NASCAR Matchup Odds, Picks for Bristol: Two Underdogs Offering Big Value

NASCAR Matchup Odds, Picks for Bristol: Two Underdogs Offering Big Value article feature image

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chase Elliott and Erik Jones

Tonight’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol should be a high-intensity affair, with playoff spots on the line. However, the real competition should be up front, with many drivers in contention to win, especially with race favorite Kyle Busch qualifying in 31st.

Bristol often features lots of carnage, and one mistake can set a driver down one lap or more. That puts this race on the higher side of randomness, so we should tailor our betting approach accordingly.

I have one head-to-head matchup where I like the underdog value, especially in a race as unpredictable as Bristol. As more lines get posted, and after inspection takes place in the afternoon, I’ll update this with more prop bets.

Chase Elliott (+120) over Erik Jones

Choosing between Elliott and Jones should be like splitting hairs, so to get this kind of juice on Elliott at a highly random track is great value.

Elliott and Jones were inseparable in practice, with Elliott quicker over five laps, Jones over 10, and Elliott again faster over 15 and 20 consecutive laps in Happy Hour.

In the opening session, Jones had an edge over five laps, but Elliott was stronger over 10 laps. Those stats lead me to believe Elliott has the stronger long-run car, independent of weather conditions.

We’re also splitting hairs over each driver’s track history. Jones owns a narrow 95.3 to 92.1 margin in driver rating, but Elliott has actually won three of their five head-to-head matchups at Bristol.

If we remove Elliott’s lone DNF at Bristol, he actually leads Jones 101.2 to 95.3 in driver rating at the track (Jones has never had a DNF in five races at Bristol).

This matchup is a coin toss, and may actually favor Elliott. That means betting it down to +105 will still provide value.

Sunday Updates

Here is another bet I like, courtesy of the William Hill Sportsbook.

  • Joey Logano (+155) over Kyle Busch: Logano is actually the race favorite in my model. He boasts a superior driver rating to Busch over the last eight races at Bristol. Logano also has better practice times, and a better starting position than Busch. This is my favorite head-to-head wager all season; I’d bet it all the way down to even-money.

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