NASCAR Odds, Picks: Best Outright Bets for Sunday Night’s Clash at the Coliseum

NASCAR Odds, Picks: Best Outright Bets for Sunday Night’s Clash at the Coliseum article feature image

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Crew members push the #48 Ally Chevrolet, driven by Alex Bowman

  • NASCAR odds are now open for Sunday night's Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.
  • When it comes to betting value, we're looking a little further down the NASCAR odds board for our best picks and predictions.
  • Continue reading to see our top NASCAR picks for the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.

NASCAR officially kicks off the 2023 season with today's Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum exhibition race.

Thirty-six drivers will take the green flag (5 p.m. ET, FOX) in four different heat races as they vie for 27 spots in the main event.

Practice and qualifying took place on Saturday, and we now have some data to handicap the field.

However, with such little data overall on the new season, I'm treading lightly and have just these two outrights, at a low unit cost for today's race.

NASCAR Odds, Picks: Clash at the Coliseum

Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) put two drivers inside the top nine in qualifying. Surprisingly, the two HMS drivers who struggled in qualifying were 2020 and 2021 champions, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson.

That leaves William Byron and Alex Bowman as the two HMS drivers starting toward the front.

Byron will lead Heat 4 from the pole as he posted the fourth-fastest speed overall. Bowman will start third in Heat 1 after he piloted his car to a ninth-place qualifying effort.

Byron fires off at 12-1 at FanDuel while Bowman is farther down the odds board at 30-1.

I can get behind a bet at this price on both Byron and Bowman, who practice well, have a good starting position, and have had moments of success at shorter flat tracks in their careers.

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Personally, if I had to choose one, I'd pick Byron, but it's close.

As mentioned, Byron starts on the pole in Heat 4. Byron had top-five speed over the long run in practice and, barring an incident, should comfortably start near the front few rows of the feature.

Bowman, meanwhile, is incredibly sneaky. Like Byron, his car improved relative to the field over the long run, placing him inside the top 10. Another sneaky aspect of Bowman's performance is the improvements made on that car from the first to the second practice session.

A lot of drivers complained about going backward in their setup as they made changes, but Bowman got much faster, jumping from the back half of the field up to fourth on the practice sheet.

I'm quite high on new crew chief Blake Harris, who helped guide Michael McDowell to a career year last year. That's just one of several impressive achievements in Harris' career as an engineer, car chief or crew chief.

I want to get on Bowman while his odds remain long, before he inevitably wins one this year. Given that he was among the top 10 cars in practice and starts up front, Bowman should be at worst around the 12th most likely to win (and even higher in my opinion), but he's being priced as 16th most likely to win.

You can find the best price on each at DraftKings or FanDuel, among other books.

As it’s an exhibition race, and there are a lot of unknowns, I’ll take one-quarter unit on Byron and one-eighth of a unit on Bowman.

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