NASCAR at Darlington Best Bet Picks & Predictions: The 2 Drivers Offering Value for Sunday’s The Real Heroes 400

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Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images. Pictured: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet

May 17, 2020, 02:13 PM EDT
  • Sunday's NASCAR The Real Heroes 400 starts at 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX) at Darlington Raceway.
  • Based on current NASCAR at Darlington odds, there are two drivers offering futures value for savvy bettors.
  • See our updated NASCAR best bet picks and predictions for today's race in Darlington, S.C.

Thanks to Thursday’s qualifying draw, the starting lineup for Sunday’s The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway is set, giving us the final piece of information we need to make our last round of bets for the race.

Because the race will be a “one-day show” in order to protect personnel at the track as much as possible, no practice sessions were held, so my analysis is weighted heavily toward past performance at Darlington, as well as results from the first four races of the season.

In the name of transparency, I started my Darlington betting card with Chase Elliott at 12-1 back on May 8, so I already have that wager locked in, as well as Tyler Reddick at 110-1, in addition to what is below.

And whether or not you tailed with Elliott and Reddick or are just now looking to bet Sunday’s race, here are two wagers worth taking for The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington.


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NASCAR at Darlington Picks & Best Bets

Alex Bowman (+1300) to Win

Starting position always matters in some capacity, but I think it’ll be even more important on Sunday.

Think about it — drivers have not raced since the beginning of March, and with no practice or qualifying this weekend that’s more than two months without a single lap on track.

In addition, there will be a competition caution at lap 30, and during that caution teams can take as much time as they want to make changes to their cars and retain their position in the running order as long as they don’t lose a lap under that caution.

Therefore, my assumption is that drivers will take it easy for those first 30 laps to get back up to speed, make plenty of changes to help the handling of their cars during the competition caution, then really turn it loose from there.

So by taking a driver like Alex Bowman who is starting second, it’s reasonable that he’ll be able to hang onto that position early as drivers race conservatively, then have the added benefit of making major changes to improve the car without the penalty of losing spots on pit road.

And even before Thursday’s qualifying draw, I had my eye on Bowman since he was the dominant car at Auto Club Speedway in March, the only track the Cup Series has visited this season with tire wear similar to Darlington.

In Bowman we get one of the fastest cars this season and a front-row starting spot at a solid 13-1 price.

[Bet now at PointsBet. NJ and IN only.]

Kurt Busch (+2000) to Win

Taking Busch over Jimmie Johnson in a head-to-head driver matchup was one of my first bets for Sunday’s The Real Heroes 400 and I’m backing that up with Kurt to win outright.

Over the last three NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington, Busch owns the third-best average finish (5.3), while leading the fourth-most laps and running the most fast laps.

In addition, Busch finished third at Auto Club Speedway in March, another high tire-wear track and the closest comparison we have to Darlington this season.

Based on current The Real Heroes 400 odds, this is my favorite value bet on the board.

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