How to Bet on Motor Sports

Let’s look at how to bet on motor sports.

Key Points

– There are numerous options to bet on motor sports.

– Betting on motorsports differs from that on the major sports like football and basketball.

How to Bet on Motor Sports

Betting on auto racing and motor sports in general is very different from the widely popular team sports like football, basketball, and baseball. All forms of racing, for the most part, are individual sports. A driver wins a race or tournament. There are some team events, but motor sports are more about the individual.

There are different types of motor sports including NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar, and MotoGP. There are odds on who will win a race each week of their respective seasons, as well as a number of other bets. 

Because racing is more of an individual sport, there are wagers on one-on-one contests between two particular drivers. The results are based on which driver finishes higher. If you are familiar with betting on golf, you may recognize this type of bet.  

The most popular of all racing bets is the wager on a race winner. Usually there is a field of somewhere between 20 and 30 drivers. Bettors can pick and choose from the board on who they think will win. The great thing is that the odds are typically favorable on favorites to win.

While the race winner is the most popular bet, there are many others and many that offer strong value in any given race. When looking at how to bet on motor sports, it all starts with understanding the different types of racing as well as the bets on the board.

NASCAR History

NASCAR has a long and storied history. Founded in 1948, NASCAR is the premier stock car racing organization in the United States. NASCAR races are held on both oval and road courses across the country and attract some of the best drivers in the world. 

NASCAR has three national series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The organization also has a regional series and a local touring series. 

NASCAR races are broadcast on television by Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and ESPN. NASCAR is also a major spectator sport, with millions of fans attending races each year. NASCAR has a rich history of close finishes and exciting races, making it one of the most popular motor sports in the world.

With the rise in popularity of sports betting over the past several years, betting on NASCAR has become more popular. NASCAR events like the Daytona 500 and the Cup championship bring in plenty of action at major sportsbooks.

Indy Car Racing

Indy car racing has a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of the automobile. The first recorded race took place in 1895 when a group of racing enthusiasts gathered in Chicago to compete for a $500 prize. 

The following year, the first Indianapolis 500 was held. A total of 40,000 spectators attended and watched the race. Today, Indy car racing is one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the world with races taking place all over the United States. 

Each year, millions of people tune in to watch the Indianapolis 500, making it one of the most watched sporting events in the world. Indy car racing has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Bettors can now find action on Indy car races around the world.

Formula 1

Formula One automobile racing has its roots in the European Grand Prix championships of the 1920s and 1930s. The first formal racing events were held in France and Italy, and the focus was on cars with internal combustion engines. These races were open to all comers, and the cars were often modified versions of production models. 

In response to the growing popularity of racing, the governing body for motorsport, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), was founded in 1904. The FIA standardized the rules for racing and also created several racing classes, including Formula One. 

Formula One is the highest class of single-seat auto racing recognized by the FIA. The racing series began in 1950, and the first world championship race was held in 1951. Since then, Formula One has become one of the most popular forms of racing in the world, with races taking place all over the globe.


MotoGP, or motorcycle Grand Prix, racing also has a long and storied history. Dating back to the early 1900s, it has undergone many changes over the years but remains one of the most popular racing sports in the world. 

Though its origins are murky, MotoGP racing is thought to have started in France, with the first race taking place in 1902. The sport quickly gained popularity, and by the 1920s there were races being held all over Europe. 

MotoGP racing continued to grow in popularity throughout the mid-20th century, with some of the most iconic races taking place during this period. Today, MotoGP racing is watched by millions of people all over the world and remains one of the most thrilling and exciting sports around.

Like other forms of racing, MotoGP is a niche on most betting boards. Hardcore racing bettors know what to look for when betting on MotoGP. When you’re learning how to bet on motor sports, there’s a lot to consider when you look at the different disciplines.

Understanding Odds in Auto Racing – How to Bet on Motor Sports

The odds-to-win lines and the particular matchup bets offered on a weekly car racing betting board are really all there is to it. The odds to win bets – on a driver to win a particular race – is one of the easiest ways to experience long-term success when you bet on motor sports. 

Betting on individual matchups is another way to achieve success when betting on any type of racing. Keep in mind that there are additional bets like Top 5, Top 10, and props available regarding things like the number of caution flags in a race. 

Racing Futures Bets

Futures bets on auto racing are made based on the driver or drivers that a bettor thinks will win a particular race. For some of the biggest events each year, these futures odds can be set weeks or months in advance. 

