NASCAR’s longest race is Sunday night and betting action will be high for the Coca-Cola 600.
Odds on Odds: Coca-Cola 600
After a great week Darlington and only three days off the Nascar Cup Series is back at Charlotte. They were exciting races that have many talking. Three great races and now we find out who is in the best shape for the longest race of the year. The 61st running of the Coca-Cola 600 will have probably more eyes on it Sunday than ever.
That means fans, who are still not allowed to be in the stands, will be wanting to bet on it. Veterans Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick picked up wins in Darlington and are favorites going into the race Sunday. They were also near the top of the board in both races.
Toyota seemed to step up their game after the dismal start. In Wednesday’s race they had three of the top five finishers and all four Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota’s were inside the top 10. The surprise was the lack of Chevy’s near the front but that doesn’t mean they were off.
We saw a much different race Wednesday from Sunday. We are bound to see something completely different once the green drops for the Coca-Cola 600. The strategy game will be played different because we won’t see as many takers every time the caution flies. Also, this race has been won and lost on fuel mileage. Winner that come to mind, Casey Mears and Austin Dillon; losers, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Also don’t forget we will have qualifying for this race but if there is an event that qualifying won’t effect it much it’s this one.
It has been a crazy week of racing and will continue to be. We will take a look at the best betting options for the weekend and break down who can come through to win the Coca Cola 600.
All odds are from Vegas Insiders. Odds are subject to change prior to start of race.
Favorites to Rise at the Coca-Cola 600
Following the success Toyota had at Darlington, two of their drivers are the odds on favorites to win Sunday. Kyle Busch is listed as the hands down favorite at +400 and is coming off of two runner-up finishes this week. Busch ran second to teammate Hamlin on Wednesday night. Then Thursday, in a battle with Chase Briscoe, he came up just short after driving through the field to race for the win. He will need to be on high alert though, following his run in with Chase Elliott after Wednesday night’s race.
The defending winner of the Coca-Cola 600 is also a betting favorite. Martin Truex, Jr. has been dominate at the Charlotte Motor Speedway since making the switch to Toyota with Furniture Row Racing and now Joe Gibbs. Truex won last year’s race and dominated back in 2016. He is +450 and has all the reason to be the favorite to win this race again.
Three Fords are the next in line favorites to win this race. Unfortunately, it has been since 2002 that a Ford has won the Coca-Cola 600. Mark Martin was the last Ford driver to taste victory on Memorial Day Weekend. Betting a Ford to win the Coca-Cola 600 is bound to be risky.
Kevin Harvick looks to be the guy to break that trend and use his experience in this race to his advantage. While driving for Richard Childress Racing, Harvick has won this event twice. Harvick is at +550 coming off his win and third place finish at Darlington. That’s not a bad take but again Ford has struggled to close out this event.
Brad Keselowski, following his top five at Darlington, is on the board at +800. He is getting stronger and stronger as the year goes on and ran up front more the past two races. Look for him to make some noise Sunday along with teammate Joey Logano who is also a favorite at +800.
One thing in common with all of these drivers, they are all in MRN’s Pete Pistone’s Power rankings.
— Motor Racing Network (@MRNRadio) May 22, 2020
If there is one driver in this list that should be an outside favorite look no further than seven-time Jimmie Johnson. Johnson is a four-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600 and has owned Charlotte Motor Speedway through the years. He is the only driver in the field with more than three wins in this event. When it comes to betting for the Coca-Cola 600 Johnson is always a good take. He is +1600 and after his top 10 Wednesday, could this be the day he snaps the streak?
Hendrick teammates Elliott(+900), Alex Bowman(+1600) and William Byron(+2000) are all outside favorites to get the job done. Hendrick Motorsports have been fantastic in this race and keeping with the trends they have the most wins as a team here. As an organization, they have 11 totals win in this race. Put a bet on Hendrick and you have a shot in this race.
Wednesday night winner Hamlin is on the board at +1100 and should be one to watch when this race goes green. Other outside favorites include Kurt Busch(+2200), Ryan Blaney(+2500), Clint Bowyer(+2500) and Erik Jones(+2500). Of these drivers look for Jones to make more noise and Blaney to find his mojo despite struggling at this track.
Value Picks for the Coca-Cola 600
The guys in this list will be drivers who are definitely not underdogs but also not favorites. There are a few that could play their cards and find themselves in victory lane and you could play your bets right and make you some cash.
Right away you look no further than Matt Kenseth. Despite his struggles in the night race at Darlington, Kenseth is in good equipment and at +3300 he is going to be a value pick and someone to watch for fantasy. It has been 20 years since Kenseth went to victory lane in this event, might be worth the risk to add. If you want someone who has experience to be a betting option for the Coca-Cola 600, then it’s also Kenseth.
Aric Almirola has to come out of his shell soon. He is not running poorly but he is also not making headlines in the Stewart Haas Ford. On the board at +3300, maybe Almirola will want to roll the dice and try to win the race with a different strategy. Look at him in your lineup for fantasy, Sunday.
