- The 2021 NASCAR season officially begins on February 14th with the Daytona 500
- Kevin Harvick led all of NASCAR last season with nine wins while Denny Hamlin was second with seven
- Chase Elliott had five wins and is the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion
As the 2021 NASCAR season approaches with the Daytona 500 just weeks away, sportsbooks are posting various futures. One of the best spots to find value is with the head-to-head race win prop where two drivers – typically those among the favorites for the NASCAR Cup Series odds – are pitted against each other.
Let’s take a closer look at the lines and see where there’s value.
NASCAR Most Race Wins Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||-115|
Odds taken Feb. 3 at DraftKings
More Road Races Should Help Elliott Top Harvick
One of the matchups that might stand out to you is the fact that Chase Elliott is favored to pick up more wins than Kevin Harvick. It’s true that Elliott is the defending champion, but he really didn’t have a great year until late when he turned it on. He only had five wins on the year, and three of them came in the last five races.
However, there is one edge here for Elliott: the new schedule. NASCAR has added four road races, which includes the Daytona Road Course, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Road America, and the Circuit of the Americas. The 25-year-old is one of the best on road tracks and should get an edge here.
Since the start of 2018, Elliott has five wins on road courses, which is the most of any driver. His 126.4 rating is also the best, and his 6.5 average finish is second-best. It was expected that Elliott and Harvick would be close in terms of wins this year, but the road course additions tip the scales in Elliott’s favor.
Pick: Chase Elliot (-134)
Martin Truex Jr. Should Win More Than Kyle Busch
Few drivers were impacted more by the COVID-19 pandemic than Kyle Busch. This is a driver who effectively uses the pre-race practice sessions to feel out the track, get in a rhythm and tweak his car. When the sport returned from an early-season hiatus last year, the rule changes cut these sessions out.
As a result, with less time to practice pre-race, we saw Busch go into the tank. Unfortunately for Busch, many of those same safety protocols are still in place to start the year. On top of that, there are personnel changes too as he parted with long-time crew chief Adam Stevens.
There’s no question that Busch is still among the best drivers in the sport, but he feels like a bit more of a risk with this prop. Many people will take a quick glance at Martin Truex Jr.’s numbers from last season and write it off as a bad year, but at a closer look, that was far from the case.
On the surface, seeing Truex Jr. with just one win is surprising. However, it’s not as if he fell off the face of the Earth. He still earned five second-place results and six third-place finishes. That indicates he was close many times. He also had 23 Top 10’s, which was third-most last season.
Truex Jr. is a consistent driver, and he should deliver again. Busch won’t be as far off the mark as he was last year, but the new crew chief, the new protocols, and the new road races – races where Truex Jr. does well – should tilt the scales in Truex Jr.’s favor here.
Pick: Martin Truex Jr. (-115)