Every bettor must determine for themself how daring they want to be with bets that are still weeks away. However, future bets offer high reward on a high risk bet. When a bettor feels he has an edge or finds value in a bet, the rewards can be great. It’s common to find racing favorites at odds of +500 to +1000.

Odds released months in advance of a race will change as the race gets closer. Bettors who understand what to look for – i.e. history on a certain course – can take advantage of betting racing futures early.

How to Bet on Motor Sports – Daytona 500

The Daytona 500 is the highlight of the annual NASCAR schedule, and it consistently draws a significant amount of wagering activity. The Daytona 500 is held every year at Daytona Speedway, one of the most well-known racing facilities in the world. 

This event, which usually takes place around Presidents Day in the middle of February, offers drivers by far the biggest payout. Because of its reputation, the Daytona 500 draws in a huge number of sports bettors. 

Betting on the Daytona 500 is similar to betting on other races in that there are still odds to win and as well as head-to-head bets that are the most popular on the betting board. The event’s size may result in more matchups being provided for the Daytona 500 than the typical NASCAR race.

Betting the Indy 500

The Indy 500 is the premier competition in the IndyCar series, and it is held annually on the Sunday before Memorial Day (in late May) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is an occasion with a long history of customs, perhaps the most well-known of which sees the victor drinking a bottle of milk in the winner’s circle.

Similar to the Daytona 500, Indycar racing odds and lines are released far in advance of the event. Bettors can typically find plenty of action on the race. There have been some of the greatest moments in sports history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, or “The Brickyard,” as it has become known. Sportsbooks  make sure there are plenty of betting options accessible for people who love to gamble on this event.

Common Motor Sports Bets

As mentioned, the most popular racing bet is the standard “who will win the race” futures bet. Many motor sports bettors believe they can maximize their profit-making potential by using their knowledge of the track, driver, and sport in general. 

Like golf betting, betting on head-to-head matchups is more likely to be the bets that give racing bettors the most consistent weekly returns. The nature of the one-on-one matchup makes winning much easier than choosing one driver among a field of 20 to 30. 

To Win Race – How to Bet on Motor Sports

The “to win race” bets will always be a big component of auto racing odds in NASCAR and other racing series because everyone wants to bet on the ultimate winner of a given race. 

When searching for information about a given race, bettors will find more content related to the overall winner than any other. The odds that bettors will see will be those for the overall winner. 

Betting on the overall race winner can be quite rewarding. Odds are favorable and it is common to find overall race betting favorites given odds between +500 and +1000. 

Head-to-Head Matchups

The most serious auto racing bettors know that the value in a given race is usually in the head-to-head contests. If you want to increase your bankroll by betting on motor sports, you need to spend more time placing these bets.

The majority of earnings for bettors on auto racing matchups come from analyzing track histories for drivers, current form for a driver, and mixing it with a little bit of intuition. 

It’s great to hit a race winner at 5/1 or even 10/1, but the chances are likely that you lose a lot more of those bets than you win. Plus, most bettors will wager on a few different drivers to win. When they all lose, they lose even more. The return is just not there on “to win race” bets.

Individual matchup bets in motor sports will continue to be a mainstay in helping one’s betting bankroll grow each week. To bet matchups, a bettor simply makes a moneyline bet on one driver to finish higher than the other.

The driver does not have to win the race. He only has to finish higher than his opponent. Take a simple example featuring Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Hamlin is given -105 odds to place higher. Busch is given -110 odds.

You wager $105 on Hamlin and he finishes in seventh place. Busch finishes 12th. Your bet is a winner because Hamlin finished higher than Busch. Bettors won’t get the big odds like they do in race winner bets, but it is much easier to win head-to-head bets.

Unique Racing Events

There are numerous unique events on the motorsports calendar every single year. Each of these events offers bettors all sorts of opportunities to cash in. We identified the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in the U.S. There are also numerous competitions around the world in the MotoGP, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the F1.

Almost every week, you can place a wager on a motorcycle or car race. Even if you choose to concentrate on just one major motorsport, you will probably still have 20–30 races to wager on in a given season.

If you already have some background knowledge and an interest in races, choosing a solid racing betting strategy can be quite rewarding in such situations.

Here is a quick rundown of the largest events where real money wagering is permitted.

