NASCAR Odds, Picks, Predictions: Giffen’s Longshot Bet for the Daytona 500 Pole
Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola
The entry list for the 2023 Daytona 500 is out. That means it’s time to bet some props.
Qualifying is one of the places I like to look each week for prop bets. Sure enough, there’s already one longshot driver I’ve bet to win the pole position for the Great American Race on Sunday (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX).
Let’s take a look.
Daytona 500 Qualifying Bet
Bet365 was the first book to release pole qualifying odds. One name that caught my eye is a driver whom I also bet to win the race at the same odds.
Yes, I’m taking Aric Almirola at 50-1 to win the pole at Wednesday’s qualifying (8 p.m. ET, FS1). Here’s why.
If we look at superspeedway qualifying in the post-restrictor plate era, Chevy has dominated. There’s also a decent chunk of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas in there.
However, a few Fords have qualified in the first two rows on speed. That means I’m removing any starting lineup that was set by formula in the COVID era. I’m also removing any starting position outside of the front row for the Daytona 500 since those positions are set by the Duel races on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, FS1).
In those races, just seven Fords have started in the front two rows. Every single one of them came from either Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) or Team Penske.
The only drivers that make multiple appearances in those seven are Brad Keselowski, who now drives for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, and Almirola.
Additionally, I’m going to add in a subjective, but very important reason to consider the Ford drivers.
Per Denny Hamlin’s new podcast, Actions Detrimental, he claims that the Ford teams should have an aerodynamic advantage in qualifying at bigger tracks (hat tip to Avery Hage, whose Tweet caught my attention and made me listen to the podcast).
That doesn’t mean their engine package is the best, but based on aerodynamics, the Fords should have the edge here. I’m happy to put my trust in a three-time Daytona 500 winner and take him at his word.
If the Fords are faster, Almirola is just as likely as any Ford driver to win the pole.
I’ll gladly throw a quarter unit on it at 50-1.
The Bet: Aric Almirola +5000 to Win Pole Position | Bet to: +3300
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