Best Bets for Daytona


The Cup Series will complete their regular season with a race at Daytona International Speedway. The race is a total crapshoot, but that does not mean it is totally unpredictable. I was able to accurate predict Michael McDowell would win the Daytona 500 at 66-1 odds. Yes, that pick had a lot of luck with it, but it was an “educated guess.” His past performances on the Superspeedways suggested McDowell would have a chance to win and the odds were too good to pass up.


DraftKings Odds for Daytona

* The odds could change between the time of this article and the time you place your bet

** The first number is the amount of money based on the second number (the amount of the wager). So if you bet $1 on Denny Hamlin you will win $7.


Here are my “Best Bets” for the Coke Zero 400

Denny Hamlin (7-1): I really do not like betting the favorites at the Superspeedways but Denny Hamlin may be the best driver to ever compete at Daytona. He has three Daytona 500 wins and 11 finishes in the top-five. Hamlin finished 5th, 3rd and 1st in his last three races at Daytona and he led the most laps in two of those races. Hamlin is still competing with Kyle Larson for the regular season championship and the 15 playoffs points that come with. Hamlin will be extra motivated to win Saturday night and I think he will get the job done.


Austin Dillon (15-1):  Austin Dillon could mathematically make the playoffs on points but his best chance to get in is to simply win the race. Dillon won at Daytona in 2018 and he finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 this year. He had a rocket for a car in the draft last week at Michigan. I am sure grandpa will provide another fast car for Dillon Saturday night. He is a good bet at 15-1 odds.


Matt DiBenedetto (22-1): Matt DiBenedetto has been really shown a lot of improvement since he was notified that he was being fired. DiBenedetto finished 6th, 5th, 11th, 11th, 9th and 10th in his last six races. The Wood Brothers always bring a fast car to the Superspeedways. DiBenedetto is in a “must win” situation and his team will give him a car with the speed and handling to get it done. He will also have a lot of help from the Team Penske alliance drivers.


Ryan Newman (30-1): Remember last year when Ryan Newman was one turn away from winning the Daytona 500? Why can’t he do it again? His team is nearly the same as what he had in the Daytona 500 last year. Newman is in a “must win” situation and this could be his last chance to get a win before he hangs up his helmet. I will take a chance with Newman at 30-1 odds.


Long-Shot Special: My Long-Shot Special this week is Justin Haley (100-1). I will bet $5 on Justin Haley to win Saturday night. Haley is no stranger to Victory Lane at Daytona. He won this race in 2019 and he finished 13th at Daytona last year. Haley actually leads all drivers in DFS in points scored at Daytona since 2018. I know this is not DFS, but it shows how good he is on the Superspeedways. You do not need to wager a lot to win a lot with Haley so why not take a chance?


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