NASCAR Odds & Picks for Martinsville: The Mispriced 30-1 Driver to Bet Now for Saturday Night’s Race
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: A general view of NASCAR Cup Series racing at Martinsville Speedway
Hello friends, and welcome to Martinsville week.
As many of you know, Martinsville Speedway is my favorite track in all of motorsports, so I’m giddy that the NASCAR Cup Series returns for some Saturday night short-track action.
Because Martinsville is a short, flat track with very tight corners, the racing here can be random and unpredictable, so this isn’t a race I want to get too heavy on, from a betting perspective, before practice and qualifying.
However, thanks to varying odds across the market, there is one driver, at one specific price, that I’m locking in early before cars hit the track on Friday afternoon.
NASCAR at Martinsville Pick
*Odds as of Tuesday afternoon
Before Martinsville odds opened, I messaged a friend that I hoped some sportsbooks would put too much emphasis on Ross Chastain’s bad second half of the race at Richmond and open him close to 20-1 for this week’s race at Martinsville.
So, of course I had to jump on Chastain to win the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1) when he popped up at 30-1 at Caesars.
After struggling to get his arms around Martinsville, which is the case for a lot of good drivers, Chastain has performed very well when piloting good equipment in the lower series.
Chastain joined Niece Motorsports prior to the start of the 2019 Truck Series season and here is his stat line from both races at Martinsville that season.
- Spring: Fourth-place finish, second-most fast laps, second-most laps led, second-best driver rating in a race won by Kyle Busch
- Fall: Second-place finish, fifth-most fast laps, second-most laps led, fourth-best driver rating
And while Niece isn’t terrible equipment, it’s certainly not on par with the top Truck Series teams like Kyle Busch Motorsports and GMS Racing, either.
Moving forward, Chastain made his only XFINITY Series start at Martinsville in the fall of 2020, finishing fifth (behind one Joe Gibbs Racing and three JR Motorsports cars) with the third-most fast laps, the fourth-most laps led and the fourth-best driver rating while driving for Kaulig Racing.
This season Chastain drives for Trackhouse Racing in the Cup Series, which has given him cars capable of running with powerhouse teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske, resulting in one win (his first career Cup Series victory), four top-five finishes (the most of any driver) and the third-most laps led through seven races.
Right off the bat we have a driver with good history at Martinsville in a car that’s been among the fastest in the Cup Series so far this season.
There are also more subjective reasons to like Chastain’s chances on Saturday night as well.
Through the years, many drivers have spoken about how braking through Martinsville’s tight corners is similar to braking at road courses, which has been beneficial to drivers who perform well at those circuits.
Additionally, the Next Gen car was designed with road course racing in mind, so it’s reasonable to assume that drivers who are good at out-braking others could be even better at Martinsville with this car.
Who ran the most fast laps, led the most laps and posted the best driver rating en route to a win at Circuit of the Americas, the only road course run so far this season?
And finally, Martinsville is known for beating and banging with drivers unafraid to use the “chrome horn” (also known as the front bumper) in order to move other cars out of the way (see Alex Bowman here last fall) with a race win on the line.
Chastain is known for his aggressive, and sometimes overly so, driving style, so he’s certainly not one who will be afraid to knock the leader out of the way late in Saturday night’s race.
Now, it’s important to note that we shouldn’t go cannonballing into Chastain at any old number to win at Martinsville — line shopping is key.
Like I mentioned earlier, 20-1 is a price worth betting for Chastain, but why settle for that when there’s a 30-1 out there?
For the record, there are still plenty of sportsbooks that have yet to open NASCAR at Martinsville lines, so be sure to check out the Action Network’s NASCAR Bet Center to track live odds heading into Saturday night’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400.