|Bill Keselowski +225|
|Denny Hamlin +325|
|Alex Bowman +425|
In the days leading up to the individual races, drivers will go through a trial run where the stakes are high. The one who performs the best gets the pole position for the upcoming race. Yep, you can bet on this too. Here’s an example of pole position odds:
|Chase Elliott +380|
|Kyle Busch +440|
|Ryan Blaney +480|
To keep things even more interesting, you’ll find some side bets on the races. This is one of the most popular prop-style offerings available. You choose which driver you think will record the fastest lap in the race. Here’s an example of the odds:
|Kurt Busch +270|
|Matt DiBenedetto +290|
|Aric Almirola +310|
This wager works much like a moneyline bet that you’ll find in other sports. The sportsbook will pit two drivers in a head-to-head matchup with odds on both sides. You have to pick which one you think will have a better race from a listing that typically looks like this:
|Bill Keselowski -125|
|Kevin Harvick +105|
The group bet can revolve around three or four drivers. It could be based on the best performer out of the chosen group, or pit one of the top drivers against several other competitors. The sportsbook will have an odds listing that resemble this:
|Chase Elliott +110|
|Joey Logano +130|
|Denny Hamlin +150|
One important note: The odds for NASCAR bets won’t always be the same at each sportsbook. You can shop around and compare prices. Known as line shopping, this is a great way to find even more bang for the buck on winning bets.
As the NASCAR season approaches, fans will naturally engage in plenty of speculation. You can put your money where your mouth is, thanks to today’s legal, regulated environment. The NASCAR futures market offers up the chance to bet on several options, including:
Futures odds come out in the offseason. Bets start flowing in soon thereafter, with the market staying active as the season plays out. For you, the goal is to find the drivers you want to bet on at the best possible price. A futures bet requires a long-term perspective as bets aren’t graded until the result is known, so budget accordingly.
For those new to NASCAR betting, this type of wager is a great place to start. When a race is on tap, sportsbooks will put together several head-to-head pairings for bettors to consider. This is the NASCAR equivalent of a simple moneyline bet in which you have to pick the winner from two choices:
|Joey Logano -130|
|Alex Bowman +110|
The favorite will be designated with negative odds, while the number will be positive on the side of the underdog. In this case, Joey Logano is favored at odds of -130, while the underdog Alex Bowman is at +110. A winning $100 bet on the favorite would return a profit of $76.90. The same winning bet amount on the underdog would return $110.
One of the great things about betting on NASCAR is that there’s always plenty of time to digest the odds and lines. Sportsbooks will release the NASCAR lines well in advance of the next event, which typically works out to be early in the week for races held over the weekend.
Odds for the outright winners typically come out first, and then odds for other bet types come in as the race approaches. Once the betting public starts weighing in, there will be some line movement in response to betting action. It’s a good idea to track the numbers from the initial release until race time to gain a sense on how the market sees things.
All legal and online sportsbooks in Iowa have house rules all sports, including NASCAR, and all other sports that cover what bettors can expect on wagers, settlement and other circumstances. Here are the basics:
While most of the major stuff is handled in the same way by operators across the industry, some quirks may be handled differently. As such, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the house rules.
As drivers compete in events throughout the season, they’re earning points based on how well they fare. The points are tallied up, with those who perform the best will earn the right to compete in the NASCAR playoffs.
The winner of the playoffs will go on to be crowned as season-long champ. The competition for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship is fierce, and you don’t have to wait until the field is officially set to get in on the action.
The playoffs are one of the most active parts of the NASCAR futures market. You’ll see the first batch of NASCAR odds in the offseason, and the board will continue to update throughout the season. If you make the right call on the winning driver at a great price, you could be in line for a nice score when the championship event is in the books.
If you’d like to get some side action in on things that may or may not happen during the race, you’re in luck on that front, too. Sportsbooks offer up prop betting for NASCAR races. The offerings may vary, but here are some examples of what you might see at NASCAR betting sites:
The appearance of prop bets will vary as some will have just two choices while others could have multiple options to consider. A two-sided prop works like a moneyline bet, while the multiple-choice ones are similar to placing a bet in the futures market.
One of the most significant developments in the sports betting industry in recent years has been the explosive growth of live betting. Also known as in-play or in-game betting, this refers to wagers you can place in real-time as the action plays out. For NASCAR, the betting doesn’t stop once the race gets underway. You can live bet right along with all the twists and turns. You’ll see up-to-date odds on the race outcome and other standard bets, as well as assorted prop-type offerings.
Live betting moves fast, but it’s simple to stay on top of thanks to mobile apps from leading operators. Odds update in a flash, and settlement of winning wagers happens in an instant. If you want to take your enjoyment of the races to a whole other level, live betting could be the answer.
