News and notes from each week of NASCAR racing using a Las Vegas oddsmaking perspective
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Daytona NASCAR Betting Preview: 2022 Coke Zero Sugar 400
This is it. Do or die for a couple of drivers. It’s the unofficial wild card round.
The NASCAR Playoffs begin next week but the field isn’t quite set yet and news of Kurt Busch giving up his playoff spot (concussion) makes two spots available adding a new twist to Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
The volatile nature of the high-banked 2.5-mile layout adds to the intensity with drivers having no wins on the season and outside the top-16 all expected to be more aggressive in an attempt to crash the playoff party. This means we should see more wrecks than usual.
COKE ZERO SUGAR 400 BETTING RESOURCES
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022 Venue: Daytona International Speedway Location: Daytona Beach, FL Distance: 400 miles Laps: 160 Network-Time: NBC - 7:00 p.m. ET Defending Champion: Ryan Blaney
COKE ZERO SUGAR 400 PICKS & PREDICTIONS
Here’s what I’m thinking for Saturday’s race using the order of odds posted by BetMGM
Chase Elliott (10/1) - In 13 Cup starts at Daytona he has a 20th-place average finish with two top-fives, but no wins. However, he’s got top-10s in all four superspeedway races this season culminating with his first win on his hometown track in Atlanta. This dude has a championship vibe right now. Hey Chase, how are you feeling about getting another championship?
"The feeling is good, honestly,” Elliott said. ”Our group, amongst our team, is just such low drama and we just put our work in, we go to the track, we give it our best effort and we go home. If it went good, great. If it didn’t, we’re going to try harder to do a better job when we go back. That’s really all you can control. So that’s really where our mindset is every week whether we’ve had a good year, a bad year, a mediocre year, a good month or a bad month, coming off a win or a loss. That is something about our team. I’m super privileged to have a group of guys that have their priorities so straight that performance (is what matters) and putting things first that need to go first ahead of things that don’t matter in order to be successful. I feel like our team is just solid and we look forward to going to battle with each other every weekend, and regardless of the result, we’re ready to re-rack and try harder to do better the next week."
Denny Hamlin (12/1) - I cashed big with him in all three of his Daytona 500 wins, but the new has messed his JGR stuff up. No top-10s in any of the four superspeedway package races. But no one understands the draft better than him. He is able to propel himself faster using other cars. He’s got tricks, but may not have the car again.
Joey Logano (12/1) - The 2015 Daytona 500 champion is always a contender here because he has Team Penske equipment. In 27 Cup starts he has six top-fives, led 220 laps, and averaged an 18th-place winning. But he’s so much better in superspeedway races than the record shows. He’s always fighting with the leaders up front.
Kyle Larson (12/1) - I’m unhappy with him because he sunk my entire odds to win betting ship last week when he gave no room to Chase Elliott on the last restart at Watkins Glen. Some teammate. I know he was starving for a win after not winning since Week 2 at Fontana, but Elliott is a teammate that deserves more respect, and he said as much after a team meeting Monday. He has no wins at Daytona or Talladega. Bad luck always seems to find him. But he’s in the playoffs ready, so what’s the strategy this week?
"It’ll be interesting,” Larson said. “It’ll be a wild race – maybe not in the first two stages – but definitely in the last stage when drivers will be going for it. In our case, there are four or five of us close to second place in points. The No. 5 team can’t forget about that. We need to go chase points to try and stay up front all race long to finish second in regular season points and get those 10 extra bonus points. Our goal will be to get to the finish and beat those guys behind us in points."
Ryan Blaney (12/1) - Making a bet on him this week is tough because he doesn’t have to win. If I was in his spot I’d just hang back the entire race and give it a shot with five or 10 laps to go. But he’s a Penske guy, he won this race last season, and he’s won at Talladega twice. The fast pace decision-making of the superspeedway suits him. Or you could go with the angle of him tired of hearing he’s being bullied weekly and wins just for a statement. With Kurt Busch bowing out of the playoffs, both Blaney and Truex are in the playoffs as of now.
Bubba Wallace (14/1) - This is it. It’s do-or-die for him on his best track. Playoffs or not? He’s been runner-up the last two races at Daytona and has four top-fives in 10 starts. I’ve written the story before it happens. I love great stories in NASCAR, it’s what keeps me glued to each race every week. In this case, I know NASCAR wants Wallace to win so they can use his face in playoff promos. No conspiracy, but he’s shown over the years he can win in any car at Daytona, and won his first Cup race on superspeedway last season at Talladega. The team has had its best seven-week stretch ever coming in. Playoffs are what it’s all about and I’ve bet the most on him to win this week. Wallace winning would be a great story and payday.