Friday, July 6, 2012

Final 2012 Daytona Coke Zero 400 Driver Ratings Following All Practices

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Coke Zero 400
Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, July 7, 2012 -  4:46 pm (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds        Practice 1    Practice 2   Qualified    Daytona 500*

 1. Matt Kenseth 10/1                14th             12th             1st               1st 
Led final 37 laps to win second Daytona 500; Bobby Allison last driver to sweep Daytona in 1982.
 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12/1        24th              9th             25th              2nd 
Two-time Daytona winner, seven-time restrictor-plate race winner; using Daytona 500 chassis.
 3. Kevin Harvick 12/1               28th            DNP            12th             7th 
Two-time Daytona winner averaging finish of 15th; using winning 2010 Coke Zero 400 chassis
 4. Greg Biffle 12/1                     5th              15th              5th              3rd 
2003 winner, third in two of past five Daytona events; using Daytona and Talladega (5th) chassis.
 5. Kyle Busch 12/1                   33rd             16th             23rd            17th 
2008 winner, fourth among active drivers in laps led (275); runner-up finish at Talladega in May.
 6. Brad Keselowski 12/1           15th            DNP            10th             32nd 
Two-time Talladega winner with a best Daytona finish of 15th last summer; using new chassis.
 7. Clint Bowyer 15/1                 22nd            DNP            30th             11th 
Two-time Talladega winner; 14.8 average finish at Daytona; using sixth-place Talladega chassis.
 8. Carl Edwards 12/1                12th              8th             13th              8th 
No restrictor-plate wins, but has top-10 finish in seven of past 10 Daytona starts; new chassis.
 9. Denny Hamlin 15/1               DNP             DNP             24th              4th 
Led three times for 57 laps in Daytona 500 and three times for eight laps at Talladega in May.
10. Jamie McMurray 25/1          13th              1st             31st              31st 
Three of his six career wins have come in restrictor-plate races; using Daytona 500 chassis.

* Results from the Daytona 500 held February 26, 2012.

Note: Only 24 drivers participated in practice 2 opting not to risk damaging their primary car. Hamlin sat out both of Thursday’s practices with a strained back.

Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7. 

Coke Zero 400 Starting Lineup

Betting Notes
I’m always excited about any restrictor-plate race from a fan aspect because there is so much speed and strategy involved, but from the wagering point of view, it’s one of my least favorites.

I like betting any proposition where I feel have a decided advantage. In most NASCAR races, I feel I have that advantage shifted to my side due to practices, past history and other little intangibles.

In plate racing, there is no advantage and any of the drivers can win the race. You also have to deal with the volatile nature of the track, a monstrous track which has no problem taking out a large portion of the field.

Who needs this type of regular stuff happening when betting? (Getty) 
Who needs that drama with my hard earned cash?

There’s no fun betting a driver to win when all 43 drivers have a similar chance. I want it narrowed down to four or five drivers and I can’t do it at Daytona or Talladega. I like the Roush drivers and Earnhardt Jr to win, but wouldn’t be shocked at all if Jamie McMurray, Joey Logano or Kurt Busch pulled into the winners circle Saturday night. Or even crazier, Dave Blaney or David Ragan.

This really is like throwing darts and even though there have been some big payouts in the last three years of plate races, I really don’t feel like paying to find the needle in the haystack. So I’ll root for my initial bet on Earnhardt Jr and play a few matchups that have plus-money, and it really doesn’t matter who they are; give me +110 or higher and I‘ll take any driver.

In all, only 25% of my weekly bank roll will be put into action for this weeks race. Hopefully the winner will be Junior, but I’m not counting on it. Sorry I couldn’t offer more advice with some confidence, but I can’t mask the truth…I’m not confident. Roll the dice and enjoy the race!

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