NASCAR Cup Series Odds and Picks: Best Bets for the Bristol Playoff Night Race
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series cars race at Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway will always hold a special place in my NASCAR-loving heart.
As a Jersey boy of 12 years, my family moved to North Carolina in the early 1990s, but the NASCAR bug didn't bite me until I visited Bristol in the spring of 2001 (a race won by Elliott Sadler driving for the Wood Brothers) for a fraternity fundraiser while attending Appalachian State University.
I tell friends that I walked into that race with NASCAR being my least favorite sport, but walked out with it as my new favorite sport.
Those who follow me on Twitter know how much I wax poetically about Martinsville being my favorite track, and I'll confidently slot Bristol into the No. 2 spot in those rankings.
And as much as I'd love to attend Saturday night's Bristol Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), prior commitments (#DadLife) make that impossible, so may as well have a little action on it then, right?
To start, let's take a look at NASCAR at Bristol odds from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Friday afternoon.
NASCAR Bristol Night Race Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1800|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+8000|
Let's not waste any time and dive right into the four bets I've already made for Saturday night's NASCAR Bristol Night Race.
NASCAR Bristol Night Race Betting Picks
Chase Elliott (+850) To Win Bristol Night Race
Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson are the rightful favorites to win tonight's race at Bristol, but Chase Elliott is right there with those two in my mind, but at a more affordable price of +850 odds.
Last year at Bristol, Elliott won the All-Star Race in dominating fashion, then finished with the third-best driver rating at the two Bristol points races despite a 14.5 average finish.
At a place like Bristol we can't handicap finishing position, but we can predict speed, and Elliott should have plenty of it.
This price is currently available at PointsBet and I'd take it down to +800, which is widely available.
Ryan Blaney (+1500) To Win Bristol Night Race
Blaney always seems to have race-winning speed at Bristol before something crazy happens to take him out of contention.
Over the past six points races at Bristol, Blaney owns the fifth-best driver rating, which is impressive considering an 18.2 average finish.
Despite his struggles to finish here, Blaney has led the second-most laps at Bristol over the past three seasons and has had plenty of cars capable of winning before crashing.
According to this tweet from ifantasyrace.com, Blaney was running in second before crashing last spring and also crashed while in the lead back in 2018.
In Blaney we're getting a driver and car capable of running with the favorites but at bankroll-friendly 15-1 odds.
If I could make just one bet on tonight's NASCAR Bristol Night Race, this would be it.
DraftKings is hanging Blaney at 15-1, but feel comfortable taking it at 14-1 as well.
Christopher Bell (+2500) To Win Bristol Night Race
This bet is about trying to time a driver primed to break out at Bristol before oddsmakers make adjustments to his price.
Bell has not shown much through his two career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol, posting an average finish of 18.5 and just the 13th-best driver rating.
However, it's important to remember that those two races were with Leavine Family Racing and not with powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing, Bell's current team.
Bell's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin always have fast cars at Bristol, and the driver of the No. 20 Toyota was no slouch here in the XFINITY Series either.
In four XFINITY races at Bristol, Bell has one win and a runner-up finish, so he knows how to get around this tough track in top-notch equipment.
Again, the Cup Series results at Bristol just aren't there yet, but that's also why Bell is available at a mid-tier price tag.
PointsBet once again has the best price here at 25-1, but anything 22-1 or better is fine by me.
Matt DiBenedetto (+7000) To Win Bristol Night Race
Two years ago I had a hefty sum on DiBenedetto, then driving the No. 95 car for Leavine Family Racing, at 300-1 to win the Bristol Night Race.
Matty D. led the most laps before having trouble passing Ryan Newman, who was fighting to stay on the lead lap, allowing second-place Denny Hamlin to catch and ultimately pass DiBenedetto with just 12 laps remaining to win the race.
Maybe I'm still chasing DiBenedetto at Bristol, but I'm putting another decent chunk of change on him again for tonight's race.
First, we already know that he can contend to win at Bristol when the car is right.
And second, DiBenedetto drives for the Wood Brothers, which has a close technical alliance with Team Penske, a team that is always fast at Bristol (see Blaney above) and one that has performed better at the 750 horsepower tracks (like Bristol) this season.
Lock in DiBenedetto at PointsBet at 70-1, but don't bet him any shorter than 66-1 which should be relatively easy to find as well.