NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Darlington: Best Driver Matchup Bet for Sunday’s Southern 500
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Cindric (No. 2) leads Austin Dillon (No. 3)
Following the excitement of last weekend's season-finale at Daytona, the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs get underway Sunday (6 p.m. ET, USA) at Darlington Raceway.
The Cup Series has already visited Darlington once this season, so there is data to look back on ahead of Sunday's Southern 500.
Interestingly, there was also abnormally high attrition in that race, which skewed plenty of finishing positions for drivers who, frankly, weren't all that fast.
In situations like these, oddsmakers often overvalue finishing position without analyzing an entire race as a whole.
That's exactly how we can find value in featured driver matchups ahead of Sunday's Southern 500 at Darlington.
NASCAR Pick for Darlington
*Odds as of Wednesday morning
I'm probably oversimplifying this, but I see the Austin Dillon vs. Austin Cindric featured matchup as a coin-flip, so I'm immediately interested in Cindric at +110 (DraftKings).
Dillon did finish ahead of Cindric at Darlington back in May, but the underlying metrics suggest that the latter was actually the better performer in that race.
Cindric bested Dillon in both driver rating and average running position, though the gap between the two in both metrics wasn't large by any means.
Still, oddsmakers appear to have set this price simply by finishing position in that event, explaining why Dillon, who finished ninth here in May, is a -130 favorite over Cindric, who came home 18th.
Whenever sportsbook overreact, the smart move is to buy back the other side, and that's exactly what I'm doing in the Austin Dillon vs. Austin Cindric featured driver matchup for Darlington.
The bet: Austin Cindric (+110) over Austin Dillon