We’re more than a month away from the Daytona 500, but the books already have the race in their sights. They’ve picked out three favorites to win the Daytona 500, all of whom finished top-10 in the standings last season.
Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney are all given +1200 odds to win the race. Hamlin is a Daytona star, he’s won the race three times including back to back in 2019 and 2020. Neither Blaney nor Elliott has ever won the race, though both have second place finishes.
Perhaps the drivers would rather avoid a good finish though. Over the last three years it’s been better to start poorly than well. Of the 12 drivers to make it to the championship race, only 5 finished top-10 at Daytona. Last season, Elliott was the only one of the four who even finished top-20. No Daytona winner has taken home a championship since Jimmie Johnson did it in 2013, and even that year the next three drivers behind him all finished outside the top-30 at Daytona.
Quote from OddsChecker spokesman Kyle Newman, “This is the second straight year that Hamlin, Elliott, and Blaney are the top-3 on the Daytona 500 market. It’s a little different this time, as Hamlin was an outright favorite last year with Elliott behind him and Blaney a clear third. Still, it shows that the books are predictable here. With no real momentum heading into this race it’s up to the books to use history to predict Dayonta, and they haven’t seen anything to change their mind for last year. Not even Austin Cindric’s win in 2022 was enough, though he’s now 9th on the market at +2000.”
DAYTONA 500 WINNER
— Oddschecker —