The final race in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season concludes tonight under the lights of Daytona. After checking out all of the NASCAR betting odds, let’s delve into the best bets and picks for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 tonight, Saturday, Aug. 28.
NASCAR Betting Odds & Best Bets: Coke Zero Sugar 400
A Theme From the Past
2020: William Byron, 25-1
2019: Justin Haley, *unlisted
2018: Erik Jones, 33-1
2017: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 30-1
Those are the past four summer Daytona winners, listed alongside their betting odds. Byron, Haley and Jones saw their respective wins as their only Cup victories of that season. Stenhouse’s win in 2017 was his second and last of that season. Coincidentally, both wins for him that year came at superspeedways. Regardless, what golden thread do all of these drivers hold? They were longshots to win, especially Haley whose odds would have been somewhere in the 250-1 range. Drivers who found magic, either by driving skill, drafting help, or in Haley’s case — the rain. Once those 15 minutes were up, they never graced the victory circle again that season.
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Thus, with this all in mind, and the fact that half or more of the field could potentially wreck out, this is not a week for props, parlays, or top-10 bets. This is a week for big swings, because when the bat connects with the ball, the payoff can be big in the NASCAR betting markets.
Daytona is a track for taking fliers, especially in the summer. When one considers the various factors that comprise a superspeedway event like Daytona (pack racing, drafting) it makes sense that this venue would see longer shots, betting-wise, race to victory. Add in the factor that this is the last race in the Cup regular season, and that anyone 17th through 30th, can race their way into the playoffs via a victory — a whole new level of potential randomness gets added.
Corey LaJoie (+8000) to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400
Currently, 15 drivers fit the mold of racers who could sneak their way into the playoffs with a win on Saturday. The list is as follows, accompanied by their starting position, and current odds at BET MGM:
- Matt DiBenedetto, 9th +2500
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 12th +2000
- Chris Buescher, 13th +4000
- Chase Briscoe, 16th +5000
- Tyler Reddick, 17th +3300
- Bubba Wallace, 20th +2500
- Erik Jones, 21st +6600
- Ryan Newman, 23rd +3300
- Ryan Preece, 24th +6600
- Cole Custer, 25th +5000
- Daniel Suarez, 26th +5000
- Austin Dillon, 27th +2000
- Ross Chastain, 29th +4000
- Anthony Alfredo, 32nd +15000
- Corey LaJoie, 33rd +8000
The two most popular drivers in this list are two with the shortest NASCAR betting odds. Matt DiBenedetto (6.9%) and Austin Dillon (6.2%) rank second and third in the highest ticket percentages, as of Thursday afternoon, according to BET MGM. Dillon makes sense based on his 2018 Daytona 500 victory and multiple top-10s at superspeedways. DiBenedetto may surprise casual betters but he has three straight top-12 finishes in the summer Daytona races. Not to mention, DiBenedetto has been riding a wave of momentum since his crew chief swap.
Dillon and DiBenedetto fall squarely in the camp of talented superspeedway drivers, with higher betting odds that aren’t too high (like Jones, Byron, and Stenhouse Jr.). However, with much deeper odds, Corey LaJoie stands out like a sore thumb at +8000.
No, this isn’t simply chasing a high number. If that were the case, then eyes would turn to Anthony Alfredo, who has the highest odds at 150-1. This is about an established superspeedway driver, with motivation, and an enticing number. In three of the last four Daytona races, LaJoie has crossed the line in ninth or better. His ninth-place finish in the Daytona 500, was spurred on by a late surge with teammate Jamie McMurray, an established superspeedway racer in his own right. This time around, LaJoie will have Justin Haley (+10,000) in his corner — the winner of this race two years ago and a multiple-time superspeedway champion in the Xfinity Series. With Haley’s points and attention focused on the Xfinity Series, he has no reason to seek another win for himself but instead to help catapult his teammate into victory circle.