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2014 Daytona 500 Betting Preview, Qualifying Races + More

Daytona 500The 56th running of the Daytona 500 will take place this Sunday, February 23 from Daytona International Speedway. Not only is this the biggest single race in the Sprint Cup season, it also happens to kick off the start of the new year.

Nothing like opening up with a bang.

Qualifying runs took place earlier this week as Austin Dillon will start at the pole position Sunday afternoon. On the outside of Dillon will be Martin Truex Jr. The rest of the 43-driver starting grid will take place Thursday night under the lights in the Budweiser Duels. These duels break the field up into two groups, where the order on the grid is determined.

Following the duels, a Camping Truck Series race will be held Friday night, and the Nationwide Series race on Saturday.

It’s a culmination of Sunday though for the big finale. The 2014 Daytona 500 has plenty of hype and anticipation. Fans and drivers alike are anxious to get their new season underway.

So who gets the win?

This is the million dollar question. If you look at Bovada Sportsbook, they have anointed Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the 2014 Daytona 500 favorite. Earnhardt has won the Daytona 500 before and tends to race very well at the speedway. Earnhardt routinely finds himself at or near the top of the contenders every race conducted on this track. At 10/1, it’s a nice margin of profit to wager on him.

Earnhardt is not an assertive favorite to win though. In fact, there are more than a dozen drivers situated between 12/1 and 16/1 on the payout currently. Odds have the potential to shift depending on how the duels turn out, but it’s typically minimal. This means that Bovada believes there are a number of drivers with legitimate shots at winning the Super Bowl of NASCAR.

Right behind Earnhardt is Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. Like the lead favorite, these two have also won the Daytona 500 before. Johnson is coming off a another championship season and is ready to kick off 2014 with another big win as the defending champion here this week.

Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth also come in with equal 12/1 payouts as Johnson and Harvick. These drivers have three Daytona 500 championships between the two of them. Kenseth captured the 2009 and 2012 Daytona 500. Harvick won back in 2007.

Outside of Trevor Bayne’s win in 2011, the Daytona 500 has gone to many notable names. That’s because in the Daytona 500 the best of the best rise to the top. There is a ton of pressure on the drivers, and its the teams with the most experience combined with having the right day that gets it done.

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