Ryan Blaney from the top rope at Michigan last weekend made it yet another strong day on the betting side for us, and now we head into Daytona International Speedway for what should be a shitshow on Saturday night. And with longshot Michael McDowell winning the Daytona 500 this year, as well as popular longshot Matt DiBenedetto almost winning at Talladega, sportsbooks seem to be very scared to post any decent lines for Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400.

My advice? Don’t bet this weekend. But if you do, just be prepared to lose it all. It’s Daytona! Anything can happen here and, really, every bet is kind of a guess. I didn’t plan on betting this weekend, but being a degenerate, I had to have some action, so here’s what I’m going with on Saturday night (although I’ll note that these are all significantly lower bet amounts than I usually place).

Daytona Saturday Night Betting Card


Brad Keselowski to Win (+1900) – If you listened to the Stacking Dennys podcast this week, you know that the only driver that kind of jumped out to me on the outright winner betting side was Brad Keselowski at 19-to-1. Kez was in position to win the Daytona 500 earlier this year and he won this summer race here at Daytona back in 2016. Do I think Keselowski is actually going to win on Saturday night? Not really, but getting a talented superspeedway racer at these long odds is worth throwing some money down on, in my opinion anyway.

Favorite Bet of the Week

Landon Cassill to Finish on Lead Lap (+140) – Overall, I like plus-money bets, and the only drivers that are plus-money to finish on the lead lap this weekend on BetRivers are the backmarkers and Landon Cassill. Here’s the thing, though: Landon Cassill isn’t in a backmarker car. This #96 Toyota is capable of legitimately running well here on Saturday night, and Cassill has just one finish worse than 24th in his last eight Cup Series starts here at Daytona. With this bet, I just think it’s a misprice by the book and I like the value on it.

Rest of Jordan’s Card

Chase Elliott Top 5 Finish (+240)My algorithm really likes Chase Elliott this weekend, almost as much as Denny Hamlin, which is saying something. I thought about putting a bet on Chase to win the race at 14-to-1 but decided I’ll just ride with a top 5 finish at +240. And not that it means anything but last year’s Cup Series champion currently has back-to-back runner-up finishes here at Daytona.

Denny Hamlin Stage 1 Winner (+900) – Honestly, I was a bit surprised to not see Denny Hamlin as the favorite to win Stage 1 on Saturday night. As I’ve mentioned a few times this week, I fully expect Hamlin to go out in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and try and dominate it from start to finish. He’s still trying to win the regular season points championship, and he still doesn’t have a win this season, either. The Playoffs start next week and an extra 5-10 Playoff points would be huge for this team. This is the best superspeedway racer in the best superspeedway car starting 3rd. I’ll take the 9-to-1 odds any day of the week on that, and twice on race day (see next bet). Also, Hamlin has won three of the last six Stages here at Daytona.

Denny Hamlin Stage 2 Winner (+900) – See notes above.

Christopher Bell Top 10 Finish (+160) – Just relying on the algorithm again here, plus the “eye test.” Christopher Bell has had my attention all weekend, and if he can have a mistake- and incident-free race on Saturday night, I think he has a great shot at coming home inside the top 10 (or even top 5). The algorithm has CBell predicted to finish 8th on Saturday night and over 5 points higher in the Power Index than the 12th-best car.

As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.