The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is rapidly approaching, with the 64th edition of the Daytona 500 less than a week away. The opening race of the season is slated for Sunday when Denny Hamlin will chase his third Great American Race win across four appearances. Still, while he will definitely be in the mix, there are plenty of other drivers in the field who can kick off the new season with a win.
We take a look at the upcoming NASCAR spectacle and provide you with all the information you’ll need to make smart picks on the NASCAR betting odds. So without further ado, here is our 2022 Daytona 500 betting preview with expert picks for you to check and bet online on this NASCAR race.
2022 Daytona 500 Drivers to Watch
Hamlin Favored to Deliver.
Denny Hamlin has won two of the last three Daytona 500 races and three of the last six, which is quite impressive, and it explains why he’s the favorite to do it again. Priced as high as +900 on BetUS sportsbook, Hamlin sits above the defending NASCAR Cup series champion Kyle Larson (+1100), Chase Elliott (+1100), Ryan Blaney (+1200) and Joey Logano (+1200).
Over the last 16 appearances at Daytona, Hamlin has finished sixth or better in 10 races. And that includes seven podiums. Even more impressive is the fact that he has led at least one lap in all of his 32 career starts on the track.
Hamlin finished fifth in the last race but still led the most laps (98) of all drivers. That is not only the most laps he led in a race throughout the entire 2021 season but also a solid testament to his ability to perform on the track.
All Eyes on Larson
The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion, Larson is priced as the second favorite to win the season-opening race. He was by far the most dominant driver of 2021, with 10 wins and five of eight playoff races, so it’s only fair that he is getting some respect on the betting market.
Last year, he finished 10th at Daytona but had managed better placements in 2019 and 2016 when he placed seventh. Admittedly, his record on the Daytona International Speedway isn’t the best, but he was still the best driver of 2021 and clearly one of the favorites to make some noise next weekend.
Larson also had a solid performance at the Clash at the Coliseum last week, where he finished fifth, showing that he is comfortable in the new cars. Admittedly, the conditions at Daytona will be different, but it seems like Larson still has it heading into the 2022 season.
Elliott in the Mix
The NASCAR odds for this weekend show Chase Elliott tied with Larson as the second favorite to win Sunday’s race. The 26-year-old has plenty of experience driving on the track, having competed in it six times throughout his career, but he has yet to win it.
Still, Elliott has started in the first position twice, so it’s only a matter of time before he collects his first W. That is further confirmed with his performance here last year when he placed second.
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion also enters the new season following a strong showing in 2021, when he placed second in the regular season, so the hype surrounding him ahead of this year is completely justifiable.
However, one thing that could concern you is Elliott’s performance at the Clash at the Coliseum, where he could only manage an 11th-place finish. Still, he suffered damage to his car, so we can expect him to do better at Daytona.
“Our race started out pretty decent and we were making progress after starting a little deeper in the field,” said Elliott after the race.
“I kept locking up the right front and unfortunately just got too loose, and the car got around. Once I got a little bit of damage, our NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet just didn’t drive the same.”
Elliott is undeniably a great driver that has all the tools to compete for the top honors. And he should be considered as a serious contender heading into the 2022 Daytona 500.
Daytona 500 Predictions
You really can’t go wrong picking any of the main favorites to win the 2022 Daytona 500 race, but with the introduction of new cars, we can be sure that the opening race of the season might produce some surprising results. The new engines will bring enough variety as it is, so it only makes sense for us to side with a driver who has consistently performed at the track – Chase Elliot.
It makes a lot of sense for Elliott to be priced as one of the top dogs, but he’s a solid pick at the offered betting odds nonetheless. However, if you wish to bet on one of the outsiders, Bubba Wallace might be your guy.
This will mark Wallace’s 10th running at Daytona, and while he has yet to win the race, Wallace has three top-fives, including two second-place finishes.
Last time out, in the summer race, Wallace performed well and led for eight laps, which was more than in any of his previous appearances at the Daytona International Speedway. He seems to be trending upward, and while he wasn’t as impressive last year as the top favorites to win the 2022 Daytona 500, Wallace is worth a look.