NASCAR makes its annual visit to the Monster Mile for 400 laps around the steeply-banked oval in Dover. Let’s dive into our expert NASCAR picks this week and go over a few options for the outright market, positional selections and best NASCAR bets and predictions for the DuraMax Drydene 400 on Sunday, May 1.
NASCAR Picks & Predictions: Drydene 400 at Dover
William Byron, +800 to Win
In last year’s version of this race, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson traded the lead back and forth before Bowman went on to lead the final 97 laps en route to victory. By the end of the 400 laps, Hendricks drivers had combined to lead all but 18 of that day’s laps and finished first through fourth. A year later, Vegas is anticipating another route by Hendricks as the foursome of Larson (+450), Chase Elliott (+800), William Byron (+800), and Bowman (+1200) rate out with the first, second, third and fifth-highest outright odds of the week. With no real corollary to speak of for Dover in 2022, looking back to this race (as well as the two 2021 Darlington events and potentially Nashville) makes sense from a research perspective.
When Dover, Darlington 1 and Darlington 2 are held in perspective, this week’s outright favorite finished second in all three events. Bowman won the race at Dover but the Darlington victories went to Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin. Truex put a stranglehold on the Mother’s Day race at Darlington leading 248 of 293 laps while Hamlin won in close fashion against Larson after splitting the laps led with him in the fall.
Thus, there is a strong reason why Larson is such a strong favorite with nearly half of the odds of teammate Elliott. However, through 10 races in 2022, Larson has combined to lead just 118 laps, with 59 of them coming in the past two weeks at the Bristol Dirt Race and Talladega. In the other short track races (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville) of 2022, Larson has led just three laps. This, in turn, brings bettors to a quandary. Despite the sportsbooks backing Larson, do the numbers really suggest that this is a bet worth pursuing? The number that might be worth chasing is Byron at 8/1, based on both his 2021 results at Dover and Darlington as well as recent success in 2022. In back-to-back weekends at Darlington and Dover, Byron finished fourth in both events. This season, he is coming off laps led totals of 112 at Richmond and 212 at Martinsville with finishes of third and first.
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Martin Truex Jr. +1000 to Win
Outside of the Hendrick camp, the name that is worth mentioning is Truex at 10/1 odds. Before finishing 19th in last year’s race at Dover, he had finished first or second in four-straight races. Truex’s day at Dover last year was hampered by an issue on pit road and a subsequent injury to his front that made him as effective as a plow pushing through mud. Before that issue, Truex had just reclaimed the lead back from Byron and was well on his way to replicating what he had done a week before at Darlington. The giveaway with Truex this season has been speed in practice. If he starts up front and shows top-five speed in the short and long runs, he could be the Toyota that upsets the Hendrick applecart. This caveat goes for the entire Toyota camp for what it is worth.
More Picks, Parlays and Best Bets for the DuraMAX Drydene 400
The following is an interesting list of bets currently offered by BetMGM:
- Martin Truex Jr. top-five finish: +125
- Austin Dillon top-10 finish: +125
- Aric Almirola top-10 finish: +200
- Featured matchup: William Byron -135 over Alex Bowman
- Team of winning car: Hendrick Motorsports +145
- Top Ford Car: Kevin Harvick +350
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