The biggest race of the NASCAR season also is the first. On Sunday, the green flag will wave for the Daytona 500 to kick off the 2021 racing season.
Will local favorite Brad Keselowski be able to collect his first Daytona 500 win, or will it be another driver to start their year with a major victory?
How to watch the 2021 Daytona 500
- What: 2021 Daytona 500
- When: Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL
- Distance: 500 miles, 200 laps
- TV: Fox
- Streaming: Fox Sports App
- Satellite Radio: Sirius XM Channel 90
Daytona 500 odds at Michigan online sportsbooks
The field for the Daytona 500 is full of contenders, but it is Denny Hamlin that is considered the favorite at MI online sportsbooks. Here’s a look at the top five favorites:
|2021 Daytona 500 Odds||BetMGM||DraftKings||FanDuel||PointsBet||William Hill|
Hamlin is listed with the shortest odds at each sportsbook, ranging from +650 to +800 depending on the oddsmakers.
After Hamlin, the other top favorites are pretty crowded. Chase Elliott is the only other driver that you can find with odds under +1000. Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano find themselves with equal odds in most sportsbooks, ranging from +1000 to +1200.
The order for the Daytona 500 has yet to be set. Qualifying takes place on Wednesday night. The top-two qualifiers will make up the front row on Sunday.
From there, the rest of the field is determined by their finishes in the Duels at Daytona on Thursday night.
Denny Hamlin looking to join a rare group
There are good reasons that Denny Hamlin is the favorite for Sunday’s race. He has won the last two and three of the last five Daytona 500’s.
A win on Sunday would give Hamlin four Daytona 500 victories. Only Richard Petty (7) and Cale Yarborough (4) have reached that accomplishment.
Hamlin has been a pretty sure thing when it comes to top-10 finishes (-182). Over his last nine Daytona 500’s, Hamlin has finished inside the top 5 in seven of them.
Hamlin also finished second in last year’s second race at Daytona.
He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the championship race last year.
Brad Keselowski hoping to break through
Despite being one of the more recognizable names in NASCAR, Brad Keselowski has never been able to bring home a Daytona 500 victory.
Actually, he’s been pretty bad in this race.
Michigan sportsbooks still feel good about the 2020 series runner-up though. He remains one of the favorites despite the poor history at the track.
Over his last six Daytona 500’s, Keselowski has yet to crack the top 10 (-125 top-10 odds on Sunday). He has finished outside the top 25 in four of those races.
While Keselowski does have a win at Daytona in the 2016 summer race, he hasn’t been able to find the right recipe in the 500. His best Daytona 500 finish came in 2014, when he placed third.
Another MI native is a Daytona 500 longshot
A native of Bryon, Erik Jones is hoping to make a big splash in Sunday’s race, too.
He is set to make his fifth Daytona 500 appearance, but it will be his first under Richard Petty Motorsports. He made the change after a three-year run with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Over his four previous appearances, Jones finished third in 2019 and 18th last year. Those were his two best performances.
One thing to note is that Jones has won at this track before, claiming the victory in the 2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400. It’s one of two victories he holds in his NASCAR Cup Series career.
William Byron, Bubba Wallace could surprise
If you are looking for some drivers that could provide a big payout with a victory, William Byron and Bubba Wallace may be the drivers for you.
Byron is a young up-and-comer in the series. Oddsmakers are listing him at +1400 to win, +500 for a top-3 finish, and +100 for a top-10.
Byron is making his fourth Daytona 500 appearance and coming off a win in the 2020 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona last August. He placed second in the same race in 2019.
The Daytona 500 hasn’t been his best, placing outside the top 20 in all three appearances. However, he did earn pole position in 2019 and knows how to navigate around this track.
Wallace is a much bigger longshot. He is listed at +2500 to win the race, +650 for a top-3 finish, and +140 for a top-10 finish.
The 27-year-old hasn’t been sterling in his Cup Series history, with just three top-5 finishes in his career. However, two of those have come at Daytona. He was runner-up in the 2018 Daytona 500 and fifth in last year’s Coke Zero Sugar 400.
In these high-speed races, upsets can definitely happen. Nobody predicted Trevor Bayne to win in 2011. A big upset in NASCAR can lead to a major payout for you.