Nascar Cup Series - Daytona 500 Pick
A new season of NASCAR Cup Series racing gets underway this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (ET) on FOX with the running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
Also known as The Great American Race, NASCAR continues the tradition of starting its season with the biggest race of the year.
Top NASCAR Value Bets - Daytona 500
Picking the outright winner of any Cup Series race is a tall task given that anything can happen to any car on the track at any given time. This gets amplified in the Daytona 500. In last year’s race, only 14 of the 40 cars finished on the lead lap.
None the less, there is still some value to be found in BetOnline’s odds to win the 2020 Daytona 500. Here are my value picks across three separate categories based on the posted odds.
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Top Daytona 500 Favorite - Kyle Busch +800
Busch is coming off a championship run in 2019 to win his second career Cup Series racing title. He also won the title in 2015. While carrying that kind of momentum into the start of the following season is a definite plus, there is one main reason why I am going with Busch in Sunday’s race. Winning a Daytona 500 is the final milestone he needs to still accomplish as part of a future Hall of Fame racing career.
Driving the No. 18 Toyota, Busch came as close as you can to winning last year with a second-place finish behind Denny Hamlin. He also finished third back in 2016. You would have to go all the way back to the 2008 racing season to find his only career victory at this track, but that was in the second race at Daytona that year. With an average finishing position of 18.4 at this track in Cup Series races, it is tough to call this a value pick. Yet, I still think that motivation carries Busch to the finish line first come Sunday.
Top Daytona 500 Contender - Kevin Harvick +1400
If you are looking to stretch the odds in this race, it would be hard to find a better driver to do it with. Harvick battled Busch all the way through the 10-race playoff to finish third in the final 2019 Cup Series point standings. There were more than a few dry spells during the entire 2019 season. However, when push came to shove, Harvick was always able to get the most out of his No. 4 Ford.
I expect the same this Sunday in the biggest race of the year. The first thing that Harvick needs to do in this Daytona 500 is to keep his car on the track. Wrecks have knocked him out of five of his last seven point races at this racing venue. That has led to quite a few poor finishes, which directly correlates to his long odds to win. Harvick’s only career win in this race was all the way back in 2007. This makes it safe to say that he is due.
Top Daytona 500 Longshot- Erik Jones +2200
From betting on two of the top veteran drivers in Cup Series racing, I am taking a flyer on one that is entering his fourth full-time season racing at NASCAR’s highest level. Jones caught my eye a few times last season as a high-value pick with long odds. He did make it into the playoff only to finish in 16th place in the final standings.
Jones is on my radar this week after winning last Sunday’s Clash. This proves that the No. 20 Toyota has what it takes to finish first at Daytona in the first big event of Speed Week. I also like the fact that he was right in the mix of last year’s Daytona 500 with a third-place run.