  • Formula 1: With more than 20 races every season, F1 is arguably the most well-known motorsport. Additionally, there are chances for F1 futures and prop betting.
  • NASCAR – The best online sportsbooks for motorsports offer odds on every race on the NASCAR schedule.
  • IndyCar Series. Because the races are so well-known, IndyCar betting is simple and the odds are frequently favorable.
  • MotoGP – If you enjoy motorcycle racing, you may wager on MotoGP and bet on each and every scheduled Grand Prix event.
  • The 24 Hours of Le Mans – The most well-known endurance race in the world is covered by all reputable online sportsbooks for racing.

There are also plenty of smaller events, so bettors won’t have trouble finding different possibilities to bet on motor sports at pretty much any time of the year.

Data Analysis Is More Difficult for Sportsbooks

Finding value in the odds for a particular wager is the only way to profit from any type of betting. Bookies are always working to ensure that the house is getting the best value. That can make it difficult for sports bettors. 

Sportsbooks make significant investments in gathering all the data that is available and evaluating it using a variety of technologies that help to determine lines and odds. That works perfectly for the majority of sporting events. For motor sports, it is not that simple for oddsmakers. 

It’s extremely difficult to predict the future using data from the past because the rules are always changing and the cars are evolving virtually every year. As a result, there is frequently more value in motorsport betting odds, and bettors can benefit greatly.

How to Bet on Motor Sports – Numerous Useful Resources Online

If you want to win your motor sports wagers, preparation is the key. You have to put in the time on assessing the chances of each driver. The great news is that tons of free information to help you assess those drivers can be easily found online.

The following are readily available to anyone and can significantly alter your motor sports betting experience.

  • Stats – There are a ton of stats available, including information on practices, testing, and results from prior races and qualifying events.
  • Technical Details – The majority of racing motorcycles and vehicles have publicly accessible technical specifications.
  • Most recent news – A number of websites constantly cover developments in motorsports.
  • Rules – You should always review the rules for a particular race, the distribution of prizes and points, and other information that can help you take full advantage of the available gambling chances.
  • Weather Predictions – It’s crucial to monitor the weather when placing a motorsports wager, and reliable free weather forecasts are readily available online.
  • All of the aforementioned sources, as well as others, are rather simple to find. Finding the necessary information for online motor sports betting doesn’t take much time.

Basic Advice How to Bet on Motor Sports

When it comes to betting, every sport is different. Even different races in motor sports have unique characteristics that influence a bettor’s viewpoint. If you want to properly wager on racing, you must simply take these factors into account.

There are several fundamental suggestions that are almost always applicable no matter the category of racing. Keep these in mind while placing your motor sports wagers.

Check out the Track

For each race you wager on, you should pay great attention to the race course. When attempting to outwit the motor sports bookmakers, analyzing these key traits can be really helpful.

Some tracks feature several straightaways, while others feature many challenging turns. Some have numerous places where overtaking is possible. Others are notoriously tough like the course at the Monaco Grand Prix, a popular Formula One race. 

In essence, a track’s profile can tell you which drivers will be successful and which ones will have trouble. Along with the track is the actual vehicle being driven. Better top speed vehicles often do better in races with more straightaways but may struggle in other circumstances like long, winding courses.

The idea is to be aware of what to anticipate from a track and how each driver will respond to the difficulties presented by the course. Knowing track differences will go a long way when learning how to bet on motor sports.

Review the Drivers

Even though this is perhaps one of the most basic betting advice for motor sports, it’s still important to note. Drivers all have different styles and that can play a role in the outcome of an event.

Your chances of obtaining beneficial motor sports odds will increase if you research the top contenders before a race. These are the main items for each driver that you need to check.

  • Form – If at all possible, start with the most recent races. Has the driver been performing at or near peak levels, or is there a recent poor run?
  • Driving Style: Does the driver’s driving style fit the upcoming circuit?
  • Past Performances – Every driver has a favorite circuit, and past results can clearly demonstrate that. The contrary is also true, therefore it can be helpful to quickly review prior outcomes on the same track.
  • Goals – A driver’s performance may be significantly impacted if he is vying for the championship and has significant long-term goals. Results could also be impacted by the absence of significant season goals.

After analyzing the individual drivers, it’s time to look at the teams supporting the drivers and what you might anticipate from them.

Team Capacity – How to Bet on Motor Sports

When you wager on specific races, the distinctions between the teams are really important. The best illustration is Formula 1, when the disparity in team budgets is readily seen on the racetrack.

