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NASCAR: 2016 Daytona 500 Betting Lines and Race Preview

2016 Daytona 500 LogoWhen: Sunday, February 21st 2016 at 1:00pm ET
Where: Daytona International Speedway
Watch: FOX

FOR the first time since 1993, Jeff Gordon won’t be racing in the Daytona 500. Can one of the young drivers in the field steal the spotlight? Chase Elliot is a ROTY contender and he just won pole position. He’ll be racing in Gordon’s #24 car and it would be incredible if Elliot could take the checkered flag.

This will be the first race at Daytona since the “Daytona Rising” $400 million renovation project. There are over 100,000 new permanent seats at the track, 54,000 feet of SAFE barrier added to reduce injuries and a massive new sign, which features 3,619 LED lights. For those attending the race, you’re in for a treat.

Get a $250 cash bonus to bet on the Daytona 500 at the Bovada Sportsbook (USA Only).

Daytona 500 race preview

Track Type: Restrictor Plate
Track Size: 2.5-Mile (40 Feet Wide with 12-30 Foot Apron)
Laps: 200
Field Size: 40 Cars
Speed Record: 210.4 mph (Bill Elliot 1987)
Most Wins: 7 (Richard Petty)
Drivers with Multiple Wins: 11

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (6/1) is favored to win the race on Sunday afternoon. I’m watching him tonight in the Can-Am Duel Race #1 (Update: He won Race #1). Qualifying isn’t overly important on restrictor plate tracks, but statistics have shown it’s better to be in the top 10 runners during the race.

Since most of the 40-car field will be in close proximity, crashes are guaranteed. In the last six races at Daytona (All with Gen-6 Cars), there have been sixteen crashes involving four or more drivers. Drivers in the top 10 have an 18.75% chance of being involved in a crash, but that number increases for positions 11-31 in the race.

In the last two years, Earnhardt Jr. has won three of six restrictor plate races, including the Daytona 500 in 2014. His form in this race has been exceptional. Earnhardt Jr. has finishes of 2nd (2012), 2nd (2013), 1st (2014) and 3rd (2015) in the last four years. He navigates the track better than anyone. There’s just not much value at this price.

Last year’s winner Joey Logano (10/1) is getting a ton of attention from bettors. Prior to the win, he had raced in this race six times and his best finish was 9th place. He had a great car in 2015 with Team Penske and he looks good tonight at the Can-Am Duel, but there hasn’t been a repeat winner since 1994-95 (Sterling Marlin).

Jimmie Johnson (9/1) is another drive I’m high on this week. He was disappointed with the conclusion of 2015 and he’ll come out strong this year. He has finishes of 1st (2013), 5th (2014) and 5th (2015) the last three years in the Daytona 500. He’s often at the front and hasn’t crashed in this race since 2012.

There are no odds yet on the top 3 finish market, but I’ll be on Denny Hamlin (12/1). He’s 12/1 to win, so his odds on a top 3 finish will be relatively high. Hamlin has finished in the top 4 in three of the last four years, including a 2nd place finish in 2014. He has looked great in the Can-Am Duel tonight and he’ll be a contender on Sunday.

My long shot to target is Casey Mears (75/1). Mears only has a 76.1 driver rating in the last two years at Daytona and his average starting position is 26.5, but he has some strong finishes on this track. He finished 10th in the 2014 Coke Zero 400 and 6th in last year’s Daytona 500. I’ll be looking to target Mears in the top 10 market.

2016 Daytona 500 winner predictions

Veterans often dominate the Daytona 500. Logano was the second youngest driver to win the race, but most years experience trumps youth in NASCAR’s biggest race of the season. Both of my picks understand what it’ll take to navigate a 40-car field without getting into any accidents on the track.

Earnhardt Jr. and Hamlin both raced well in Race #1 at the Can-Am Duel, so they’ll both be starting near the top. These restrictor plate races are often a good time to look for a value play, but I’ll be looking to target my long shot picks in the top 5 or top 10 finish betting markets once posted at Bovada.

Latest odds to win the Daytona 500 in 2016

*Some drivers below won’t qualify for the race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6/1
Jimmie Johnson 9/1
Kevin Harvick 10/1
Joey Logano 10/1
Matt Kenseth 10/1
Brad Keselowski 12/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Kyle Busch 12/1
Carl Edwards 16/1
Kurt Busch 18/1
Chase Elliott 18/1
Martin Truex Jr. 18/1
Kasey Kahne 22/1
Kyle Larson 22/1
Jamie McMurray 28/1
Austin Dillon 33/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
Brian Vickers 50/1
Clint Bowyer 50/1
Greg Biffle 50/1
Ryan Blaney 50/1
Aric Almirola 50/1
Danica Patrick 50/1
David Ragan 50/1
Paul Menard 50/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 50/1
Trevor Bayne 50/1
Chris Buescher 66/1
Michael Waltrip 66/1
Regan Smith 66/1
AJ Allmendinger 75/1
Casey Mears 75/1
David Gilliland 75/1
Ty Dillon 75/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Brian Scott 100/1
Reed Sorenson 100/1
Landon Cassill 125/1
Cole Whitt 150/1
Josh Wise 150/1
Matt DiBenedetto 150/1
Michael Annett 150/1
Michael McDowell 150/1
Robert Richardson Jr. 150/1

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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