Saturday, February 13, 2010

NASCAR Takes Bigger Action in Las Vegas Than Most Realize

by Micah Roberts

Just one week after the Super Bowl, Las Vegas sports books prepare for NASCAR’s Super Bowl, the Daytona 500. Betting on the NASCAR events pales in comparison to the NFL’s biggest game, but it still garners attention from quite a few. The South Point is even having a Daytona 500 party in their showroom Super Bowl style.

Where exactly NASCAR stands against the other top sports is hard to gauge. There is only one event per week compared to the multiple wagering opportunities daily the other sports have, but if going for the top event of the day by the books handle, it rates very high.

“The Daytona 500 will be our biggest event posted of the weekend. Between the Daytona and Las Vegas races, they take center stage in our books handle wise, “ said MGM-Mirage Race and Sports Book Director Jay Rood.

“We write a lot to the NASCAR events. If was averaged out weekly, I’d say it was close or comparable to one Thursday night NFL game.”

The bulk of the wagering will come on the odds to win indexes where there are usually up to 33 drivers listed with a field wager, meaning all others not listed. The books do well with these because many have a built in 32% theoretic hold when calculating the odds given for each driver. On most occasions, the actual hold is higher when posted, especially if one of the favorites doesn’t win.

The remainder of the action will come in the form of two-way and three-way propositions asking a variety of things like what car number or manufacturer will win. The two-way driver match-ups, putting one against another to finish better, are one of the popular NASCAR bets around town.

“So far from what I’ve seen out of the Gatordae Duel races and the early Daytona 500 write, it’s apparent that people are pretty excited about seeing NASCAR back.”

NASCAR bettors always have their favorites they bet, but they also are pretty educated with the happenings and what’s going on in practices and evidenced by some of the sharp plays on quality long shots.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of action on Brad Keselowski, who I dropped from 75 to 1 to 50 to 1, and have made a few moves lower on Kasey Kahne after the Duels, and also Dale Earnhardt Jr who we opened up at 30 to 1,” Rood said. “I’ve been shading Junior higher than most places over the last few seasons and have got away with it, but sooner of later it’ll catch up with me.”

Earnhardt Jr has always been a fan favorite with high ticket counts, but the volume decreased last year as he became less competitive on a weekly basis. You can be a fan all you want, but in betting, winning cashes tickets. Earnhardt Jr hasn’t won in 57 straight Cup races.

“By the way the public is betting on Junior, they must really feel this is the race he can turn it around. We now have him at 7 to 1 win after seeing lots of action on him, even before he sat on the front row from last weeks qualifying.“

“If there was ever a race where Junior could halt his losing streeak, Daytona would be it,” said Rood.

Rood is a fan himself and follows all the practice and qualifying with a keen eye and adjusts his odds accordingly. He’s got a few opinions on the Daytona 500 as well.

“I’ll be looking at the Hendrick drivers to do well, but I’m also looking at the Roush drivers along with Jamie McMurray who has stood out during Daytona Speedweeks.”

It sounds like pretty sound advice. Windows are open until the green flag drops at 10:19 am Sunday.

Read More on Sunday's Daytona 500 here...including My Driver Ratings

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