Odds on Odds: Toyota 500

Erik Jones
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We have finally started the race season back up and did so with a blast. Sunday was a special event at Darlington Raceway and it delivered. If you didn’t get enough racing on Sunday, then good news for you we have more Wednesday for the Toyota 500.

Odds on Odds: Toyota 500

Many sports books announced they had a large amount of betting on Sunday. Nascar say a spike in betting action, if fact it was more than this year’s Daytona 500. Why not? Need something to bet on and Nascar is the best live sports betting option right now.

Kevin Harvick found victory lane first in Nascar’s return and he did it despite the unprecedented circumstances. It was a race that saw so much action and storylines that played out. Harvick was listed as the favorite going in and delivered. But all in all it was nice to finally see racing back and something good to talk about.

Many other drivers had great drives on Sunday and we saw the reemergence of Hendrick Motorsports while the Toyota camp still sort of struggled. Alex Bowman was the class of the Hendrick camp and it continued at Darlington.

Yes, Denny Hamlin finished in the top 10 but last year’s champion Kyle Busch and 2017 champion Martin Truex, Jr. both continued to struggle. It is going to be interesting to see what happens come Wednesday in primetime.

This is the first time Nascar has run a midweek race in my lifetime and many people’s lives. Moving to Wednesday’s Toyota 500, betting is going to be up again and here is your guide for fantasy lineups and who to bet on for Nascar’s primetime run.

All odds are listed through Vegas Insider. Odds are subject to change by race time.

Favorites to Win the Toyota 500

Just like Sunday, Harvick is listed as the hands down favorite to win Wednesday. He is listed at +350 and there is no one in his area code for that. The Stewart Haas driver rolled into an empty victory lane Sunday and left as the points leader. Crew Chief Rodney Childers has already said that they will be bringing the same car back to Darlington. The problem for Harvick though, he will start 20th after the invert. Nascar will invert the top 20 finishers from 1st-20th. Drivers 21-40 will start in their finishing order. 

Despite the struggle, Kyle Busch will still be a favorite at +700. This will be Busch’s third race in five days as he plans to run all seven events. If there is anyone in the field who can rebound after having a struggling start to the year it will be Busch.

Hendrick Motorsports will see Bowman and Chase Elliott listed as favorites for the Toyota 500. Both drivers are listed at +900 and rightfully so. Bowman led a large amount of laps Sunday and was the only driver that could give Harvick competition. Elliott also ran strong and finished in the top five with great success.

Other favorites include Brad Keselowski(+750), Hamlin(+800) and Truex(+850) who are all former winners at Darlington and will also be in contention again Wednesday.

Outside Favorites

The drivers in this list are considered favorites or should be considered favorites based on their runs Sunday. It starts off with Kurt Busch. Kurt finished in fifth and had a top 10 run all day long on Sunday. Busch is listed at +1400 and should be a lot lower than that simply because he has performed well early. His Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Matt Kenseth is also listed as an outside favorite.

Kenseth is on the board at +2800 which is an insane number considering what he did in his return Sunday. Granted he will start towards the middle of the field but Kenseth was near the front all day long. For him to finish in the top five and have never met his crew yet goes to show what the 2003 champion is capable of.

The other half of Hendrick Motorsports is listed here as well. William Byron was really strong before he slapped the wall and cut a tire which ruined his day. Byron was last year’s pole sitter for the Southern 500 and was extremely fast in the race prior to his incident. He is at +2000 but will have some work to do. However, he will not have the amount of work his teammate Jimmie Johnson will have. Johnson is +2500 with an outside shot to win should he work his way through the field. He was involved in an accident while on his way to win the first stage that took him out of the race Sunday.

Two other drivers who are considered outside favorites would be last year’s Southern 500 winner Erik Jones and Penske driver Ryan Blaney. Jones is listed at +2000 and had another top ten run at the track ‘Too Tough to Tame.’ He will also be without crew chief Chris Gayle after a suspension due to a lug nut infraction. Blaney is on the board at +2500. Blaney battled an ill handling car on Sunday but has a good shot at winning the midweek race.

