NASCAR Martinsville Odds & Picks: The Driver to Bet for Today’s First Data 500

NASCAR Martinsville Odds & Picks: The Driver to Bet for Today’s First Data 500 article feature image

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (78) make a pit stop.

  • NASCAR's First Data 500 is scheduled to go green today at 3:14 p.m. ET (NBCSN) at Martinsville Speedway.
  • PJ Walsh details which futures bet is offering value for today's race.

Martinsville Speedway is no stranger to drama, especially during NASCAR’s fall event. Martinsville is a tight .526-mile track that results in plenty of beating and banging while not allowing drivers to truly find clear racetrack.

Throw in the added intensity of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and you have a recipe for excitement, tempers and hurt feelings.

Remember, a win this afternoon locks that team into the series finale at Homestead with a shot at the championship, so drivers will be aggressive as possible to secure the checkered flag.

After analyzing historical Martinsville races, performances at similar racetracks with the current aero package and this weekend’s on-track activity, here are my favorite bets for today’s First Data 500.

NASCAR Martinsville Best Bets

Five drivers — Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Chase Elliott — currently have odds of 6-1 or shorter at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas to win today’s race.

However, there’s one past Martinsville winner I’m eyeing as a nice value bet.

Clint Bowyer (25-1) to Win

Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing prior to the 2017 season, Bowyer has been incredibly fast at Martinsville, posting the fourth-best average finish (7.8). He is tied for the sixth-best average running position (8.4), while leading the fourth-most laps (216) — including a win in the spring of 2018 — over those five races.

Bowyer was solid at “The Paperclip” earlier this year as well, which is important because it’s the only race run at this track with the current aero package. In that event, Clint ran the fifth-most laps en route to a seventh-place result.

The driver of the No. 14 Ford has brought that speed again with him so far this weekend, securing the seventh starting position while posting the fast five-lap, 10-lap, 15-lap and 20-lap average in final practice.

Brett Griffin, Bowyer’s spotter, even took time to tweet just how good the team’s car is:

Best practice we’ve had all year. Hope it translates into a good day. This is such a wonderful place to race. #LFG14

— Brett Griffin (@SpotterBrett) October 27, 2019

Like I said, fast.

While I don’t put Bowyer among the top-tier of favorites, he’s not priced like one either.

Betting odds of 25-1 are a really nice value for a driver who has performed very well at this racetrack in recent years, especially considering the speed he’s shown in practice and qualifying this weekend.

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