O'Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona
Sun. Feb 20, 3 p.m. ET (Fox)
If you're sure that Chase Elliott is going to run his road course win streak to five on Sunday, you'll earn back a dollar for each buck you bet. Or if you think Elliott's streak is going to end, you've got a chance to win some serious money.
NASCAR's best road course racer enters Sunday's race at the Daytona road course as just a +200 favorite at BetMGM for the win. Those are some low odds. And they're low for a reason. The last of those four road course wins came at the Daytona road course and Elliott almost chased down Ryan Blaney on old tires in the Busch Clash exhibition race last week before he tangled with Blaney going for the win in the final chicane.
Oh, Elliott is also starting first on Sunday. Yeah, he's got a lot of things going for him.
Elliott is one of just three drivers with odds below +1000 entering Sunday's race. Here's what you need to know if you're looking to bet the race.
Chase Elliott +200
Martin Truex Jr. +400
Denny Hamlin +1000
Ryan Blaney +1000
Kyle Busch +1200
Kevin Harvick +1200
Truex and Hamlin join Elliott in the under +1000 club. Truex showed real speed during the Clash until he went a little too wide through the bus stop and got taken out by mud. Hamlin hasn't won a road course race since he won at Watkins Glen in 2016.
Busch won the Clash after Elliott and Blaney got together. That's why both he and Blaney are on this list. As for Harvick? Well, you'll find him below too.
It's also worth noting that you should take all of last year's finishes at the Daytona road course with a grain of salt. While they could be predictive, they are also from a race that had wildly different car rules than this one in 2021. Sunday's race will feature cars with more horsepower and less downforce. Cars will have a higher top speed and better acceleration and less grip in the corners while drivers will have to brake more.
Good mid-tier value
Alex Bowman +2500
Chase Briscoe +5000
Bowman has finished in the top 10 in all three of his Charlotte Roval starts and was 12th at Daytona in August. It's clear that he's a fan of hybrid oval-road course tracks in the Cup Series.
Briscoe, meanwhile, got his first Xfinity Series win at the Charlotte Roval in 2018 and won at the Indianapolis road course in 2020. He could have some surprising speed.
Don't bet these drivers
Kevin Harvick +1200
Bubba Wallace +10000
Harvick has struggled in his two events at the Daytona road course. The Clash was a rough night for him and he was 17th in the August race at the track. You should never count out Kevin Harvick. But there are better races to bet Harvick at. Don't let his higher-than-normal odds entice you.
Wallace hasn't been very good at road course races in his Cup career. He has an average finish outside the top 25 across the four road courses he's raced at in the Cup Series. Don't let the idea of better equipment make you think that Wallace is suddenly going to contend for the win on Sunday.
Looking for a longshot?
Daniel Suarez +25000
Two of Suarez's eight career Cup Series top fives are at Watkins Glen. And his odds are really, really out of whack. His odds are worse than those of James Davison, a driver who is starting 39th in a backmarker car that has a next-to-zero chance of winning the race.
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