Last week in Watkins Glen, New York, Kyle Larson took the Go Bowling At The Glen after grabbing the lead with five laps to go. Larson, second on the NASCAR points board, had to outduel Chase Elliott and AJ Allmendinger to secure his second win of the season.
But what the win also did is give guys like Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. a chance to secure that final playoff spot. While Blaney has a 25-point lead over Truex, a 26-point swing is entirely possible in this weekend’s race.
And with the news that Kurt Busch is pulling out of the playoffs, there’s a chance that both get a spot in the postseason.
The Daytona International Speedway will settle who’s in and who’s out for NASCAR’s playoffs. Sportsbook Bodog has Chase Elliott as the favorite to win this weekend with odds at +1000. The two guys gunning for a playoff spot, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr., are at +1200 and +2000, respectively.
New to NASCAR betting and want to get your feet wet ahead of the playoffs? Check out our How to Bet NASCAR guide to give you all the information on how to place a racing wager.
Coke Zero Sugar 400 Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||+2000|
Odds as of August 25 at Bodog
Daytona International Speedway Odds: Why Is Chase Elliott The Favorite … Again?
We seem to do this every week: “Why is Chase Elliott the favorite?” And, well, the answer is typically the same: he’s NASCAR’s top driver. By picking up 40 points in last weekend’s race, Elliott locked up the regular-season NASCAR title with a 134-point lead.
He’s also the only driver to win more than two races on the season. No driver has more top-fives than Elliott’s 10. No driver has more top-10s than his 17. Again, dominant.
But that isn’t necessarily the case on this track. In Elliott’s 13 races at Daytona, his average finish is 20.9, 23rd among active drivers. Zoom in on those averages a little and his average finish is 13.0 since February 2019, which ranks him fifth.
So he’s still a good driver on this track, at least recently, but not one of the best. His Daytona odds of +1000 would be a solid payout for a driver who’s done a lot of winning this season. A $100 winning bet would return a $1,000 profit.
Now that Elliott has locked up the regular-season title, his sights will be set on the NASCAR championship. The No. 9 car is favored to win the NASCAR Cup with odds of +400.
NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 Odds Value Picks
What about the two drivers gunning for that final playoff spot? What are Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr.’s odds of winning this must-win race?
Ryan Blaney (+1200)
He’s tied for the second-best odds to win the final race of the regular season at +1200. Since February 2019, Blaney has had an average finish of 15.7 at Daytona, ranking him 14th. But he’s also one of only six drivers to win on this track in that span. That win was last year when the Team Penske driver took the checkered flag in overtime.
Blaney doesn’t need to win this race to secure a playoff spot. He just needs to pick up more points than Truex. The driver head-to-head prop for the two favors Blaney at -135 to Truex’s +105.
Martin Truex Jr. (+2000)
This doesn’t seem like a promising track for Truex to secure a playoff spot. His average finish at Daytona since February 2019 is 22.9, ranking him 38th among active drivers. Over his career, Truex holds a 21.9 average finish.
Daytona is arguably the worst track for Truex. He’s never won a race there and has only finished in the top five three times in 34 tries and has averaged a better start on every other track since February 2019.
Denny Hamlin (+1200)
Denny Hamlin is tied for the second-best odds to win at Daytona because he holds the fourth-best average finish (12.3) on this track since February 2019 and is the only driver to win twice here in that span.
His last win was in February 2020 when he started 21st, led for 79 laps and ended up taking the checkered flag. Even if he doesn’t do well through qualification and our odds calculator gives him a 7.69 percent implied chance to win, don’t count him out.
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