NASCAR Xfinity Series Picks: Darlington 200

NASCAR is back and the race, if you will, to catch up to the 2020 schedule is bordering on a frantic pace.

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series made its triumphant return to the track this past Sunday afternoon with the newly named Real Heroes 400 dedicated to the techs, nurses, and doctors working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus.

Kevin Harvick hung on to win the race after a back and forth battle on the final restart with Alex Bowman. Once Kevin hit that clean air in the front of the pack, it was a 25 lap cruise to victory lane. We tipped Harvick for our 3rd win in 5 races.

Wednesday night’s Monster Energy Cup Series race may just be rained out as Darlington is getting hammered for 4-5 inches of rain.

Xfinity Series drivers are scheduled to start their engines around noon on Thursday. You can catch both races on Fox Sports One or MRN, the Motor Racing Network.

We don’t normally cover the Xfinity Series but during this time of limited betting options, we have to jump on opportunities like this.

Kyle Busch is a bully. He is a (-130) betting favorite to win the Darlington 200! I don’t think I have ever seen juice on a NASCAR race winner. Does that mean he’s definitely going to win?

We are just going to have to open the brief history books and that will give us a better idea about Kyle and other drivers’ chances to win this thing.

BetOnline.AG has both winner odds and matchup betting lines as well. Let’s get to our predictions for NASCAR’s Xfinity Series Darlington 200.

Betting Odds to Win

Justin Allgaier: +1000

The 5’6” red-headed spark plug from Spaulding, Illinois is a threat every time he gets behind the wheel in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series.

He has never been the driver to outclass his peers on a consistent basis but he has 11 career victories in this series along with 177 top ten finishes over the past decade.

It’s a shame the 33-year-old hasn’t really been able to get over that Xfinity hump but 99.9% of humans cannot do what he can do. That has to feel pretty rad.

The money isn’t that bad either for doing something you love. The top Xfinity driver makes around 1,000,000.00 dollars for that year he was number 1.

Justin Allgaier isn’t one of those top guys but as I said, he is very dangerous. The driver of the #7 Chevy is a former Rookie of the Year way back in 2008. He hasn’t slowed, though.

15 top five finishes last season is any proof you need. He went into the Championship race in the top four with a chance to win it all.

He fell short, though, of the back-to-back Xfinity Series Champion Tyler Reddick, who is now a rookie in the Cup Series.

Justin’s record at Darlington is pretty good, though. He was 8th at Darlington in 2019 and has finished inside of the top 11 at “The Lady in Black” for five straight seasons.

The only driver with more top five finishes here is the man himself, Kyle Busch.

You want to bet on him? (-130)!

Kyle has won 20 of his 42 starts in the Xfinity Series which is pretty spectacular but I can’t get behind him at that price and I don’t expect you to do so either.

I can think of umpteem more valuable UFC bets to make at those odds than picking one out of 39 drivers to win the first Xfinity race in 2 months.

Justin has 9 starts at Darlington while most of the field doesn’t even have a top five finish. 9 races-6 top tens-2 top fives here. That is better than everyone not named Kyle Busch.

Matchup Betting Odds

Austin Cindric (+165) vs Chase Briscoe (-205)

This is a matchup of the #2 and #3 ranked drivers in the points standings through the first four races of the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

They each have two top five finishes and one of those was a win by Chase Briscoe in Las Vegas earlier this year.

I picked this matchup because of the disparity in the betting odds.

Like I said earlier, the only two drivers in the field with any kind of experience are Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier, and the former has juice in his betting odds.

Austin is a baby, still. He doesn’t turn 22 until September! The kid is 6’3” tall. At least we know he can see over the steering wheel! You don’t see many NASCAR drivers that tall.

They all aren’t 5’6” like Allgaier but I don’t think I have ever seen 6’3”. He won’t be weighing the car down, though, by any means, at 170 pounds soaking wet.

In one start at this track last season, he finished 10th. That’s pretty good considering Darlington is nicknamed “The Track Too Tough To Tame”. He has a couple of top 3 finishes already this season also.

With a strong group like Team Penske behind him, Austin might be a problem for his fellow drivers in the Xfinity Series Darlington 200.

Chase Briscoe is a bit more seasoned than Cindric at the ripe old age of 25. He also has a victory this year.

The Indiana-native has only finished outside of the top 6 one time in four starts this season. He snagged 6th place his first time out at Darlington last year.

So, these two match up fairly well.

It’s a pick’em and I might lean ever so slightly towards Briscoe. This still isn’t nearly enough to cap Chase in the (-240) range we would need to have an edge on the books here.

Austin Cindric’s betting odds, on the other hand, have value.

The Picks
Austin Cindric
+165

In Conclusion

This is a very tough race to call for us bettors. 95% of the field doesn’t even have a top five finish at Darlington to their name. If they have a top ten, it’s usually just one.

Kyle Busch is obviously the overwhelming betting favorite but I mentioned his price a couple of times already and it’s just ridiculous.

Next to Kyle Busch in experience at Darlington Raceway is Justin Allgaier. He is a wily veteran who has shown he has what it takes to tame “The Lady in Black”.

Brandon Jones is a name I didn’t bring up. He has 2 top tens here in 4 appearances. At 15 to 1, you can throw a lucky 7 bucks on him to net 100+.

Finally, the matchup between Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric is very close, in my opinion, but the odds say otherwise. That’s when an opportunistic bettor swoops in for a potential win.

All we would need is Cindric to win 2 out of every 5 times against Briscoe for us to make money. Conversely, we would need to win 4 of 5 Briscoe bets to stay in the green. Long game, fellas.

The new start time is Noon on Thursday, May 21st.

Get your bets in now and enjoy the race!

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.