NASCAR at Martinsville Odds & Picks: Two Outright Bets For Sunday’s Xfinity 500 (Nov. 1)
Today’s XFINITY 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC) at Martinsville is the penultimate race of the season. After today, the four drivers eligible for the championship will be set. This elimination race couldn’t come at a better venue. Martinsville is a half-mile flat oval where passing is difficult. That often means drivers will need to apply…
Today’s XFINITY 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC) at Martinsville is the penultimate race of the season. After today, the four drivers eligible for the championship will be set.
This elimination race couldn’t come at a better venue. Martinsville is a half-mile flat oval where passing is difficult. That often means drivers will need to apply the bumper to make a move. Joey Logano did this in 2018 to secure his spot in the championship, and ended up taking home the title.
Despite the variability that comes with a unique track like Martinsville, the winning drivers have all come from big teams. Only one driver outside of Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske has won at Martinsville since 2002. That driver was Kevin Harvick when he raced for Richard Childress Racing in 2011.
So which driver in this quartet of teams is offering the best value heading into today’s race?
NASCAR at Martinsville Odds, Betting Picks
Denny Hamlin (+650) to Win at Martinsville
This bet is pure window shopping, as William Hill is the only book I’ve found to have Hamlin at this number.
Hamlin has five wins in 29 Cup starts at Martinsville, and has been one of the top two dominant drivers in 2020. The other, Kevin Harvick, doesn’t have a very strong record at this track with only one win and three dominant performances in the Gen-6 car.
Hamlin, meanwhile, has five dominant performances. Earlier this year, Hamlin’s team missed the boat completely and he struggled to a 24th-place finish.
However, the dominant teams are even more dominant the second go-round at Martinsville, with no wins outside of the big four since 2002. That lets me believe that Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing team will use all the available data from the first race from their four-car stable to set things right for today’s race.
If so, Hamlin and Truex should be the drivers to beat.
Joey Logano (+1000) to Win at Martinsville
If we look at the drivers starting in the front, there are a significant number of concerns. Truex has a bad pit position. Harvick, Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch have shown little propensity to win or dominate at Martinsville. That leaves Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott as the other major contenders starting in the top eight.
Keselowski’s odds are too short, while Logano and Elliott both appear in the +850 to +1000 range. Comparing Logano and Elliott, the numbers favor Logano.
Logano has finished ahead of Elliott in every race at flat tracks that are one mile or less in distance in 2020, with no finish worse than fourth. Logano also won here in 2018 under similar aerodynamic rules and has a better dominator ratio than Elliott at Martinsville in the Gen-6 era.
Once again, William Hill has the most generous number on Logano. However, there are plenty of +900 lines available. That’s a solid number for the driver who led the most laps in the first Martinsville race this year.