Two rookies worth taking a look at and using in more of a late fantasy pick or prop bet setting is Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell. We knew this rookie class was going to be something and early on we are seeing them come forward.
Reddick(+5000) made waves following his drive in Sunday’s race at Darlington after driving through the field twice. Wednesday, he didn’t have near the luck but was still fast. If that can carry over to the longest race of the year lookout at the end.
Bell(+8000) is in a Toyota and when you look at all of the other Toyota teams they are at the front. Look for this young driver to be an outside shot to win but also right there when the points count the most.
Long Shot Bets to Win the Coca-Cola 600
This list will get a little tricky. Not because they are long shots and we really don’t know who will emerge but because of what the strategy will be. We can take a look at it from a fantasy look and possible winners.
If there has been one driver that has made the most improvement this season compared to last, it would be Bubba Wallace. Wallace was averaging 26th place through the first eight races last year. This season his average is in the 17th place. On the board at +250000, look for Bubba to make some moves to be in the right spot at the right time. Jerry Baxter and the boys could find a way even to get him and the King into victory lane.
Austin Dillon is at +8000 but with his inconsistency I’m afraid to put him in the middle of the road. He has won this race before though and there aren’t many past winners in this field. In fact, only seven former winners will be suiting up. Dillon won his race in 2017 on a fuel mileage run but who says there isn’t a chance of it happening again.
One other driver that has been impressive this year has been Chris Buescher. He is on the board at +125000 and in his first year back with Roush has been somewhat of an underlying story to start the year. Look for Buescher to be there if a fuel mileage race or something crazy plays out.
Projected Fantasy Line-up
Wednesday night was just dismal for my fantasy line-up. Hopefully the bets in the Coca-Cola 600 will work in my favor. We will see a nice mix of experience and youth in my list. Plus remember, anything can happen when you run 600 miles.
Another piece to remember is who will change with the changing day. This race will start under the sun and finish under the lights. That’s when the most experienced drivers tend to step up and take advantage of their knowledge.
Sunday my DraftKings fantasy line-up will be: Martin Truex, Jr, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace.
Match-ups, Value and Upset Picks for the Coca-Cola 600
This is the only sport that will happen on Sunday. You might as well take some notes and look at some of the best betting options and possible prop bets to look for in the Coca-Cola 600.
This will be interesting when it comes to match-ups because with the race length and so many things can happen, who knows how they will go. My favorite match-up for Sunday is the Team Penske battle. Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski going heads up. Literally. Both drivers are -110 in the matchup. Neither one has found victory lane in this race but if I were to take this match-up I’m going with Bad Brad. He is getting better as we go and after a top five Wednesday, he has confidence. Brad K over Joey Logano.
The other match-up that is enticing to me is Elliott vs. Kyle Busch. They got together on Wednesday night and had a little scuffle with the crew. Busch is the favorite in the matchup at -125 with Elliott +105. No matter how this goes down, America wins. I’m taking Kyle Busch to best the finish of Chase Elliott on Sunday.
The value pick for me is an absolute no-brainer. Jimmie Johnson is +1600 and is not a favorite. He is running better and has won four times in this race. Pick him in literally everything you can; one day fantasy, fantasy line-up, single bet, prop bet, everything. If there is a track for him to bust a slump it’ll be this one.
The upset pick is a little tougher. It has been a race that tends to go in favor of veterans and most likely will. It is Nascar’s version of an endurance race and there are a few guys that could win a race like this. Given his recent growth and success, give me Bubba Wallace to upset the field and win. He won a stage in last year’s All-Star Showdown and was emotional. Imagine what it would be like for him to win this race.
The Pick to Win the Coca-Cola 600 is…?
This is a pick that I have had the most struggle with. Not just because we still don’t know who will rise to the top but also we haven’t seen who has really improved. Hamlin and Harvick picked up wins and both were good each day. Bowman, Byron, Johnson, Keselowski, Bowyer and Kurt Busch were each good one of the two races. Kyle Busch and Truex were solid but were in the back to middle for one of the races and then showed strength in the other.
It has been a long week of races and drivers are just getting back into the swing of things. Yet, they are being thrown into the longest race. So many drivers that I have gone back and forth on and don’t want to lead you in the wrong direction. The pick to win the Coca-Cola 600 is…
Martin Truex Jr.
MTJ has dominated this race twice in his career and won it both times. He is always near the front during this event. With the strength he has shown through the last couple of races look for him to be up front again. I like Martin Truex Jr to go back to back in this race which hasn’t been done since Johnson did it in 2004-2005. He is also a solid favorite at +450 and will be a staple almost every line-up and prop bet.
Look for drivers like Johnson, Kyle Busch and Elliott to be battling near the front for the win as well. I’d also expect to see ‘The Closer’ Kevin Harvick up front when this race gets interesting.
There is no Indianapolis 500 or Monaco to wake up to this year but there is still a 600 and will be exciting no matter the circumstances. Betting on the Coca-Cola 600 is difficult but it’s also just a matter of numbers to figure out who has the best shot.
The green flag for the Coca-Cola 600 drops at 6:00pm EST on FOX and PRN.