When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Image for Reid Spencer Reid Spencer - Updated February 17, 2023

Daytona 500 Predictions: Season Opener Presents a Marvelous Opportunity for Brad Keselowski

  • Season opener presents a marvelous opportunity for Brad Keselowski.
  • Can Hendrick Motorsports convert qualifying prowess into victory?
  • Denny Hamlin looks to reassert mastery in the Great American Race.

Daytona 500 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Kyle Larson


Ryan Blaney


Joey Logano


Chase Elliott


Denny Hamlin


William Byron


Kyle Busch


Ross Chastain


Bubba Wallace


Brad Keselowski


Tyler Reddick


Our Picks for the Daytona 500

Daytona 500 Predictions

Daytona 500 Predictions

A Marvelous Opportunity for Owner/Driver Brad Keselowski

All it takes is a glance at the odds to understand what a crapshoot the Daytona 500 is.

At DraftKings Sportsbook, the four favorites—Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott - a testament to the wide-open nature of the competition.

How does the Daytona 500 differ from a typical NASCAR race? First and foremost, the rules package on superspeedways promotes tight side-by-side racing in large packs. The drivers who avoid the inevitable multicar wrecks are left to fight for victory at the end of the race.

That said, certain drivers seem to have a knack for dodging trouble and winning more than their fair share of superspeedway races. One such driver is Brad Keselowski, who has won six times at Daytona’s sister track, Talladega Superspeedway, most among active drivers.

Keselowski’s record at Daytona, on the other hand, is a boom-or-bust situation. He has one victory (in the summer race) in 27 starts and just six top 10s.

But last year, in his first season as an owner/driver for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, the driver of the No. 6 Ford won his Duel 150 qualifying race.

Though Bad Brad is not our top pick to win the Daytona at +1800 via DraftKings, he’s a good choice if you’re spreading your action across a handful of contenders.

We’re Still Waiting for Hendrick Drivers to Turn Poles into Wins

Daytona 500 qualifying day has been the all-but-exclusive province of Hendrick Motorsports in recent years. Race day? Not so much.

Hendrick drivers have won seven of the last eight pole positions for the Great American Race. The car of the lone exception (Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2020) was powered by a Hendrick engine. Chevrolet drivers have won the last 10 Daytona 500 poles, dating to Danica Patrick in 2013.

When NASCAR Cup Series drivers line up for qualifying on Wednesday night, Alex Bowman will be attempting to earn a front-row starting position for the sixth straight year. Hendrick teammate Kyle Larson will be trying for his second straight Daytona 500 pole.

Problem is, only one Chevrolet driver has gone to Victory Lane in the last eight editions of NASCAR’s most prestigious event, and that was Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon in 2018.

In fact, no Daytona 500 pole winner has gone on to win the race since Dale Jarrett accomplished the feat in 2000.

Once again on Wednesday night, Alex Bowman won the pole for the Great American Race, the third of his career. For the sixth straight Daytona 500, Bowman will start from the front row, a NASCAR record.

Larson qualified second and will start on the outside of the front row. William Byron was third fastest in single-car qualifying.

So avoid the Hendrick drivers like the plague. If form holds, none will win on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin Looks to Win Daytona 500 for the Fourth Time

This analysis will be short and sweet, as it should be. As noted above, because of the close-quarters racing and inevitable massive wrecks, the Daytona 500 is much less predictable than the typical NASCAR race.

So it makes sense to go with a driver who has enjoyed repeated success in the Great American Race.

Denny Hamlin has won the Daytona 500 three times in the last seven years. No other active driver has won the race more than once.

Only two drivers in history have won the race more than three times—Cale Yarborough with four victories and Richard Petty with a record seven.

Hamlin has defied the odds, and that suggests a penchant for superspeedway racing that goes beyond the abilities of other drivers.

All else being equal, and the odds being favorable, that’s why we’re going with Hamlin to win the Daytona 500 again this year at +1300 via DraftKings.

Don’t be fooled by Hamlin’s 18th-place starting position. His car will perform at its best on race day.

Logo #1



Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Logo #2



$500 Free Bet

21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500

How to Watch the Daytona 500

  • What: Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup Series Race
  • Where: Daytona International Speedway
  • When: Sunday, February 19, 2:30 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: FOX

Bet $20 Win $200 in Free Bets

21+ CO, VA, MI Only | Terms and conditions apply

Claim Now
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

208 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

More info on Reid Spencer
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.