This is the start of new series on NASCAR gambling. Each week, I will discuss my favorite bets throughout the NASCAR Cup Series season. To kick the season off, the drivers head down to Daytona for the Great American Race. This is the Super Bowl of NASCAR and every driver will give it everything they have to win the Harley J. Earl Trophy. Now let’s jump right into my top bets for the 2021 Daytona 500.
All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Top Outright Winners
Ryan Blaney (+1200)
Blaney has two runner-up finishes in the Daytona 500, including last year when he came up just 0.014 seconds short of his first 500 victory. He has shown that he can win at Superspeedways in the past, with two victories at Talladega. The Ohio native comes in with the fourth-highest odds to win but is still a great play at 12/1. If he’s able to make it to the end and not get involved in a wreck, he has a knack for finding his way to the front of the pack. Look for Blaney to be a contender for the win on Sunday.
Erik Jones (+6000)
Jones made the move to drive for Richard Petty after Christopher Bell took his ride at JGR. Is there a better narrative to kick of his 2021 season than to show that JGR made a mistake letting him go by winning the Great American Race? His odds are very high for a guy that runs well at Daytona. Jones even picked up his first career victory in the July Daytona race back in 2018. He also won the Daytona Clash last season on the Superspeedway. Jones can get it done at and he is an excellent choice to throw some money on.
Matt DiBenedetto (+4000)
DiBenedetto had a great run in 2019 in what could have been a huge upset victory if he hadn’t been caught up in a wreck. He led 49 laps in that race and had many fans rooting for him as a huge underdog. Now in his second season with Wood Brothers Racing, he will look to find that magic again and try and pull off his first career victory. DiBenedetto will be hoping to get his second season with the Wood Brothers off on a strong note and contend for the win.
Ryan Newman (+190)
It was just one year ago that Newman was finishing the Daytona 500 with his car flipped over while sliding across the finish line. He finished ninth en route to his fifth top-10 at Daytona in his last seven attempts. As an above-average Superspeedway driver and a former Daytona 500 champion, I expect him to pick up another top-10 finish.
Best Finish of Group
This is an extremely favorable group for Newman. As I said earlier, he is very good at Daytona and has a great chance to finish near the top. In this group, he has to beat a rookie in Briscoe, and Custer who was unable to finish in the top-30 in both Daytona races last season.
Newman’s biggest competition in this group is McDowell. While he isn’t in the best equipment, he still puts himself in a great position to finish Superspeedway races. However, in the last five Daytona 500s, Newman has finished better than McDowell in three of the five races. Look for Newman to not only finish top-10 but also lead the way in this group.
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