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Best NASCAR Prop & Matchup Bets for the 2023 Goodyear 400 at Darlington

Last weekend could’ve gone better — we basically broke even by backing Bubba Wallace to beat Kyle Busch, which he did handily, but lost the profit by also backing Tyler Reddick to score a top-5. We’re on to the next one. Let’s dive into the top NASCAR matchup and prop bets for Sunday’s Goodyear 400, which include Chase Briscoe.

I handicap the opening outright odds for the NASCAR Cup Series early in the week, and you can read about my bets here. Only members of OddsShopper Insider Access will get access to my full betting card, but I will include most of it in articles and on our YouTube Channel.

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Best NASCAR Prop & Matchup Bets for the Goodyear 400 | Darlington

Can These Longshot Drivers Score Top-10s?

Darlington Raceway, also known as the Track Too Tough to Tame, chews up tires and equipment while rewarding drivers who can manage their cars over the long haul. Drivers who run aggressively need an exceptional degree of talent to balance out the loss of grip. Those factors cause plenty of attrition: in last year’s Darlington spring race, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson all had their days end early.

If this year’s events at Darlington go anything like the ones we watched last year, plenty of drivers with strong cars won’t get the results they deserve. That should open up opportunities for drivers with worse equipment to put together solid runs. Attrition helped Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon score top-10s in the spring last year. Erik Jones won the fall race due to attrition, and McDowell and Brad Keselowski both scored surprise top-10s.

We’ll target two drivers with implied odds worse than the raw odds of scoring a top-10 finish in a 36-car field (27.8%). First up: McDowell. He drove the No. 34 to a whopping 12 top-10s last year, including both Darlington races, and already has done so once this year. Although he hasn’t started this season as strong as he started last season, his sixth-place finish at Richmond, another track that causes plenty of tire wear, was an encouraging sign. His odds of +470 (17.5%) at FanDuel Sportsbook are too long.

Next, let’s shift to Noah Gragson. While it’s usually unwise to trust a rookie at a track like this one, Gragson has the combination of talent and experience necessary to tame this track. Gragson owns two wins and five top-10s at this track in the Xfinity Series. That’s the same number of wins here in fewer Xfinity Series starts than Kyle Busch, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Jarrett. Although his No. 42 Chevrolet for Legacy Motor Club hasn’t run that well this season, he showed plenty of speed at Kansas, and his odds of +600 (14.3%) at BetMGM are far too long.

Best NASCAR Top 10 Bet: Michael McDowell +470 for 0.15 Unit at FanDuel

Best NASCAR Top 10 Bet: Noah Gragson +600 for 0.15 Unit at BetMGM

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Will Chase Briscoe Beat A.J. Allmendinger?

In one of the most perplexing matchup markets this season, Caesars Sportsbook has Chase Briscoe lined up against A.J. Allmendinger. Neither driver is having a great season so far. Through the first 12 races, Briscoe ranks 17th in points with only four top-10s and an average finish of 18.1. Allmendinger ranks 26th with one top-10 and an average finish of 21.8. Here’s the kicker: Allmendinger is a substantial favorite.

Now, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Allmendinger favored if he were a much better driver at Darlington. He’s not. In 11 Cup Series starts at Darlington, Allmendinger is yet to score a finish better than 15th. His average finish here (26.1) is worse than every full-time Cup Series driver in a competitive ride. Briscoe is also yet to score a top-10 here in Cup, but he finished 11th in his debut here and owns an average finish of 19.3 — 6.8 spots better than Allmendinger.

The possible silver lining for Allmendinger is that his last Cup Series start here came back in 2018. Since then, he has made four Xfinity Series starts here. He even led laps in three of those starts and scored a pair of top-10s. But because he is yet to replicate that success in the Cup Series — and because Briscoe and the No. 14 Ford team are off to a much better start than Allmendinger and the No. 16 Chevrolet team are, I’m stunned to see Briscoe listed at odds of +105 on this market.

Best NASCAR Matchup Bet: Chase Briscoe vs. A.J. Allmendinger +105 for 1 Unit at Caesars

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