The top Formula 1 teams typically stand head and shoulders above the competition. With a car created by one of the lesser-known teams, it is practically impossible to defeat the elite teams.

When betting Formula 1 in particular, you have to take into account the big budget teams’ odds. Is there a small-budget team that can compete with one of the big boys in a given race? More often than not, the elite teams do the best in Formula 1 racing. The bottom line though is that in some racing events the team is important.

Check the Weather

When placing a wager on a motor sports event, the weather cannot be ignored. The conditions can be very different, and each driver’s performance is impacted by them in different ways.

The vehicle or bike setup needs to be modified in certain weather conditions. Some cars perform admirably in favorable weather but may falter in adverse circumstances.

Here are a few elements that the weather has an impact on.

  • Tire Wear – In many motorsports, getting the most out of the tires before replacing them is essential, and the weather undoubtedly influences tire wear.
  • Fuel Consumption – While some races today do not have refueling, others still do. The weather could be important in terms of consumption.
  • Hold – The performance of the vehicles and bikes depends on how well they grip the track. Naturally, extreme weather conditions like intense rain or intense heat can lead to a variety of issues.

You also need to take into account other factors, such as the fact that some drivers have preferences for certain types of weather. When the going gets rough, some are known to rise to the occasion while others really struggle.

It’s also critical to realize that unexpected events frequently occur under adverse circumstances. Bad weather could be your ally if you’re aiming for high odds in your racing event.

Now that the fundamentals of motorsports betting have been taught, it’s time for more detailed information on some of the more well-known competitions.

How to Bet on Motor Sports – NASCAR

As mentioned, the Daytona 500 is the most popular NASCAR race. It’s not the only one though. It is part of what is called the NASCAR Sprint Cup  Series. It is the most well-known series in NASCAR. The Sprint Cup pits expert drivers against one another for the top honor in NASCAR The Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series are two additional events that are covered by the top websites for racing betting.

Across all NASCAR events there are over 1500 races. In addition to the NASCAR Sprint Cup events, the Xfinity Series, and the Camping World Truck Series; there is teh ARCA Menard Series. 

Bettors can find odds on race winners, head-to-head, Top-5 Finish, Top-10 Finish, and more for each event. There are also prop bets available on all NASCAR events. 

Betting on Formula One

The most popular motor sport in the world is Formula 1. It hosts more than 20 events worldwide each year. The list features both new tracks in Middle Eastern nations as well as well-known ones like the Monaco Grand Prix, Monza, Spa, Silverstone, Melbourne Park, and Hungarori

A typical season features 20 or more races. There are 10 Formula One racing teams. The elite teams spend millions on their vehicles and the sport features some of the top drivers in the world.

Each course is different and the track plays a big role in the outcome. A driver’s history on the track is also a big factor. 

Bettors can find action on Formula 1 races at most sportsbooks. Like the other motor sports, bets include to win, head-to-head, props, and more.

Betting on IndyCar Racing

The IndyCar Series provides access to some of the largest US races. The Indy 500 is without a doubt the sport’s premier event, but there are many other races available for bettors. There are numerous races each season giving plenty of opportunities for bettors. Seasons typically begin in late February and end in September.

Like the other motor sports, betting on IndyCar racing offers race winner bets, pole position winner, as well as the head-to-head bets pitting driver against driver.

There are various teams in IndyCar racing and teams may consist of multiple drivers. Understanding the teams and the different engine manufacturers can help bettors as they bet on motor sports during IndyCar season.

MotoGP Betting

MotoGP betting is available worldwide. The season features 20 or more races with the Gran Premio d’Italia being the most popular of all events.

The best riders compete on one of the 11 teams that make up MotoGP. MotoGP is one of the most competitive and exciting racing series since its riders are frequently in close proximity to one another.

Bettors should recognize there are events in minor classes like Moto2, Moto3, and MotoE. Like other motor sports, bettors can find similar action on MotoGP.

About the Author
Joe Berra
Joe Berra
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Joe takes care of the bits and pieces that sometimes slip through the cracks of the sports world. Efficiency and consistency is what makes different. JB helps keep Sports Hub’s content fresh and exciting, managing its many authors. From the New York area, Joe knew he had a knack for sports betting when his uncle was always asking him which side he was on as a young boy. His meticulous approach to the numbers formed his career path as a professional handicapper. Joe is sometimes called Jimmy Bagpipes, JB or Mr. B.