Before you know it, the green flag will signal the start of the 2013 Daytona 500, which kicks-off another 36-race Sprint Cup series season.

Tips for Wagering on NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series

Before you know it, the green flag will signal the start of the 2013 Daytona 500, which kicks-off another 36-race Sprint Cup series season, so it is not too early to start formulating your NASCAR betting strategy to cash-in on all the action. The following are a few betting tips to enhance your handicapping efforts.

Narrow the Field

Each of NASCAR’s 36 Sprint Cup point races is normally comprised of a starting field of 43 qualifying cars. Out of those 43 cars, a typical sportsbook will list odds for anywhere from 20 to 30 drivers to win a particular race along with odds for betting the ‘field’ for the rest of the drivers not listed.

The first thing you can do is throw-out the ‘field’ bet as it rarely comes through. That is not to say it is impossible for some unknown driver to come out of nowhere much like Trevor Bayne did to win the 2011 Daytona 500, however the payoff on this bet never correlates with the risk. The next thing you can do is pretty much cut the field in half as Sprint Cup racing is not really conducive to longshots winning on a regular basis.

If you look back at 2012’s race results there were only 14 different drivers that found their way to victory lane. Of the 14, there were six drivers that were a one and done winner. That means that eight different drivers won 30 of 36 races last season. Breaking down things a bit further, the top seven drivers in the final Sprint Cup series point standings for last season accounted for 25 checkered flags. These kinds of results are usually the rule not the exception in a sport that is completely dominated by a select few.

All this means is that when you go to handicap a winner for a particular race, you should only be focusing your attention on maybe seven to eight drivers as the most.

Current Form 

Just as in any sport, NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers go through hot and cold streaks over the course of the season. This is why it is always important to know how a driver has been performing leading-up to the current race on the schedule, which is called his ‘current form’. I'd like Kyle Busch to win this Sunday’s race because he has attractive odds, dig a bit deeper into how he has finished in the past five races to get a better feel for how the entire race team has been performing. There are quite a few variables that go into winning a race and common sense dictates that hot teams tend to stay hot, while teams that have been off the mark in recent races are still trying to work out the kinks.

Past Performance

When it comes to the Sprint Cup series, there are currently 24 different tracks that host the 36 different point races. With the exception of road courses at Sonoma and Watkins Glenn, the other 22 tracks are basic ovals but vastly different in length and actual shapes. They are often broken down into three categories: short tracks (a mile or less in length), intermediate tracks (1.5 miles) and long tracks (two or more miles).

Given the subtle racing differences that each driver faces each week, it is very important to not only know how they have performed at that specific venue in the past, but how they have performed on that specific track type as well. A great driver like Jimmy Johnson can win anytime he gets behind the wheel of a car, but if he happens to be racing at one of his favorite tracks, his chances to win vastly improve.

The Bottom Line

Once you narrow the field to the legitimate contenders, kick-out any of those drivers whose current form is not up to snuff and then pick-out the ones that have consistently performed well at that week’s venue you should be left with a very short list of solid plays to wager on for that week’s race

Good luck with all of your sports picks this week!