Betting on auto racing has exploded in popularity in Vegas in recent years, and its appeal continues to grow.
The structure of betting on auto racing is similar to that of golf. The most basic wager involves picking the winner of a race. Typically a sports book will list 20 or more individual drivers along with a field (all others) option, at various odds.
For example, Jeff Gordon may be listed at 4-1, Jeff Burton at 15-1, Casey Atwood at 100-1, etc. If you bet $10 on Burton 15-1 and he goes on to win the race, you win $150 plus your $10 back, for a total payoff of $160.
Auto racing matchup propositions also are available, in which two drivers are paired against each other in a head-to-head wager, with a betting line on each driver set by the oddsmaker. The driver with the better finish in the race wins the matchup. (Both drivers must start for action.)
For example, a matchup may pit Dale Jarrett (minus 145) against Bobby Labonte (plus 125). If you bet $145 on the favored Jarrett, the payoff would be $100 plus your $145 back, for a total of $245. If you bet $100 on the underdog Labonte, the payoff would be $125 plus your $100 back, for a total of $225.
Some sports books also post unusual auto racing propositions such as the over/under on the number of cautions in a race, or which car manufacturer (GM, Ford or Dodge) will win the race.
Betting lines can be found on NASCAR races as well as on the various open-wheel circuits.