Daytona 500 Betting Picks & Matchup Odds: 2 Underdog Drivers To Target for Sunday’s Race


Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images.

  • We've got two underdogs to target in matchup betting picks.

With plenty of bumper-to-bumper racing, battles for the lead and big wrecks, superspeedway racing, like what we’ll see at today’s Daytona 500, is exciting.

However, the randomness caused by pack racing also makes handicapping the race difficult, especially when betting head-to-head driver matchups.

As a result, I like to target plus-money underdogs in matchups at Daytona because there’s simply too much unpredictability to feel confident laying a big price.

With this in mind, here are two driver matchups I’m betting for the Daytona 500.

Get 500-1 odds on any driver to win the Daytona 500 at BetMGM

Daytona 500 Driver Matchup Betting Picks

Chris Buescher (+120) over Ryan Newman

Not only is Chris Buescher a really nice longshot bet to win the race outright, he’s also providing solid value in a matchup against Ryan Newman.

I currently have Newman 19th and Buescher 22nd in my Daytona 500 driver rankings, so I think this is essentially a pick’em.

Let’s not overthink this and take advantage of the plus-money in a bet that is basically a 50/50 proposition.

Kyle Larson (+110) over Erik Jones

Similar to the first matchup, I have this as basically a pick’em with Jones 18th and Larson 20th in my Daytona 500 rankings.

In addition, I saved the following tweet from Larson that posted back on Jan. 8:

I found this interesting because, while you can’t predict which drivers will get caught up in wrecks, hanging at the back is a strategy some — like Tony Stewart — employ to try and stay in the game as long as possible, then get racey in the final laps.

For betting purposes, I like a driver getting plus-money riding around at the back to stay out of trouble.

[Get 500-1 odds on any driver to win the Daytona 500 at BetMGM]

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