NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Richmond Odds, Picks: The Driver Matchup To Bet for Saturday’s Toyota Care 250
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers Stewart Friesen (No. 52) and Todd Gilliland (No. 38) race at Richmond Raceway
Hey, it’s not expected to rain today!
NASCAR is at Richmond Raceway this weekend, starting with the Truck Series’ Toyota Care 250 today at 1:30 p.m. ET (FS1), followed by Sunday’s Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 (3 p.m. ET, FOX), and for what feels like the first time in a while, rain is not in the forecast either day.
Kyle Busch is in the field for today’s race and is unsurprisingly a massive -130 favorite to win the race. To be frank, I have little interest in betting futures for the Toyota Care 250.
On the other hand, due to a significant difference in the quality of equipment, there is one matchup that has caught my eye as one worth betting.
NASCAR Truck Series at Richmond Pick
*Odds via BetMGM as of Saturday at 6:30 a.m. ET
Todd Gilliland (-115) over Sam Mayer
I love Mayer’s talent.
Last year at Bristol, Mayer became the second-youngest winner in Truck Series history when he took the checkered flag for GMS Racing at just 17 years of age.
So, why am I betting against him?
The key portion of the sentence above for today’s race isn’t Mayer’s performance at Bristol, but the phrase “GMS Racing.”
GMS provides arguably the Truck Series’ top equipment, and it certainly was last season.
There’s no doubt that Mayer is uber-talented, but you can’t win at a track like Richmond if you don’t also have a fast truck.
Fast forward to today and Mayer will be piloting the No. 32 Truck for Bret Holmes Racing, which isn’t close to GMS in terms of speed.
In two races this season, the No. 32 Truck has finishes of 37th and 32nd — not exactly race-winning performances.
I do expect Mayer to carry that Truck to a better-than-expected result, but it’s a big leap to see him running with the leaders.
On the other hand, Todd Gilliland drives for Front Row Motorsports, which may not be on par with GMS or Kyle Busch Motorsports in terms of speed, but is certainly head and shoulders above Bret Holmes Racing.
In fact, Gilliland currently sits ninth in the points and has posted two top-five finishes on the season, so he’s clearly been a playoff-caliber driver so far this year.
Need another reason? How about their performances at Richmond last season?
Mayer was behind the wheel of the GMS No. 24 at this track in 2020 and managed just the 20th-best driver rating, even in top-notch equipment.
Gilliland finished the race with the 10th-best rating.
And finally, Gilliland will have a starting position and pit stall edge today as well.
The No. 38 Ford will roll off eighth this afternoon while Mayer and the No. 32 will start dead-last in 40th.
Is it possible that Mayer is flat-out faster than Gilliland today? Sure.
However, -115 odds translate to a 53.49% implied probability, and for the reasons above I believe that Gilliland will have a faster truck than Mayer far more than 53.49% of the time, suggesting this a bet worth making.