NASCAR Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Odds, Outright Winner Picks: It’s Bristol Baby!
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joey Logano
One of NASCAR’s crown-jewel events takes place tonight at the half-mile bullring at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Bristol is a high-banked, concrete track known for lots of action. Because it’s such a unique track, where the car is less in play and the driver more in play, it’s not uncommon to see a driver that generally runs midpack — or even worse — to run up front at Bristol.
Without a doubt, the most important factor in my model is track history, but because of the wild nature of Bristol, that doesn’t explain much of the variance in finishing position. Year-to-date driver rating and long run practice speed are also important.
NASCAR at Bristol Odds
One important note: post qualifying inspection takes place in the afternoon, and any car that fails inspection will go to the rear of the field for the start of the race. That can have a major impact at a track like Bristol, where going a lap down is much easier due to its small size.
As usual, I’ll post updates as inspection plays out, and as more books post lines.
Joey Logano +900
Logano’s odds actually got worse from opening to present, despite having the best car in practice for both sessions. It might be because of his 11th place starting position, but expect him to move forward quickly.
Logano has finished in the top 10 in seven of his last eight Bristol starts, which is amazing for the randomness the track produces. That includes a third place earlier this year, and a fourth place at this race last year.
He also has wins in back-to-back years for this race in 2014 and 2015. That’s especially noteworthy because the 2014 aerodynamic package is the most similar to this year’s package during the Gen-6 car era.
Logano posted the fastest 20- and 30-lap average in final practice, and the best 10-lap average in the cooler opening practice (he did not make a 15-plus lap run in the opening session).
Ryan Blaney +2000
Blaney is listed at this price at the DraftKings Sportsbook, and can be found at similar prices to this if you shop around. At the Westgate, he’s listed at +1000, so make sure you do your due diligence before placing a bet on him.
Blaney has led at least 100 laps in each of the last three Bristol races, including the first race of 2018 where he was collected in a wreck triggered by some lapped cars while in the lead. Blaney was also blazingly fast in final practice, posting the best five-, 10-, and 15-lap averages, and the second-best 20-lap average behind teammate Logano.
I have no problem betting Blaney down to +1400 to retain value, but the +1000 or +800 lines at most Vegas books are just too short for a driver with two career wins.
Here is another outright courtesy of the William Hill Sportsbook.
- Kevin Harvick +1000: Harvick is listed in the +600 to +800 range at most books in Las Vegas, but William Hill has him at a generous +1000. Harvick has the third-best driver rating at Bristol over the last eight, and had long-run practice speeds in the top five. He’ll start eighth tonight.