New Jersey sports betting customers can escape their suspended animation Sunday when NASCAR resumes its season with a high-intensity fervor.

Following UFC‘s lead, which returned May 9 with a three-event, eight-day lineup, NASCAR scheduled seven events in 11 days.

It starts at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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NASCAR betting at NJ Sportsbooks

Fans can bet at New Jersey gambling sites on drivers to win outright, against each other via head-to-head and group matchups and by the car manufacturer.

Here’s the early betting lineup for Sunday, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

DriverTo WinIn The Top 3In The Top 10
Kyle Busch+550+150-335
Kevin Harvick+550+150-335
Denny Hamlin+675+175-250
Martin Truex+750+225-240
Joey Logano+800+250-225
Erik Jones
(Defending Champion)
+1400+375-143

Other notables to watch include:

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Chase Elliott
  • Alex Bowman
  • Ryan Blaney

FanDuel Sportsbook also favors Harvick and Busch at +500. Hamlin and Logano are +750. Keselowski is +800 and Elliott is +850.

FanDuel also has odds up for the following Sunday, the CocaCola 600 at Charlotte.

Busch is the +350 favorite. Truex is +470. Harvick is +800.

NASCAR betting trends

Big names are expensive when it comes to betting them in the Top 10. That’s understandable.

But there is also a Top 5 prop that has reasonable odds for Busch, the pre-race co-favorite. A top-five finish is – 115 for yes or no. That’s an interesting consideration for his backers.

Do you want to hedge the +550 bet from the win line?

Even the +150 for a top 3 spot? Back it up with a wager in the Top 5 for close to even money.

Busch has been dependable as an in-the-money candidate. He hasn’t won in four starts but has two Top 5 and two Top 10 finishes.

Something that might interest bettors is the top finisher by car manufacturer.

Chevy has 17 entries and Elliot is the favorite at +250. Bowman is next at +400.

Ford, with Harvick as the +230 favorite, has 14 spots. Logano is next at +300.

Toyota, with Busch as the +215 chalk, has seven confirmed.

This is a great wager with a high upside. You have dramatically reduced the entire field and only have to prevail inside of one group. This is the equivalent of a marathon that awards prizes based on age group.

One can hedge the bet on a favorite driver by selecting a couple of entries by the manufacturer. Getting plus numbers on Busch, Harvick and Elliot is already nice.  But this scenario also encourages mid-range longshots in this category.

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The stage is set

Sunday’s race is scheduled to be a 293-lap race around the four-turn, 1.366-mile  oval.

The first stage is set to end after lap 90 and the second to end after lap 185.

Picking a stage 2 winner is a crapshoot, like selecting the second-half winner of an NFL game that has multiple teams. Nonetheless, the bet is up there and Busch, at +650, leads the way.

There are also several matchups of four different drivers, matched according to their perceived ability levels. That’s an interesting diversion in case the race is dominated by big names.

Matt Kenseth comes out of retirement for this race. He is in a class of drivers that includes Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty, and David Pearson as the only competitors to win a Cup Series championship, rookie of the year award and the Daytona 500.

NASCAR getting up to speed

Through the first four races of the season, Harvick leads the pack with 164 points, followed by:

  • Logano (163)
  • Elliott (144)
  • Busch (111)

Will there be any post-season this year? Or simply a few races?

That’s to be determined.

After this one, Darlington will hold an Xfinity series race May 19, at 200 miles.

The Cup series events return May 20 at Darlington, at 500 kilometers, before the scene shifts to Charlotte, N.C. There will be one race there, every day, May 24-27.

In the near term, NASCAR wants to schedule as many races as possible in the Charlotte vicinity, where the majority of race teams are located. That eliminates most travel-related health-concern issues associated with running multiple races in one week.

The immediate package includes :

  • Cup
  • Trucks
  • Xfinity

Beyond May? It will be an evolving dynamic.

Here’s what’s established so far.

NASCAR schedule

DateSeriesTrackDistance
May 17CupDarlington400 miles
May 19XfinityDarlington200 miles
May 20 CupDarlington500 kilometers
May 24CupCharlotte600 miles
May 25XfinityCharlotte300 miles
May 26TrucksCharlotte200 miles
May 27CupCharlotte500 kilometers
Dave Bontempo

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.