NASCAR Betting Guide for the Big Data 500
Picking NASCAR race winners is nearly impossible because of how much has to go right on the track to end up in victory lane. The pit stops have to be perfect, the driver has to avoid pit road penalties and accidents, and crew chiefs need to make the right adjustments to be one of the best cars at the end of a race to give the driver the chance to win.
There is some very basic recent historical data that can be a starting point for NASCAR betting strategy: there are not a lot of drivers who can win. Only 13 drivers have won a race this season, and 7 of them have won more than once. In short, there is a very small pool of drivers to put into a portfolio realisticically, but the underdogs can always breakthrough on small money tickets. Last week at Kansas, Denny Hamlin came from middle of the pack to cash from somewhat long 16-1 odds mark, but Hamlin's win should surprise no one now that he has five banked in 2019.
Below we will cover the best bets of the weekend, but numberFire always has you covered when it comes to NASCAR. Check out the track preview for additional information on the history at this track, and the driver preview will give you some names to watch in this weekend's race.
Here's where to put smart money for the Big Data 500 at Martinsville:
At the Top
Kyle Busch (+220): Kyle Busch opens the betting market this weekend as a very short favorite, and the reason appears to be twofold. First, Busch is in his worst dry spell of the season, as he has four wins, but it has been 18 races since his last win at Pocono Raceway in June. With 55 wins in 530 career starts, Busch has won a race every 9.63 starts on average, so his turn is coming again very shortly. It would make the most sense here at Martinsville, where in the last three years, Kyle Busch has his best average finish at any race track (2.4). That mark includes a win, five top-5s, and 582 laps led, which has made Kyle a threat each time the series returns here. He's smart money in a low-risk portfolio, even as a heavy favorite.
Brad Keselowski (+700): These are incredibly long odds for Keselowski, who, given nearly identical conditions at the same track, led 446 of 500 laps and totally dominated the field winning both stages and the race at Martinsville in April. Keselowski's April win was no fluke either, as his 4.2 average finish here in the last five races trails only Kyle Busch, and his top-10 streak extends seven races at this half-mile oval. Keselowski will be around the front again, and possibly even more motivated after being eliminated from NASCAR's playoffs in heartbreaking fashion last week.
Kevin Harvick (+1000): If you are going to pivot off the two most obvious favorites and Virginia native Denny Hamlin (+430), the next two Stewart-Haas racing teammates make for interesting pivots. Kevin Harvick has dominant numbers at some race tracks, but Martinsville is far from that. Harvick has not led a lap at Martinsville since April 2016 but has four straight top-10s at the track. Harvick has consistently been in the mix at this track recently, and at a track brutally difficult to pass, these odds may be accompanied by track position value. Harvick has started on the front row nine times in 2019, second only to William Byron (10), and if he can qualify well again, he may be able to lead sizable parts of this race and put himself in position to score a win.
Clint Bowyer (+2700): In April 2018, Clint Bowyer surprisingly dominated at Martinsville, leading 215 laps going away with a victory. Bowyer has the fourth-best average finish at Martinsville in the last five races of any active driver (7.8), and has four top-10s in that span. That makes Martinsville his fourth-best track on the circuit, and second-best oval. At fairly long 27-1 odds, Bowyer nearly classifies as a long shot at a race track where he definitely classifies as a "Horse for the Course". Even though he has been eliminated from NASCAR's playoffs, watch for a solid effort out of Clint on Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson (+4100): If you told someone in 2009 that Jimmie Johnson was 41-1 to win a race at Martinsville Speedway any time in the next ten years, they might bet their family farm on the odds. At that time, Johnson was in the midst of an outrageous stretch of seventeen straight top-10 finishes from 2002 to 2010. In total, Johnson has nine grandfather clocks from winning at "The Paper Clip". His biggest problem at Martinsville recently has been his starting position, as he has started outside the top-10 in each of the last five races. But, if Johnson can buck that trend in qualifying on Saturday, then perhaps he sets himself up a possible return to greatness at this track.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.