The Cup Series will travel to back to Daytona this week for some Superspeedway racing. The races at Daytona are always wild, but the Coke Zero 400 tends to get even crazier, because it is the last chance for teams to secure a spot in the playoffs. Buckle your seat belts on your couch… You are in for a wild ride Saturday night. The Coke Zero 400 can be seen Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.
Will we see a driver outside the top-16 win the race Saturday night and earn a spot in the playoffs? History suggests that it is likely to happen. The last five drivers to go to Victory Lane at Daytona include Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Austin Cindric, Ryan Blaney and Michael McDowell. The top drivers like Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson have not been able to win the recent races at Daytona. There is a good chance that one of the drivers on the bubble is in Victory Lane in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Saturday.
My strategy this week will be to spread my bets between many drivers. The odds for the Superspeedway races are not as short as they are on the oval tracks. We can get some good value bets in this race. I will bet many of the “bubble drivers” this week.
DRAFTKINGS ODDS FOR DAYTONA
* The odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook. 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 Chase Elliott at 11-1 odds, you will win $11.
CHASE ELLIOTT (11-1): Elliott needs a win Saturday night to secure a spot in the playoffs. He has two wins at Talladega on his resume and a win at Atlanta last year, but he has never won at Daytona. Hendrick Motorsports has the best cars at qualifying at Daytona. I am sure the No. 9 car will qualify up front. It will then be Elliott’s job to keep his car up front. I would not be surprised to see Kyle Larson and William Byron up front blocking for Elliott. I will bet that Elliott can win Saturday night and secure his spot in the playoffs.
BRAD KESELOWSKI (12-1): Keselowski is one of the best drivers in the Cup Series on the Superspeedways. He has the most wins at these tracks and has led the most laps. Keselowski is typically better at Talladega than he is at Daytona, but he is still good at this track. Keselowski led the most laps, won Stage 1 and had the best car in the Daytona 500. Unfortunately, he was wrecked at the end of the race. I will bet that Keselowski can get his first win with RFK Racing Saturday at Daytona.
BUBBA WALLACE (18-1): I want as many Fords as possible on my betting card, but it is hard to ignore Wallace on the Superspeedways. He finished second in the 2022 Daytona 500 and 11th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 last year. Wallace had a fast car in the Daytona 500 this year, but he was caught up in wreck. Wallace can still get into the playoffs on points, so he will likely try to get to the front and score as many Stage Points as possible. Wallace will do his best in the final Stage to hold off the competition and get to Victory Lane.
AUSTIN CINDRIC (22-1): Who has the best average finishing position on the Superspeedways in the Cup Series? Of course it is Austin Cindric. He not only won the 2022 Daytona 500, Cindric also finished third in this race last year. Cindric needs a win to make the playoffs. He will have Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney to him get to Victory Lane. Those are two of the best pushers in the draft. I will bet Cindric can sneak into the playoffs with a win Saturday night.
ARIC ALMIROLA (22-1): Almirola is a very good Superspeedway driver. He needs a win Saturday night to make the playoffs. I am sure he will be running up front, leading some laps and scoring Stage Points. I just need Almirola to bring his car to the finish line in one piece. That has been tough for him to do, but he has proved that he can win these races. Almirola is a good bet at 22-1 odds Saturday night.
AUSTIN DILLON (22-1): Dillon won this race last year and secured his spot in the playoffs. Can he do it again? I feel better about betting on the No. 3 car at Daytona, than I feel about betting against him. His win last year was not a fluke. He also finished second at Talladega last year. He has not had the same speed in 2023, but I still think Dillon is a good driver to take a chance with Saturday night.
MICHAEL MCDOWELL (30-1): McDowell won the 2021 Daytona 500. He already has a playoff spot secure with his win at the Brickyard, but McDowell says he wants playoffs points. That means the No. 34 team will likely use a strategy that will allow McDowell a chance to win the Stages and possibly win the race. No team in the Cup Series gambles as much as the No. 34 team. The combination of pit strategy and McDowell’s talent in the draft should allow him to run up front with a good chance to win Saturday night.
COREY LAJOIE (50-1): Will you be surprised if LaJoie shocks the Cup Series and earns a ticket to the playoffs Saturday night? It would not surprise me. LaJoie has been running up front in many of the Superspeedway races. He nearly won last year at Atlanta and he ran up front and led six laps in this race last year. LaJoie just needs a good strategy and a bit of luck to find Victory Lane Sunday.
Good luck Sunday!
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