April was a live sports and sports betting wasteland, but May is shaping up to be a rebound. Korean baseball has begun; now that the NFL Draft is complete, futures bets in football are shaping up; and NASCAR is set to resume its season on May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.
In fact, NASCAR has made a commitment to run the originally scheduled 36 races of the Cup Series and is going to be doubling up on races through May to make that happen.
There will be 400 miles raced on May 17, 310 miles on May 20 (also at Darlington), and then they will go to Charlotte for 600 miles on May 24 (the original date of the Coca-Cola 600) and 300 miles on May 27.
All of these races will be single-day events, meaning no practice sessions. And only the Coca-Cola 600 will feature qualifying. There will be no crowds in attendance, and pit stops will be conducted in a way that prevents large groups of people together in the garage.
What this means for you, the independent bookmaker, is that, just as with the NFL Draft, fans desperate for sports wagering action are going to bet these races. They may very well bet the two races scheduled for the Xfinity Series and the race on May 26 in the Gander Truck Series.
Get a customizable website, a full slate of betting options that include NASCAR’s revised schedule, and a leg up on your competition by turning a quiet April into a busy and exciting May.
The Driver Effect on Odds
For now, NASCAR is only going to race within driving distance of Charlotte, where the majority of teams reside. So when it comes to drivers and teams that do best at the races in South Carolina and North Carolina, they have a decided advantage.
Also, because of the restrictions on practice and qualifying, it will be the experienced teams that are going to thrive. No surprise that for the race on May 17, both Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are the favorites to win at +500.
Harvick is the current standings leader with a pair of top five finishes in the four races that were run prior to the COVID-19 shutdown.
Postseason Schedule and Betting
Another thing that NASCAR officials made clear is that they are hoping to keep the entire 10-race postseason schedule, beginning with the Southern 500 on Labor Day Weekend – also to be run at Darlington.
The postseason ends on Nov. 8 in Phoenix, and not surprisingly, right now, the odds-on favorite to finish at the top of the standings is Harvick at +450. Harvick has won nine previous races at Phoenix, which is the most ever.