Friday, March 24, 2023

Daytona 500 Picks: Best Bets, Predictions for the 64th Daytona 500

The 64th Annual Daytona 500 is boasted as NASCAR’s Super Bowl, and just like the actual Super Bowl, the Great American Race is even more fun to watch when you lock in your best bets to be more involved in all the action.

I smell it in the air. After getting a taste of NASCAR in the Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona on Friday night, the energy, electricity, and anticipation is ramped up to the next level. For the casual bettors out there who may just now be getting into NASCAR: if you get a chance, go to a race. There’s nothing quite like it – you’ll be hooked.

I’ll be at the NASCAR Xfinity Series race this evening to sweat some more bets in person and, hopefully, enjoy myself and the entire evening. For my NASCAR Xfinity Series bets, click here.

Once the Xfinity race is wrapped up, it’s time to take a deep breath and realize that one of the world’s greatest races is up to bat. This is easily my favorite time of year, and the money line for me getting goosebumps while writing this is, at the minimum, -1000.

That’s a winning bet right there – an absolute MFL (mortal f***ing lock).

Without further ado, it’s time to check out my favorite bets for the 64th Daytona 500.

*All lines via DraftKings Sportsbook

Daytona 500 Best Bets

Ryan Blaney: +1000 to win, +260 for a Top 3

Blaney was the very first pick I locked in for Sunday. If you look at the data, there’s nobody who is knocking on the door of a Daytona 500 win quite like Ryan Blaney.

In the last 4 Daytona races, Blaney has 3 Top 10’s and 2 Top 2 finishes including his win at Daytona last fall. He has 2 runner-up finishes in the Daytona 500, and in 2018 led a dominating 118 laps before finishing 7th. More often than not, Blaney finds himself in contention at the end of these tumultuous races.

Blaney is emerging as one of the best superspeedway racers in the field with 3 superspeedway (Daytona and Talladega) wins dating back to 2019. Drivers who knock on the door like this are dangerous to the competition. In the biggest race of them all, Blaney is poised claim NASCAR’s greatest prize.

Lock in Blaney as my favorite pick to win on Sunday.

Joey Logano: +1200 to win, +280 for a Top 3

I locked in Logano a while back. I’ve had many questions about whether or not Logano goes into the fade category after his crash at the end of the second Daytona Duel. I’m not super concerned.

Joey’s one of the best superspeedway racers out there with backing from a program that consistently brings the best cars to Daytona and Talladega. The statistics don’t back it up, but if you watch a highlight reel of superspeedway races over the past few years, Joey does an excellent job of surviving and being there at the end.

It just hasn’t worked out for the #22 because of late race crashes. The amount of time Joey spends at the front of these races is pretty remarkable: he has led at least 26 laps in 4 of the last 5 races at Daytona.

The 2015 Daytona 500 champion is knocking on the door of his 2nd crown. Daytona 500 #2 for #22 in ’22?

I can see it happening. Joey will be in the mix.

Chase Elliott: +1100 to win, +240 for a Top 3

Elliott finished 2nd in last year’s Daytona 500, and has won races at Daytona and Talladega. Though his Daytona wins came in Xfinity and Cup Duels, wins are wins.

In his last 3 races at Daytona, he has 3 Top 10’s and 2 runner-up finishes. The recent success should inspire confidence in Elliott for Sunday.

Anybody can win this race, but champions typically win this race. Elliott could be entering the prime of his career, and I think he’ll have something to prove early this season after not winning on an oval in 2021.

Do it for Hooters. Lock him in.

William Byron: +1500 to win, +300 for a Top 3

I think William Byron will be slept on. He’s a very underrated superspeedway racer, and a recent Daytona winner in fall of 2020.

I’m really high on Byron in general for 2022, and his breakout season starts with a strong Daytona 500 run. He is talented in the draft and has an aggressive style of racing that puts him in position at the end of these superspeedway races.

In his last 6 superspeedway races, he’s crashed 3 times. His finishes in the 3 races he didn’t crash: 1st, 4th, and 2nd.

When Byron makes it to the end, he’s always in the mix and potentially lethal to the competition. I like Byron as somewhat of a sleeper play to win.

Chase Briscoe: +3000 to win, +1500 for a Top 3

My longshot play: Briscoe’s odds took quite the shift after his strong 4th place finish in the first Daytona Duel. If you follow me on Action Network, here, you would’ve seen that I locked in Briscoe at +5200 earlier this week.

This is a “Daytona Juju” play. Irony and magic floats around this place and has a major factor in determining winners. There are numerous examples of superstition coming into play. Eventually, I’ll write a book about it, but not today. Just listen:

Briscoe drives the #14. Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer both used to drive the #14 car. They will be commentating this race with Mike Joy in the FOX broadcast booth. Tony Stewart owns the #14 car. Tony was always so close, but could never capture a Daytona 500 victory.

How ironic would it be if Briscoe won the Daytona 500 while Tony and Clint call it live on national TV? It would just add to my book of Daytona Juju moments.

If you’re not superstitious, just know that Briscoe is in a very fast Ford Mustang and is poised for a breakout 2022 in his second year of Cup competition.

Come back here when Briscoe wins and you become a believer of Daytona Juju. Briscoe is the longshot play.

For my entire NASCAR Cup Series betting card for the Daytona 500 (with specific unit allocations), download the free Action Network App and follow me @daletanhardt here.


Dale Tanhardt
Dale Tanhardt
Undisputed Greatest NASCAR Bettor in the Universe.

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