Daytona 500 Predictions: 3 Picks for Monday’s Race (February 19)

Daytona 500 Predictions: 3 Picks for Monday’s Race (February 19) article feature image

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota

Editor's note: The Daytona 500 has postponed until Monday at 4 p.m. ET due to rain.

With all on-track activity now complete, there's nothing left to do but make our official Daytona 500 predictions.

Ford drivers Joey Logano and Michael McDowell secured the front row in Wednesday's single-lap qualifying sessions, but I'm more interested in the combination of track history at Daytona and performance in Thursday night's Duel races.

After plowing through this data, here are my three favorite Daytona 500 predictions for Sunday's (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX) running of the "Great American Race."

Daytona 500 Predictions

*Daytona 500 odds as of Sunday morning

Denny Hamlin (11-1) to Win

The Toyotas and their new noses have been the talk of the town at Speedweeks so far, and for good reason.

Toyota drivers Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell won their respective Duel races on Thursday night, both coming from deep in the field — Reddick started 19th of 21 cars while Bell started 16th of 21 cars.

I wouldn't blame anyone from backing both of these drivers in the Daytona 500, but I'm going straight to one of the race favorites instead: Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin is a three-time Daytona 500 winner and arguably the single best driver when it comes to superspeedway racing.

He also drives the No. 11 for Joe Gibbs Racing which — yes, is a Toyota.

By betting on Hamlin at 11-1 odds (bet365) we're getting an all-time great superspeedway performer, driving what appears to be the fastest equipment in NASCAR's biggest race.

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Kyle Larson (18-1) to Win

Hendrick Motorsports, which typically dominates the front row in Daytona 500 qualifying, was unusually slow during single-lap runs on Wednesday night.

Does this mean that the team is prioritizing handling over raw speed this year? Potentially.

The Hendrick cars of Larson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman were very fast in the first Duel.

In fact, Larson led the most laps (20) in his qualifying race before getting shuffled out of the lead on the final lap, ultimately finishing ninth.

Predicting results for an unpredictable race like the Daytona 500 can be tough, but we can pinpoint speed — and Larson appears to have plenty of just that.

This number does vary across the market, so be sure to shop around and snag the 18-1 currently available at Caesars or bet365.

Are you in North Carolina? With North Carolina sports betting coming online, you’ll be able to bet on NASCAR.

Martin Truex Jr. (20-1) to Win

As mentioned above, the Toyotas have been uber-fast since unloading at Daytona, and while Truex still hasn't won at Daytona (or Talladega, for that matter) in his Cup Series career, he has been extremely competitive in the Next Gen car.

Through four races at Daytona in the Next Gen era, Truex has the fifth-best driver rating and the third-best average running position, showing that the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has been near the front of the field in each of these races.

Truex at 20-1 is a very enticing price for a driver with his recent history at Daytona and pace so far throughout Speedweeks.

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