Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press
Last year, Brad Keselowski was one of the favorites to win the Daytona 500 and ended up a disappointing 27th after a crash, as Kurt Busch took the checkered flag for the first time in his career.
This Sunday, Keselowski hopes to follow in Busch’s footsteps and win the 60th edition of the Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway as the +800 favorite (bet $100 to win $800) on the odds to win the 2018 Daytona 500 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.
A first-time winner has placed first in each of the past three Daytona 500 races following a string of three straight years in which a driver won for the second time. That would seem to work in Keselowski’s favor this year, as no driver has repeated as champion since Sterling Marlin in 1995—with those odds obviously hurting Busch’s chances.
Regardless, Busch is +2500 to win the Daytona 500 in consecutive years, sitting behind a number of drivers, including his younger brother Kyle, who is tied with four others at +1200.
Kyle has never won the Daytona 500 either and wrecked on lap 105 a year ago, taking out Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Ty Dillon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the process. Earnhardt was also one of the favorites and retired following last season.
Denny Hamlin is the +1000 second choice on the 2018 Daytona 500 odds behind Keselowski, followed by Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. Hamlin won the Daytona 500 in 2016 before finishing 17th last year. Of that group at +1200, the 27-year-old Logano (2015) and 42-year-old Harvick (2007) are the only previous winners.
Elliott, the 22-year-old son of former Winston Cup Series champ and two-time Daytona 500 winner Bill Elliott, won the pole two straight years (2016 and 2017) but finished 14th last year.
The 25-year-old Larson placed a career-best seventh in 2016 and 12th in 2017.
Another youngster won the pole this year—24-year-old Alex Bowman (+2800)—and he will be competing in the race for the first time since 2014. Bowman finished 23rd that year and then failed to qualify in 2015. Eventually he parted ways with Tommy Baldwin Racing and then filled in for Earnhardt in the No. 88 car for Hendricks Motorsports as an interim driver.
The pole winner has not won the Daytona 500 since 2000.
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