NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Martinsville: 3 Best Bets for Saturday’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 Dr Pepper Toyota, pits
Friday’s NASCAR Cup Series practice session gave bettors plenty of information to work with in trying to handicap tonight’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1).
Drivers were, in some cases, able to make practice runs north of 50 laps. This abundance of data allows us to find places where books did not move quite enough from their midweek odds.
As a result, there are three bets in particular I like for tonight’s NASCAR race at Martinsville.
NASCAR Picks & Predictions for Martinsville
*Odds as of Saturday morning
Bubba Wallace Top Toyota (+3300)
BetMGM is offering an incredibly generous number on Bubba Wallace to outpace only five other Toyotas.
Wallace looked very comfortable in the No. 23 car in practice. His 10-lap average was sixth best among all drivers. More importantly, it placed him second among the six Toyotas.
Martinsville has also been a very strong track for Wallace.
He has four finishes inside the top 17 at the track known as “the Paperclip,” despite never driving in top-tier cars.
Wallace has a driver rating 17.2% higher at Martinsville than the average of all other tracks if we discount his rookie season.
With the switch to the Next Gen car, some drivers are still trying to figure out how to best get around Martinsville. Others, like Bubba, found their groove quickly.
Three drivers that struggled in practice were the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell and Martin Truex Jr.
The gap appears to have closed among the Toyotas this week, and my model reflects that — it gives Wallace a 5.9% chance of finishing as the top Toyota driver.
That outpaces the 2.9% implied odds at 33-1 by quite a solid margin.
The Bet: Bubba Wallace to finish as top Toyota (+3300) | Bet to: +2200
Bubba Wallace (-130) over Daniel Suarez
If long odds aren’t your cup of tea, you can get a solid position on Wallace at much shorter odds in this matchup against Daniel Suarez.
Caesars Sportsbook has these two paired against each other in a near coin-flip when removing the juice.
That simply shouldn’t be the case.
For starters, Wallace’s 15-lap average in practice was faster than Suarez’s five-lap average.
While Martinsville is one of Wallace’s better tracks, it’s a below average track for Suarez. In Suarez’s case, his driver rating is 3.3% worse at Martinsville than his average at all other tracks.
My model has Wallace as a hefty 68.7% favorite in this matchup.
The Bet: Bubba Wallace (-130) over Daniel Suarez | Bet to: -160
Austin Cindric Top-5 Finish (+800)
Here’s a table of lap-average practice times for two drivers:
|# of Laps||Driver A||Driver B|
The lap averages look incredibly similar between these two drivers. Driver A is Austin Cindric and Driver B is his teammate Joey Logano.
BetMGM has Logano priced at +150 for a top-five finish. Meanwhile, they have Cindric at +800.
I’m not saying Cindric should be at the same odds as his teammate Logano, but the gap should not be this wide.
There’s additional reason to believe in Cindric this weekend. The Next Gen car has changed how drivers have to attack Martinsville.
Drivers are now shifting at Martinsville and they are lighter on the brakes. Subjectively, that could benefit someone coming from a sports car background like Cindric.
Other books have Cindric at +550 for a top-five finish, thus +800 is a screaming difference.
My model has Cindric finishing in the top five 16.7% of the time, which beats the 11.1% implied odds quite comfortably.
The Bet: Austin Cindric top-5 finish +800 | Bet to: +650