Daytona 500 Odds, Pick, Prediction: The Must-Bet NASCAR Outright Following Thursday’s Duel

Daytona 500 Odds, Pick, Prediction: The Must-Bet NASCAR Outright Following Thursday’s Duel article feature image

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: A general view of the “DAYTONA” grass stencil

Daytona 500 qualifying and Duel races are in the books, meaning the field for Sunday's Great American Race is officially set.

In addition, Thursday night's Duels allowed us to examine real, on-track racing, providing valuable insight regarding which drivers can contend for the coveted Harley J. Earl Trophy in Sunday's Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX).

With this in mind, here's the driver that I'm very bullish on betting right now according the latest Daytona 500 odds.

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Daytona 500 Odds, Pick

*Odds as of Friday

For many of you (and hopefully most of you), this Daytona 500 pick will be redundant because the Action Network's NASCAR betting GOAT, Nick Giffen, detailed back on Jan. 30 why Aric Almriola was a must-bet for the Daytona 500.

At the time that article went live, Almriola was available at a very beefy 50-1 price to win the Daytona 500.

And while the driver of Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 10 Ford is shorter today than a few weeks ago, there's still plenty of value available right now for those late to the Daytona 500 betting party.

I won't rehash all of the great points that Giffen initially made when laying out his case (read his article here), but I do want to highlight just how good Almirola has been since unloading at Daytona earlier this week.

As is typically the case in Daytona 500 qualifying, Hendrick Motorsports rocketed to the top of the board with Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and William Byron posting the three fastest times.

But right on the heels was Almirola, who posted the fourth-fastest time.

And it's not just straight-line speed in the No. 10 car this week.

Almirola maneuvered his way to a very impressive win in Thursday's second Duel race, showing that his car also races well.

In fact, Larson told him team during the race that he wanted Almirola behind him because the No. 10 Ford was such a good pusher. This is significant because drivers want to work with other drivers who push well in the draft, which is exactly what we're seeing with Almirola.

In short, Almirola's car has plenty of speed, is handling well and is one that other drivers want pushing, making his 35-1 odds at FanDuel very enticing ahead of Sunday's Daytona 500.

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