Welcome back to the greatest NASCAR Xfinity DFS and betting advice in the universe. It’s an absolutely stacked NASCAR weekend in Darlington, SC for one of the premier, crown-jewel weekends on the NASCAR slate. The (mouthful alert) Sports Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 kicks off the weekend on Saturday afternoon.
Of course, the weekend is highlighted by the prestigious Southern 500, but let’s not kid ourselves here: the Xfinity Series currently gives the most exciting racing every time we come to Darlington. If you tuned in to the past three or four race weekends held at Darlington, I’m confident that you would strongly agree. If that isn’t enough validation for you to invest in the Xfinity Series, I also had a large hit last week as, in my debut article for Toby Christie, I picked Justin Haley as my top play for DFS ($8,600) and to win outright (+800) at Daytona.
They don’t call me the Greatest in the Universe for no reason.
And just a friendly heads up for viewers who aren’t familiar with me or Garage Guys Fantasy Sports: I brag about being the best- because I am the best.
We brag about being the best- because we are the best.
It’s all with positive energy, of course. At the end of the day, we are all reading this article for the same purpose: to bag some cash off of NASCAR. As a new contributor to Toby Christie, I hope I was able to secure you some profits last week, and I’m excited to provide you all more winners going forward.
Let’s get into some Xfinity nuggets.
Justin Allgaier reigned victorious in somewhat of a surprise earlier this year at Darlington after leading only ten laps. The spring race was ultimately decided by late-race cautions after Noah Gragson held a large lead with about twenty laps to go.
Gragson led forty laps en route to a 4th place finish after a bad final pitstop relegated him from the lead. Daniel Hemric led 38 laps and seemed to be the dominant driver before having a flat tire from the lead. The loss of track position late in the race killed his chances. He rebounded to a 5th place finish.
The rocketship #54 Toyota was surprisingly a non-factor throughout the race as Ty Gibbs faced multiple pit penalties and could not hold track position to be a contender. This weekend the #54 will be piloted by Denny Hamlin as he typically runs this race each year.
Cup Series RCR teammates will be competing in this race on Saturday as Austin Dillon will be driving the #31 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet and Tyler Reddick will pilot the #23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet. In three Xfinity starts at Darlington, Dillon has three Top 11 finishes and one Top 5 finish. Reddick, also with three starts, has two Top 3 finishes.
Kaulig Racing carries a blazingly momentous stretch into Darlington as the program has won two consecutive races and fielded all three of their drivers in the Top 4 last weekend at Daytona. I expect them to cool off this weekend.
Once again, the Xfinity field boasts a stacked, talented field for Saturday. Via DraftKings, Denny Hamlin is the betting favorite this weekend (+120), and Austin Cindric is the highest-priced driver in the DFS pool ($11,300).
There’s certainly a lot to unpack here featuring a tricky track with a very tricky slate; gonna be tough to tame.
Pun totally intended. Let’s get right into it.
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NASCAR DFS Xfinity Picks For DraftKings
Denny Hamlin: #54 JGR Toyota – $10,400
I kinda think everybody and their pet dog will have Denny in at least one lineup this weekend.
Except for Jordan Fish.
Forreal though; Denny has tremendous success here with five Xfinity Series wins at Darlington. Now he hops in the fastest car in the field at a track he’s been stunningly dominant on over the years. He also starts P14.
It is somewhat surprising to me that he wasn’t priced higher, though I guess it’s reasonable considering Cindric, Dillon, and Brandon Jones carry enhanced value with their starting positions being much farther back in the field. Denny will be in the Top 5 by the end of stage one. By early stage two, he could be leading, pulling away, and never looking back.
There’s only one concern I have about Hamlin this weekend: superstition.
There is quite some negative “juju” floating around with the Jordan Fish Twitter fiasco, and the #54 is yet to win here in three starts dating back to 2020. Kyle Busch was outdueled by Chase Briscoe in the spring of 2020, Denny Hamlin tangled with Ross Chastain allowing Brandon Jones to steal the win in the fall of 2020, and Ty Gibbs had his effort ruined by penalties in the spring of 2021.
If you’re feeling superstitious, explore other options. If you’re on the “what’s most likely to happen” train, roll with Denny on Saturday.
Ryan Ellis: #99 BJ McLeod Motorsports Ford – $5,600
Quick shift here from the favorite to a punt; I love Ryan Ellis on Saturday. There’s a lot of chalk on the table this weekend. You’re probably gonna have to dip into a low-tier driver to maximize your lineup capabilities. Ellis has seen limited action this season, but he’s driving a car that has shown glimpses of competitive performance throughout the season.
In Ellis’s three starts this year, he’s accumulated an average finish of 22.6 and no finish worse than 28th. He finished 16th at Darlington in May after starting 33rd. I like Ryan’s experience along with the fact that he starts P36 on Saturday. Another reason I’ll be playing some Ellis on Saturday is that this car, in 23 starts, has suffered only one mechanical failure in 2021- a cut fuel line at Las Vegas earlier this season.
If Ellis can avoid the wrecks and keep his car clean, I think he will pull off a Top 25 finish with a ceiling of a Top 15 being possible.
Tyler Reddick: #23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet – $10,200
People are gonna be concerned about the car here, but I’m honestly not. Reddick has proven he can wheel this team to contention. Andy Lally, Ty Dillon, and Austin Dillon also have accrued a few Top 5’s and Top 10’s in this car. I know Reddick got DQ’d at Homestead after finishing 2nd, but luckily that doesn’t matter on DraftKings.
As stated earlier, Reddick’s tremendous success here in only a few starts speaks volumes. Reddick’s driving style benefits from a track like Darlington where the preferred line is right up next to the wall. He starts P28 and I think is talented enough to march to the front and score a Top 10 finish. Because of his place-differential potential, Reddick could end up scoring 50-60 points on Saturday.
Reddick is chalky and absolutely worth playing in your lineups. I think a Top 10 is on the horizon with potential for more.
Daniel Hemric: #18 JGR Toyota – $9,200
Now this one might stump some people.
Hemric is starting on the pole, and based on how unlucky his season has gone, it might come back to bite. He is absolutely not a safe play. But I’m not here to only give those types of plays.
Here’s the deal: throughout multiple races this season, Hemric and the #18 have had pure winning speed. A plethora of bad luck along with self-inflicted wounds have relegated Hemric time and time again preventing him from capturing that elusive first win. I think there’s a solid chance that his luck turns around this weekend.
Austin Cindric leads the series with 597 laps led this season. Who is second? That would be Hemric with 397. As mentioned earlier, Hemric also was the guy to beat here in the spring before suffering from a flat tire that ruined his chances of winning. If Hemric replicates his dominance and closes the deal with a win (or a Top 3 finish), he will be a DFS steal.
I know it’s difficult for you to imagine Daniel being in the optimal lineup, but let’s say he leads 50 laps, runs 25 fastest laps, and finishes 4th. You’d be looking at 61.75 points. I know; you’re probably shaking your head. But I legitimately believe that this race will ultimately be decided between Hamlin and Hemric. I think Hemric has an excellent shot to get his first win here this weekend. You cannot deny the winning speed he has shown time and time again. He has to break through eventually, right?
Right. When it happens, remember who told you.
NASCAR Xfinity Best Bets
H. Burton +1200
*Fading Hamlin on the straight-betting side due to how expensive his line is. Too many unpredictable factors in racing to justify hammering a +120 line to win.
H. Burton +340
Reddick over Dillon -115
H. Burton over Allmendinger +100
Hemric over Cindric +120