NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Daytona: A 14-1 Outright Bet for Friday Night’s Wawa 250
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Being a winning bettor is hard. Very hard.
There are many reasons why bettors don't win over the long haul, one of the more obvious being the edge, vig, hold, etc. that the house has when taking a bet.
Another is that many of us don't do a good job of analyzing our weaknesses as bettors.
For example, arguably my biggest problem is that once I have a bet burrow deep inside this Jameson-soaked brain of mine, I have a very hard time not making that bet, even if the value isn't necessarily there.
In fact, that's exactly the case with this NASCAR XFINITY Series bet for Friday's Wawa 250 (7:30 p.m. ET, USA) at Daytona.
The seeds were planted for this bet back at Daytona in February and really popped in my head when a specific piece of driver news broke last month.
I know, it's a bit strange that I'm prefacing this bet by talking about my biggest flaw as a bettor and how that still led me to make this wager.
Is this an attempt to convince myself about the validity of the bet? Maybe.
Is this an attempt at therapeutic self-awareness? Maybe.
Either way, the bet is made, and now let me walk you through the winding road that got me here.
NASCAR Pick for Daytona
*Odds as of Wednesday morning
As I mentioned above, this wager premiered at the season-opening race at Daytona when Jade Buford, driving the No. 48 for Big Machine Racing, showed with an absolute rocket.
Buford qualified third and finished in a tie for the sixth-best average running position throughout the race despite a last-lap crash that relegated him to a 23rd-place finish.
As if Buford's speed alone wasn't enough, it's important to also note that Big Machine Racing has a close technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
RCR driver Austin Hill won the Daytona race in February with Sheldon Creed, the second RCR car, finishing fourth.
At this very moment, I filed it away to make sure to look for the No. 48 car whenever NASCAR XFINITY Series odds open at superspeedways for the rest of the season.
Still, I wasn't as all-in on this strategy at Talladega and Atlanta this season, two other superspeedways, remaining relatively objective about betting those races.
However, that changed when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was tapped to drive the No. 48 at a handful of XFINITY Series races starting at Pocono last month and including Daytona on Friday.
The combination of Stenhouse, a very experienced and talented superspeedway performer, in top equipment for Daytona slapped me right across the face.
For better or for worse (and probably for worse), the itch was there and would remain until I scratched it by hitting submit on Stenhouse to win Friday night at 14-1 odds.
Are there real reasons to like this bet? Sure, it's a fast superspeedway car with a top-notch pack racer behind the wheel.
But am I confirmation-biasing my way into a bet on Stenhouse as well? Probably.
Please note that the point of writing this isn't necessarily to convince you to bet on Stenhouse as well. In fact, the underlying theme may be to do the exact opposite.
The real motivation is to talk about the many factors, both good and bad, that can influence our bets.
Lost in the noise of the constant victory-lapping of winning bets on NASCAR Twitter, and frankly all of sports betting Twitter, is the importance of understanding what makes us good at this and, perhaps more significantly, what holds us back from being even better.