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NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Bristol: How to Bet Blaney vs. Elliott on Saturday Night

NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Bristol: How to Bet Blaney vs. Elliott on Saturday Night article feature image

Jeff Curry/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series drivers Chase Elliott, left, and Ryan Blaney.

When it comes to Saturday's NASCAR Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol (7:30 p.m. ET, USA), there's a lot to pay attention to.

First, this is a cutoff race for the playoffs as the field gets narrowed from 16 down to 12 drivers.

Next, this is the first time the Next Gen car gets a run at Bristol on concrete.

Finally, track position has been key with very minimal tire wear across all three series.

However, when all is said and done, we can cut through the noise and find some simplicity in just betting a head-to-head driver matchup.

That's where I'm looking at with my best post-qualifying bet for tonight's Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Pick for Bristol

*Odds as of Saturday morning

Best friends Chase Elliott (-125)  and Ryan Blaney (-105) are pitted against each other at DraftKings Sportsbook.

To me, Blaney should be the clear favorite, yet Elliott is being priced as a slight favorite in this matchup.

Blaney and Elliott both practiced in the first group on Friday, and Blaney was clearly faster in every metric.

Bristol is also a very unique track where track history is quite predictive of future performance. For all the track-specific stats I reference, I'll just refer to the years since Blaney joined Team Penske in 2018.

In the fastest lap department, Blaney trumps Elliott 6.8% to 5.9%. The same holds true for laps led, where Blaney holds a 17.2% to 12.2% edge. Clearly Blaney has been the better dominator.


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In raw finishes as well, Blaney holds the advantage.

Blaney's average finish is 7.6 compared to Elliott's 12.2 in major incident-free races. If we just look at lead lap finishes, Blaney leads 5.0 to 10.3.

Finally, Blaney holds a safer spot in the playoff standings. While the edge isn't huge, if Blaney is able to lock himself into the next round after Stage 1 it's possible he's able to play the track position game to his advantage.

Elliott may have to points race in Stage 2. That means if a caution comes out with 20 or so laps to go before the end of Stage 2, Blaney may pit while Elliott stays out for points.

When the Stage 2 caution flies, Elliott would then come in to pit, while Blaney stays out and cycles to the front.

These little things are the edges we can look for when betting matchups.

Every indication shows that Blaney should be favored here.

My model also makes Blaney the favorite, so I like getting him at -105 and would bet this down to -115.

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