Sharp NASCAR bettors are at it again, and it appears like sportsbooks didn’t learn their lesson from the 2022 season.
Last year, NASCAR bettors had a big year against the sportsbooks of the world, as we saw some serious evening of the playing field with the introduction of the NextGen Car in NASCAR. In total, there were 19 different winners over the 36-race season, with nine drivers grabbing two or more victories.
Even without the million-dollar parlay hit by a Stacking Dennys listener, sportsbooks had to pay out some long odds over the course of the 2022 season, as there were several longshot winners, including Erik Jones at 60/1 odds at Darlington last September.
NASCAR is now on to the second race of the 2023 season, the Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway, and it definitely seems like sportsbooks didn’t learn their lesson from last year, because we saw some huge odds shifts from the books once the initial odds for the race came out.
Let’s take a look a few of those movers.
Erik Jones Opened at +20000
Bovada posted initial odds for Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway and laid an absolutely absurd line for Erik Jones at 200-to-1 to win Sunday’s race. While he has never won a Cup Series race at this track, Jones has the 2nd-best average finish among all active drivers here (10.2) and in this race last season, he finished 2nd in both Stages before ending up 3rd in the race. Jones also had the best Green Flag Speed in that race and the best Average Running position as well.
Onshore books didn’t open up Jones quite as long, but you could’ve still grabbed him at 40-to-1 when DraftKings opened. He has since been bet down to 30-to-1 or shorter at most books.
William Byron Opened at +2000
William Byron is a driver that has a ton of potential, but he also has trouble putting together complete races–as evidenced by only having four career wins in the Cup Series despite being in top tier equipment since he made the jump up to NASCAR’s top tier. Additionally, two of those four wins have came in superspeedway or superspeedway-like races (Daytona and Atlanta), which often come down to luck more than anything.
With that being said, one of Byron’s Cup Series wins came at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2021, which is a highly abrasive, rough track–very similar to Auto Club Speedway. Last year in this race, Byron was a legitimate contender for the wind but ended up getting caught up in a wreck.
Bet365 opened Byron at 20-to-1 odds on Tuesday. He has since been bet down to 15-to-1 or shorter at most books, although DraftKings still has Willy B at 18-to-1 as of this posting.
Tyler Reddick Opened at +1500
Tyler Reddick’s odds were at the top of the list of things to see for most sharp bettors this weekend, as he had the best car at this track last season and led 90 laps in addition to winning Stage 1 and Stage 2. However, he cut a tire in that race and ended up finishing 24th.
Reddick is another driver that excels at tracks with major tire falloff, as Auto Club Speedway causes. Also, he’s got a bit of an upgrade in equipment this year, as he moved from Richard Childress Racing to 23XI Racing during the offseason.
DraftKings was one of the sportsbooks that generously opened up Reddick at 15-to-1 for Auto Club. Books have since moved Reddick to 12-to-1 or shorter for Sunday’s race.
Why Paying Attention To Opening Odds Is So Important
There is a reason why the odds on these drivers moved so much (and so quickly) soon after being posted by sportsbooks: because there was plenty of money rolling in on them.
This is an advantage you have of following sharp NASCAR bettors like myself and my Stacking Dennys Podcast co-host, Nick Giffen, aka RotoDoc. We will track on our Action Network profiles (Jordan’s … Nick’s) and/or tweet out lines like this that are good value.
There’s already been some great betting value out there to start out the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, and from the looks of things, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.