NASCAR Odds, Picks, Predictions: The Daytona 500 Top Manufacturer Bets to Make Right Now
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Ty Dillon
Caesars Sportsbook just released its top manufacturer props, and my model is showing plenty of value.
I’ll go through one bet in each manufacturer that stands out to me.
At the end of this write-up, I also have a downloadable prop calculator for you. You can use it to plug in book odds and calculate an edge for each driver based off my model results.
Daytona 500 Top Toyota Bet
Only seven Toyota drivers are entered in this year’s Daytona 500. One of those – Travis Pastrana – isn’t even guaranteed a starting spot and must race his way into the field.
Even if Pastrana makes it in, then assuming every Toyota driver had an equal shot to finish top Toyota, +600 would be fair odds for each.
Two things are wrong with this. First, Pastrana is a very inexperienced rookie, making his Cup Series debut and not having raced in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2013.
Additionally, there’s no reason for Bell to be ranked significantly lower than the average Toyota. Ty Gibbs, a rookie, probably has lower expectations than Bell, and Martin Truex Jr. has never been a top-tier superspeedway racer.
Caesars is generously listing Bell at +650. My model gives Bell a 17.4% chance to finish as the top Toyota driver. Thus, I put a full unit on him there.
I’m comfortable betting Bell down to +550.
The Pick: Christopher Bell, Top Toyota (+650 at Caesars)
Daytona 500 Top Ford Bet
Todd Gilliland is +5500 at Caesars Sportsbook. That’s far too long for what he’s done so far in the Cup Series.
Gilliland has only one lead-lap finish at Daytona or Talladega, and he has been caught up in accidents in his other three starts.
Looking at his one solid finish, Gilliland came home in seventh at the fall Talladega race last year. That placed him as the third-highest-finishing Ford. Teammate Michael McDowell finished third overall and as the second-best finishing Ford after Ryan Blaney.
Gilliland ran inside the top 15 for 69.1% of the race, which is a common theme for him.
He also ran inside the top 15 for 70.5% of the laps he completed at last year’s Daytona 500 and 56.5% when the series returned to Daytona.
When you’re running that consistently in the front third of the field, you’re bound to find your way at the front of it a time or two. I have his top Ford odds at 4.0% and would bet this down to +3300.
I’m in for 0.2 units at 55-1.
The Pick: Todd Gilliland, Top Ford (+5500 at Caesars)
Daytona 500 Top Chevy Bet
In the same vein as Gilliland, Ty Dillon has been very strong at superspeedways.
Last year he lost out on top Chevy honors by one foot to Chase Elliott. It was a crushing blow to yours truly because I had him at 40-1.
Well this year, his odds are even longer at 55-1 at Caesars. That partially reflects his move from Petty GMS to Spire Motorsports, which is a drop-down in equipment.
However, at superspeedways, that downgrade is mostly nullified. There’s no better reflection of that than Dillon’s new teammate Corey LaJoie. LaJoie finished inside the top five at the first Atlanta race, another drafting track that races somewhat similarly to Daytona and Talladega.
LaJoie was also in contention for the win at the second Atlanta race, crashing on the last lap while going for the lead.
At Daytona, LaJoie piloted his car to a ninth-place finish in 2021, which would have been good for top Chevy honors if it was one year later.
The man Dillon is replacing, Landon Cassill, took home a fourth-place finish at the regular season finale in Daytona.
Dillon has taken similarly low-level equipment, finishing inside the top six at Daytona three times with now-defunct Germain Racing.
My model gives Dillon a 3.3% chance to be the top Chevy. I’d bet him down to +4000.
I put 0.2 units on this myself.
The Pick: Ty Dillon, Top Chevy (+5500 at Caesars)
Daytona 500 Top Manufacturer Calculator
I’ve put together a top manufacturer betting calculator for the 2023 Daytona 500.
Feel free to take a look, make a copy and use it for your own means.
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