NASCAR at Dover Matchup Picks, Odds: Plenty of Love for Logano

NASCAR at Dover Matchup Picks, Odds: Plenty of Love for Logano article feature image
Credit:

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joey Logano

  • NASCAR's Drydene 400 takes place today at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
  • Nick Giffen offers three prop bets offering value for this race.

The Drydene 400 takes place at Dover International Speedway this afternoon. As I mentioned in my outrights article, I’ll be looking at four key data points:

  • 10-lap average
  • Track history
  • Year-to-date performance
  • Steep track performance (Dover, Bristol, Darlington, Homestead)

I’ll be adding additional weight to races that took place under high-downforce conditions (2013-2015 and 2019). The 2014 race, especially, took place with a very similar aerodynamic and horsepower package to this year’s package used at tracks one mile in length or less.

Here are my top prop bets for today’s race.

Alex Bowman (-118) over Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch has struggled with the high downforce package at Dover, with no finishes better than 12th from 2013-2015. He also placed 13th in the first race this year.

Meanwhile, Bowman came home second in the first Dover race this year. In 2015, with an underfunded Tommy Baldwin Racing team, Bowman finished 20th at Dover for his best career finish at a non-restrictor plate track over two seasons in back-marker cars.

Bowman was quicker than Kurt over 10 consecutive laps in both practice sessions, so he should be a solid favorite in this matchup. I’d bet Bowman down to -130.

Joey Logano Top 5 (+300)

Logano isn’t a driver I love at Dover with the high-downforce package, but when the price is right, personal bias goes out the window.

Logano has finished inside the top five in two out of seven high-downforce Dover races, including finishes of eighth, fourth and seventh in the similar years of 2014 and 2019. If we look at his final practice speeds, here’s how he placed in five-lap increments:

  • 5 laps: 12
  • 10 laps: 8
  • 15 laps: 5
  • 20 laps: 4
  • 25 laps: 4
  • 30 laps: 3

Yes, fewer drivers participated in longer runs, but Logano was always within 0.1 seconds of the leader at every distance greater than five laps. That’ll keep him in the mix for a top five.

Joey Logano (+105) over Denny Hamlin

Staying on the Logano train here, Logano holds an edge over Hamlin in my model. However, as I mentioned in my outrights article, my model uses only 10-lap data since that data goes back to 2011. Data for 15-plus laps shows that Logano has the superior car to Hamlin over the long run.

I mentioned how Logano got stronger relative to the field over the long haul. Hamlin, on the other hand, got weaker. He fell from fourth over 15 laps to fifth over 20, and finally seventh over 25 laps. He did not make a 30-lap run.

Hamlin also struggles with higher downforce levels at Dover in the Gen-6 car. He has only one finish better than 12th in seven races, including a 21st-place finish earlier this year where his car just had no speed.

It’s also likely he’s overpriced in the market thanks to claiming the pole position.

 

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