NASCAR at Darlington Odds, Picks: Why Bettors Should Target the Jimmie Johnson vs. Kurt Busch Driver Matchup

NASCAR at Darlington Odds, Picks: Why Bettors Should Target the Jimmie Johnson vs. Kurt Busch Driver Matchup article feature image
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Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet and Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet

While NASCAR’s official return at Darlington Raceway is still nine days away, sportsbooks have already posted futures and head-to-head driver matchups for the race.

In order to protect personnel at the track as much as possible, NASCAR is making the event a “one-day show,” meaning there will not be any practice or qualifying — they’ll just show up, race and go home.

I typically take a conservative approach to early NASCAR betting by picking off a couple of futures that I believe are mispriced, while also saving enough bankroll to place wagers after seeing practice speeds.

This is not a concern this week, so we can move aggressively on any numbers we like since new meaningful data is unlikely to surface between now and green flag.

The Jimmie Johnson vs. Kurt Busch driver matchup fits the bill for Darlington, and I’m jumping on this mispriced number.


Odds as of May 8 at 10:30 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


NASCAR at Darlington Odds, Picks: Jimmie Johnson vs. Kurt Busch

Over the past three races at Darlington, Kurt Busch crushes Jimmie Johnson in every meaningful statistical category, including average finish, top-10 finishes, fast laps per race, laps led per race, average running position (ARP) and driver rating.

Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Despite Kurt’s edge at Darlington over the last three seasons, this driver matchup is -115 both ways at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The data shows that Busch should be favored over Johnson, so I’m grabbing Kurt at -115 now and am comfortable betting him to -125.

The pick: Kurt Busch (-115) over Jimmie Johnson [Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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