The yearly NASCAR calendar kicks off in February. The sport is unique in that one of its signature events takes place in the early going. The Daytona 500 is one of the biggest attractions of the year, and it helps to get the season off to a roaring start.
All told, there are about 40 races per season. Drivers earn points based on how well they perform all season long. The Top 16 in the points standings make it to the NASCAR Playoffs to compete for the season-long championship. Other signature races include the Coca Cola 600 and Brickyard 400. The final event takes place in November, so fans and bettors are looking forward to about 10 months’ worth of action.
As mentioned, drivers earn points for each race they compete in. The main way to earn points is based on the finishing position. They’re awarded on a sliding scale from the top finisher down to the last-place driver.
For a race where 40 drivers are in the running, the winner gets 40 points, second place gets 39 and so on. Drivers can also earn points for other accomplishments during the race, such as leading for the most laps or recording the fastest lap time.
After each race, the leaderboard is updated. Each race is significant from a points perspective as the top season-long finishers advance to the playoffs to compete for the title. Here’s how that portion of the season works.
The playoff season for NASCAR takes place over the final 10 races. The top 16 finishers in season-long points qualify. The first three races will see all 16 drivers compete. The last four in the standings after that stretch are eliminated from the competition.
The same process plays out over two more tiers. There’s a series of three races with four drivers eliminated after each set. Once nine playoff races are in the books, the field has been whittled down to just four drivers.
Those drivers compete in the last event of the season: the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. This is where the season-long champion is officially crowned. The race itself is a big attraction at sportsbooks, and you can also take your chances on picking the winner in the futures market.
As an individual sports competition, wagering on NASCAR is quite different from team-based sports. However, handicapping skills you may have obtained in your travels are transferable and can be applied in certain spots.
When researching outright winners or NASCAR futures, those who have wagered on golf or tennis tournaments and in other futures markets may find some parallels. For bettors who normally focus on team sports, head-to-head bets can be a great starting point as they work much like moneyline bets.
It can take a little bit of time to get fully up to speed with NASCAR, but it can be time well spent. Here’s a handful of tips you can use as you work toward finding success with betting on NASCAR:
When starting with NASCAR betting, try to keep it simple. For example, take a stab at picking the outright winner and focus on a head-to-head bet or two. Once you have a good feel of how everything works, you can increase your play or look toward other bet types.
In 1948, Daytona Beach served as the host city for the first race of the National Association for Stock Car Racing. One year later, the first official season-long champion was crowned as Red Byron and his Oldsmobile outpaced the field.
Over seven decades have passed since that point, and NASCAR has seen an extraordinary level of growth. Mainstream interest continued to grow with each passing decade. Today, even casual fans are well aware of the sport’s legendary figures, such as Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.
In more recent times, drivers such as Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have joined the ranks of the legends. Petty, Earnhardt and Johnson are the all-time leaders in season-long titles with seven wins each, while Gordon checks in with four, which is good enough for second place.
The competition has been intense throughout the long history of NASCAR, and it has been no different in recent times. An interesting sidebar has been all the advances we have seen in automotive technology over the years.
While interest has always been strong in NASCAR, it appears that another growth spurt is in the offing. Legal sports betting will have a big hand in that. New fans will continue flocking to the races as they look to figure out ways to profit from what transpires potentially.
NASCAR tends to keep a tight lid on the purse money for the individual races. Ballpark estimates peg the total pool for individual races as ranging between $4 million-6 million. As you would expect, it’s the bigger races that offer up the most lucrative pools. The top prize at the most recent Daytona 500 was estimated at $2 million.
Not all racetracks are created equal. The tracks on the NASCAR circuit can vary in length, as will the total mileage for the race. For a rough estimate, a 500-mile race on a 2.5-mile track would translate into 200 laps. Shorter tracks for the same length of the race would translate into more laps, while a longer track would mean fewer laps.
The corporate offices for NASCAR are located in the same city that hosts its signature racing event of the year. Here’s the mailing address:
Bill France Sr. founded the privately owned company in 1948. His son, Jim France, currently serves as chairman and CEO.
Exact figures are unavailable, but it’s in the millions of dollars annually and growing. When sportsbooks release figures on wagering action, NASCAR is generally lumped into a rather broad category of “other.” The legal betting landscape continues to expand, so we can naturally expect those figures to continue to grow in the coming months and years.
Qualifying runs are held in advance of the individual races to help determine the order for entrants. Generally, it’s a random draw in which each driver scheduled to compete gets a solo crack at navigating the track. The first trip around is untimed as they get the vehicle up to speed. From there, drivers go through two more laps with their best time counting as their qualifying run. The top finisher receives pole position for the upcoming race.