Longshots for Victory

The long shot list is pretty short for Wednesday’s event. It starts with Clint Bowyer, listed at +3500. For him he will have a solid starting spot but needs to have a consistent run. Matt DiBenedetto is +4000 and again will have a solid shot for the upset. He started third on Sunday and will start seventh for Wednesday’s race. He is a sleeper pick that you should look at for your fantasy lineup.

Not many long shots for the second race back at Darlington simply because there were only a handful who dominated. Aric Almirola can be part of the longshots list as he is +5000 and will start near the front.

Upsets for the Toyota 500

The one and only obvious favorite is Tyler Reddick. Reddick had an impressive run on Sunday as he passed the most cars during green flag laps. A top ten run for the RCR driver will put him in the mix to actually contend for the win Wednesday. Reddick is +6000 and should be in your fantasy lineup for sure. Plus if you want to take a splash for the winner take the driver of the #8.

Other upset picks for victory will start with another rookie John Hunter Nemechek. Nemechek finished ninth Sunday and it came from a quick racecar. He delivered Front Row Motorsports their first top ten at a non-superspeedway since before 2013. Nemechek is +150000 and if you are building a fantasy lineup he is someone you might want to consider.

Final upset picks include Ryan Newman(+8000) who had a decent run before cutting a tire in his return and pole sitter Ryan Preece (+400000) as drivers to consider for the victory and fantasy lineups.

Projected Fantasy Lineup

Sunday, we saw my fantasy lineup pick up a decent amount of points through DraftKings. Unfortunately, it was not good enough. This week we will take a different look at the lineup because it will be a different race.

Sunday was ran mainly during the day, Wednesday will be mainly ran under the lights and we know Darlington will change in the nighttime.

Wednesday night will have Bowman, Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Jones, Kenseth and Reddick in the DraftKings fantasy lineup.

Match-ups, Value and Upset Picks for the Toyota 500

Wednesday night will have a lot of eyes on the sport. Its in primetime and that could bring a new winner to an unprecedented circumstance.

One of my favorite things on most betting sites is the match-ups to bet on. A couple interesting match-ups for the Toyota 500 on Wednesday that have caught my eye is Denny Hamlin (-135) vs. Alex Bowman (+115). Both drivers have speed and have wins in 2020. I’m taking the underdog in this match-up though. Bowman will best Hamlin’s finishing position.

The other match-up that is interesting to me is Matt Kenseth(+150) vs William Byron(-170). Byron was extremely fast before his crash but Kenseth stepped into a car for the first time in over a year and got a top ten finish. My pick is Kenseth over Byron come Wednesday.

Value pick for the Toyota 500 will have to be Kurt Busch. He ran extremely well and it showed as the Ganassi driver finished in the top five after running near the front all day. He is an intriguing take simply because his car has been fast all year.

Upset pick is and should be no surprise. Tyler Reddick is my upset to win Wednesday night. He is in the fantasy lineup and ran extremely well Sunday. I seem to think Reddick could find his way to the front again.

The Pick to Win the Toyota 500 is…?

Unlike Sunday, we have a little bit more knowledge of who is fast and who will be at the front. What we don’t know is what will the night bring? The track is such a challenge and something that we haven’t even mentioned is the fact that the race is shorter than Sunday and under the lights. So many questions still are out there but I wouldn’t expect much to change.

Obviously, Harvick is the favorite and for good reason. Then you have Bowman and Elliott who were good as well as the traditional picks like Kyle Busch, Truex and Keselowski. Jones won the race under the lights last year as well. The Pick to Win the Toyota 500 is…

Brad Keselowski

Brad K ran well early on Sunday before fading during the final stint of the race. He is listed at +750 which is reasonable and you’ll also grab a few dollars should he make it to victory lane. I think he is safe pick but yet can win you some cash. Look for his car to get back to the front and the starting position will help him out. Keselowski is always good at Darlington and being a short race as well as under the lights he will get the job done in primetime once again at Darlington.

Look for all the Team Penske Fords to be at the front of the pack and contending as well as Harvick back up there. We could see a nice run again from the Hendrick drivers and keep an eye on Bowman but its Keselowski’s type of race.

The Toyota 500 from Darlington Raceway will now go green at 6:00pm EST (due to weather concerns) live on FS1 and MRN.