CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 11: Former NFL tight end and sportscaster Greg Olsen shows the first bet placed during the DraftKings First Bet in North Carolina at NASCAR Hall of Fame on March 11, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NFL Commentator Bets on Who 2024 NASCAR Champion Will Be

North Carolina legalized sports betting this week, and NFL commentator Greg Olsen has placed the state's first bet — deciding to go all in with 23XI racer Bubba Wallace winning the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series.

Wallace had a successful start early this season but recently has run into a bit of a rough patch, struggling in Las Vegas due to a lug nut issue and this past weekend in Phoenix. However, it appears that Olsen believes Wallace will overcome the issues.

"Whatever the hardest thing y'all done in life ... It ain't got (expletive) on trying to pass here in Phoenix," Wallace said to his team over his radio during Sunday's Cup Series race in Phoenix, where he ended up finishing in 16th place.

Whatever the outcome is for Olsen's bet about Wallace, NASCAR has gone all in on sports betting, accounting for nearly 20% of all legal sports betting in the U.S. With the recent addition of North Carolina, the 29th state to approve sports betting, NASCAR is hoping it will increase revenue and expand viewership beyond the traditional audience.

"This will for sure be a standout state," said Joseph Solosky, managing director for sports betting at NASCAR. "I have full confidence that North Carolina is going to over-index heavy on NASCAR."

NASCAR held an event this week with DraftKings at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte to celebrate the occasion. Residents can now bet through state-approved betting apps such as DraftKings, bet365, FanDuel and others.

"North Carolina is a state that we've been really dying to get into for a couple of years now," Jeremy Elbaum, chief commercial officer for DraftKings, said during the event. "The love for NASCAR specifically, and obviously the other major sports, has made this a key state for us."

North Carolina required each betting platform to sign a partnership with an in-state team or governing body. Hence the partnership between NASCAR and DraftKings, much like Caesars Sportsbook's partnership with Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In-person betting at North Carolina racetracks has also now been legalized, with NASCAR hoping to bring on-track gambling to nearby states Georgia and South Carolina as well.

While NASCAR will undoubtedly profit from its association with Draftkings, team owners are looking for a larger share of the sport's overall revenue in negotiations over the next Charter Agreement. Perhaps this new revenue stream can help bring the sport and its teams together.

More: NASCAR Betting Guide: 3 Types of Bets to Cash in on Race Day