NASCAR Betting Picks: Toyota 500 From Darlington

Toyota 500? Maybe they’ll let a Toyota get the win because it’s been a long year for the boys over at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Denny Hamlin, who ranks 6th is the only driver of a Toyota Camry currently in the top ten in the Monster Energy Cup Series points standings. That will change soon enough, though.

The Joe Gibbs Racing trio all finished 2019 ranked in the top 4 in the Cup Series points. I don’t think you can hold Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch down for that long.

The Chevys have made a triumphant return, though! After zero cars inside the top 9 of the final standings from a year ago, “Chevrolet Runs Deep” at the top, apparently, because they have 2 drivers in the top 5.

Young guns Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott are 2nd and 4th, respectively, in the 2020 Cup Series standings. I have my betting eye firmly set on one of these drivers to win this Wednesday night in Darlington.

NASCAR betting is a lot of fun! I have been covering the sport from a betting perspective for over 2 years now and I’m finally getting a grip.

It took me a couple of years before I could pick a fight and now MMA, my most knowledgeable sport, is my best for picking winners and return on investment.

I broke through in MMA betting about a year ago and picking at least 5 fights nearly every week, we have amassed an ROI of nearly 30%.

It took a couple of years to get there but if we just focus on getting better every week and staying patient, making money on a consistent basis betting sports is not that difficult.

I think this is the year we break through in NASCAR betting.

We started off 2020 by picking two winners in the first two races. I normally pick 3 drivers to win and hope that one of them hits.

We started 2-2 then after our picks were runners up in the next two races, we won the first race back after lockdown this past Sunday when Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag by several car lengths.

We are now 3-2 but more importantly have an ROI of 93%! That number doesn’t appear to be sustainable but I will take it!

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us today. Let’s talk about how and when you can watch this week’s Wednesday night race and, of course, make our predictions to win the Toyota 500 from Darlington.

How to Watch
  • Wednesday, May 20th
  • 7:30 PM Eastern
  • Watch on Fox Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network

Winner Bets

Alex Bowman: +800

Alex Bowman was just inches away from winning the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington this past Sunday.

Here’s a quick recap of the race.

You will see how close Alex came to winning on a restart at 2:30 of the video. Once Kevin took that lead, the clean air made it virtually impossible for anyone to catch him.

We picked Kev so I was thrilled with the finish but exciting stuff from the youngster Bowman, regardless.

The 88 Chevrolet is a problem. The Chevys of Bowman of Chase Elliott might be the fastest cars on the track this week.

They had the best package during the first few weeks of the season and Alex bought up an interesting point in a recent interview.

He said that with teams preparing for two races in a week, there is no extra time to tinker and fine-tune. He believes that it helps his chances to win more than anything because the package on his car right now is already locked in.

It’s definitely hard to argue with the man.

In that highlight, he did get just a little loose and Kevin Harvick simultaneously had to brush the wall ever so lightly to take that lead. It was for the race and it was very very close.

I know Alex was a bit salty after that one and will be hungrier than ever this Wednesday night under the lights.

Chevys finished 2,3, and 4 on Sunday.

Even though Fords have 3 out of the 5 wins this year, this Wednesday looks like a Chevy day.

Bowman had zero top fives in 5 starts at Darlington in the past but he has come into his own at this point in his career and loves this intermediate size of race track more than any other.

I don’t know how much I like Kevin Harvick this week. He is going on 45 years old and just picked up a historic 50th win on an already emotional night for the sport. Now, he has to turn around and do it again just 72 hours later, this time racing 100 more miles?

Darlington is a very technical track, though, so for that reason, we tend to lean towards the veterans making the proper adjustments.

Alex is 27 now, though, and I like him to get his second victory of the 2020 NASCAR season.

Value Pick

Erik Jones: +1800

Easy E or Erik Jones as his friends like to call him is a Darlington winner.

Last September, Erik Jones won the Southern 500 here at Darlington, and more importantly, he won the race under the lights. We started at 6:00 last year and drivers will start their engines around 7:30 this week.

  • I was on Erik all year and we finally picked him for a win last year.
  • I was heavy on him to kick some butt in the playoffs but bad luck/timing spun him out of contention pretty early.
  • I mentioned a moment ago that the Joe Gibbs team has had a slow start to the 2020 season.

Erik is coming off of a breakthrough season in 2019 but it has been a relatively slow start to 2020.

After 17 top tens including 10 top five finishes in 32 starts last year, Erik had just one top ten finish through his first four starts of 2020. Maybe he just needed a break to refocus and the quarantine has given him that.

I know it has been a blessing in disguise for me. I’ve never been so locked in picking sports.

We are 22-10 betting 1 unit/play with a 58% ROI in May, albeit a big part of that was Kevin Harvick (+700) winning on Sunday. Jones quietly finished 8th a couple of days ago.

I don’t think he is getting the respect he deserves. You can get him at 5 to 1 to finish inside the top 3. We definitely have some value there.

I think the young man can win this thing, though.

Martin Truex Jr: +700

Marty from New Jersey is our guy!

It has been a relatively quiet start to the 2020 season for Martin much like his teammate, the previously mentioned Erik Jones.

He secured just his first top ten finish of the 5-race season this past Sunday.

MTJ is just too good of a driver to stay outside of the winner’s circle for too long.

He led the NASCAR Cup Series in wins in 2019.

32 races, 24 top tens, 17 top fives, and 7 victories.

Zero pole position starts.

Four of those 7 victories came under the lights.

Marty was clearly the most dominant driver at night in 2019.

He has 9 night race victories in his career now but 4 in one season is exceptional.

He was 6th on Sunday.

I know Hendrick Motorsports is out-performing everyone this year including Joe Gibbs Racing but Marty from New Jersey is a good bet to get the nighttime win this Wednesday at Darlington.

The Picks
Alex Bowman
+800
Erik Jones
+1800
Martin Truex Jr
+700

In Conclusion

It’s time to go racin’ again, boys!

We have picked 14 winners in 5 races and hit 3 times already! That means we are due for about a 2-month drought. Man, I hope not. I feel like I am starting to get a good read on NASCAR betting.

Anything can still happen, of course. We could have a 10-second lead on the rest of the pack with 2 laps to go and boom, a caution hits.

Now we restart and if the driver next to us has a teammate behind him and we don’t, we likely just lost!Heck, our pick could blow a gasket on lap #7 and that’s a wrap. Over time, I think we can make money with NASCAR.

For now, though, let’s get another win!

You have to go with a driver from Hendrick Motorsports because they have the fastest cars right now. There’s the Bowman pick.

Jones has struggled this year but Darlington is one of if not his best track and has a night race win here less than a year ago. And Truex, well he is the king of the night!

Get your bets in now and enjoy the yoom-yoom under the lights this Wednesday!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.