- Kyle Larson is the favorite this week at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, August 28th, 2021
- Does the “Race For The Chase” impact how some drivers race at the regular-season finale?
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Saturday night’s race at Daytona
NASCAR heads to Daytona with a Saturday night drive under the lights. This is after the race at Michigan, where Ryan Blaney took advantage of a restart with eight laps to go and stole a win from Hendrick Motorsports on Sunday. Blaney narrowly held off William Byron and Kyle Larson by mere inches. The odds do look a little different this week. Most will notice the numbers reflect the uncertainty of a decisive favorite or favorites. Denny Hamlin is the early favorite at +750. That is not a misprint. Michael McDowell, who won the Daytona 500 earlier this year, is off the board at +3500.
Let’s take a look at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 odds from Daytona and figure out which drivers are the best bets.
NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 Odds
|Driver||Odds at DraftKings|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+2200|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+2500|
Odds as of August 25th
Kyle Larson Not the Favorite to Win at Daytona
NASCAR drivers will run on the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway when the flag drops for the Saturday night race beginning around 7:00 PM EST. The summer race is an intriguing one because expected results do not often meet actual results. Therefore, the field can be a bit more wide open.
At Michigan, Larson and William Byron were just outmaneuvered by Ryan Blaney on the restart. The next eight laps was an exercise in how to hold off two hard-charging cars. Blaney was able to best Byron by less than a tenth of a second and two tenths over Larson.
Surprisingly, Larson is only at +1100 this week to win. Fellow Hendrick Motorsports Racing drivers Chase Elliott and William Byron come in at +1200.
Now, part of the reason why the numbers may have curved some is because of this.
— Jim Utter (@jim_utter) August 22, 2021
It just shows that Kyle Larson was thinking the big picture. He racked up 70 laps led and got close at the very end. It was that caution for a car that ran out of gas. Of all the things sometimes…
Also, Larson will be dealing with a 450 HP package because of smaller holes in the tapered spacer (spoiler adjustment). Fewer horses mean slower and closer racing. The superspeedway should make for quite the regular-season finale.
Coke Zero Sugar 400 Recent Winners
|Year||Race Winner||Pole Position||Most Laps Led|
|2020||William Byron – Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Kevin Harvick — Stewart-Haas Racing||Joey Logano — Team Penske|
|2019||Justin Haley — Spire Motorsports||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Austin Dillon — Richard Childress Racing|
|2018||Erik Jones — Joe Gibbs Racing||Chase Elliott— Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Roush Fenway Racing|
|2017||Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Roush Fenway Racing||Dale Earnhardt Jr. — Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske|
|2016||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske||Greg Biffle — Roush Fenway Racing||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske|
The race is normally 160 laps, but overtime is a fairly common occurrence with the summer incarnation at Daytona. The last six full races have gone at least one lap over the normal distance.
Can Denny Hamlin Win This One?
Sports bettors have some odd history to draw on as this race is 160 laps. Hamlin is trending decent enough in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, but here is where it gets crazy. For all of the No. 11’s success at Daytona, there is definitely one weakness lately for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
The question becomes can he avoid the slump he is in of late at Daytona this time of year.
Hamlin is projected to start 3rd recent summer races haven’t been his thing so it will be interesting to see if the trend continues!
(17th or worse in 4 of the last 5 summer races).
— Ryan (@ifantasyrace) August 24, 2021
The fact that Hamlin is a favorite is interesting, to say the least. Some odds are definitely jumbled.
Is Christopher Bell Under the Radar Here?
The driver of the No. 20 has been rather good on superspeedway tracks and that one named Daytona of course.
Stage 2 Results – Cup Michigan – Lap 120/200
1. Kyle Busch
2. Christopher Bell
3. Kyle Larson
4. Chase Elliott
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Austin Dillon
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Tyler Reddick
9. William Byron
10. Matt DiBenedetto#NASCAR
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) August 22, 2021
For those wondering, Bell was in third with 32 laps to go. Then, disaster struck which seems like a nagging theme this season. Ryan Keselowski was involved in yet another crash that knocked Bell and Joey Logano out of contention. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver runs quite well at Daytona. He led 32 laps this year before more unfortunate contact. Bell may be one to look at.
There are some clinching scenarios to consider. Only one spot is left in the “race for the chase”. Tyler Reddick needs just 31 points to clinch, while Austin Dillon (involved in wrecks the last two weeks) needs help. Dillon at +1500 is intriguing to win but needs some luck. Also, Kyle Larson needs just 32 points to win the regular-season championship. Barring something unforeseen, that is a given.
Does Larson let up or go after more playoff points? Does a racer like Matt DiBenedetto go full throttle this week and damn the consequences? There expect to be a few more wrecks on Saturday which will throw off the results.
Here are our best bets:
- Top Pick: Kyle Larson to win (+1100)
- Longshots: Christopher Bell (+2000), Matt DiBenedetto (+2200)