The following Daytona 500 betting picks preview is from a NASCAR expert Nick, or more commonly known as @RotoDoc on Twitter. RotoDoc has had a lot of success with his NASCAR picks, winning $30,000 on DraftKings last week! DraftKings is running a free $10,000 contest. You can enter FREE by clicking here. Enjoy the betting picks article!
This Sunday’s Daytona 500 marks the first race under NASCAR’s new segmented format, designed to create action throughout the race. Each of the first two segments will be 60 laps long, with a final 80 lap segment to crown the Daytona 500 winner. Here are the best bets to take home the checkered flag.
Four drivers have dominated Daytona Speedweeks so far in 2017. Those four are Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (+450), Brad Keselowski (+700), Joey Logano (+900), and Denny Hamlin (+1200).
If Hamlin continues to have the longest odds of the four, he definitely provides the best value. Not only is he the defending race winner, but Hamlin has also produced four top-four finishes in the last five Daytona 500 races. Hamlin is also a three-time winner of The Clash at Daytona – NASCAR’s preseason exhibition race – including two of the past four years, and he was leading this year’s Clash heading into the final lap until a wreck with Keselowski relegated him to a 13th place finish. Hamlin also just won his third Can-Am Duel on Thursday night, including two in the past four years and a second-place last year. In other words, he has been dominant at Daytona, but his odds do not reflect his performance.
If you want to ride a second favorite, Keselowski should be your pick. The former NASCAR champion nearly passed Hamlin on the last lap of the Advance Auto Parts Clash for the win, and led 28 of the 60 laps in his Duel qualifying race. He’s been the stronger of the two Team Penske cars so far this week, so the price discrepancy between Keselowski and Logano is justified.
The Value Picks
Matt Kenseth (+1400) and Martin Truex, Jr. (+1400) are stablemates to Hamlin in Joe Gibbs Racing equipment. Kenseth is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, while Truex got edged out by pseudo-teammate Hamlin by 0.01 seconds for last year’s Daytona 500 victory. Neither have shown significant strength so far during Speedweeks, but that’s the perfect way to go overlooked. If either end up at +1500 or longer, pounce right away.
Many experts are on Clint Bowyer (+1800) but those odds aren’t compelling enough for me. Yes Bowyer has a strong car and is a strong plate racer, but he’s better at NASCAR’s other restrictor plate track, Talladega. Talladega evens the playing field more than Daytona, and it shows for Bowyer. He has four finishes of third or better at Talladega, but has managed only three fourth place finishes at Daytona.
Instead, look toward Jamie McMurray (+2800), Austin Dillon (+3300), and Ryan Blaney (+4000) for your sleeper picks. McMurray is a two-time winner at each of NASCAR’s restrictor plate tracks. He’s been strong at Speedweeks, with a second place effort in his Duel race a bright spot after a strong showing in this past Sunday’s Clash, until he faded late. He’s not a terrible bet, but I’d rather look a bit deeper.
Austin Dillon had last year’s best average finish at the four restrictor plate races, and he’s continued where he left off so far in 2017. Dillon was on his way to a top-five finish in The Clash until Hamlin and Keselowski got together in front of him, sweeping him up in the process. The former Daytona 500 pole-sitter followed that up with a fourth-place effort in his Duel race.
Finally, Ryan Blaney starts 38th, which may keep his odds depressed. But Blaney challenged for the lead several times in his Duel race, even while on older tires than Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and led three laps late in the race. Unfortunately for Blaney, he got swept up in some late contact that relegated him to the back of the starting field for the Daytona 500. But starting position matters little in this race, and with Penske power and equipment, there’s no reason Blaney can’t challenge for the lead late in the Great American Race.
My Daytona 500 Picks
With $100 to bet, I would distribute my money as follows:
• $25 on Denny Hamlin (+1200)
• $40 on Brad Keselowski (+700)
• $15 on Martin Truex, Jr. or Matt Kenseth (+1400) (shop for the best odds between the two)
• $10 on Austin Dillon (+3300)
• $10 on Ryan Blaney (+4000)
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