David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 4 mins

NASCAR at Darlington Odds, Goodyear 400 Tips & Expert Picks

NASCAR at Darlington Odds, Goodyear 400 Tips & Expert Picks

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Week by week, the top drivers in NASCAR are taking control of the Cup Series.

Kyle Busch’s victory last weekend at Kansas Speedway marked the fourth time in five races that a former champion has celebrated in Victory Lane, bringing some order to an otherwise wacky season that had been defined by surprise winners carrying very favorable NASCAR odds. That trend seems to be ebbing and Sunday’s event, at the track widely viewed as the most difficult in NASCAR, should continue the trend of power teams dominating.

For the second straight weekend, the sport visits a track where surprises don’t typically happen. The list of winners at Darlington Raceway reads like a catalogue of NASCAR Hall of Famers, with only a few outliers – such as Lake Speed in 1988, Ricky Craven in 2003 and Regan Smith in 2011 – over half a century of competition. The racing line, up against the outside wall, tests car control. The old adage of “race the racetrack” is as true today at the egg-shaped 1.366-mile oval as it was in 1950.

No question, there are some tempting NASCAR betting choices in the +2000 range for Sunday afternoon, but history indicates that it will be a title contender or former champ in Victory Lane. If you’re chasing value, perhaps wait until Dover next week.

Goodyear 400 Odds

Driver WinTop 3Top 10
Kyle Larson +450 +130 -420
Denny Hamlin +600 +170 -335
Kevin Harvick +700 +200 -286
Martin Truex Jr. +750 +210 -265
Kyle Busch +800 +230 -250
Brad Keselowski +900 +260 -230
Chase Elliott +1000 +280 -210
Joey Logano +1400 +375 -162

Odds current as of publication (Visit our DraftKings sportsbook Review).

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Goodyear 400 Predictions & Betting Tips

Kevin Harvick to Win, +700 (Unibet)

The guy who earned a series-best eight victories in 2020 has yet to win this year, a fact that’s emblematic of how unpredictable much of the 2021 campaign has been. However, Harvick has been on the brink for weeks, placing fourth at Talladega and second at Kansas, with a host of competitive finishes before that.

And his Darlington record is nothing short of spectacular: Harvick has won two of the past three events there and hasn’t finished worse than ninth since 2012. Over his last 10 starts at Darlington, he has three wins and an average finish of 3.5. That No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team clearly has a formula that works there; expect them to lean on it again.

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For more great expert NASCAR picks for the Goodyear 400 from our team of handicappers, check out bookiesEDGE:

Goodyear 400 Betting Tips

Kyle Larson is the odds favorite, which seems a strange choice given that he enters the weekend on his worst stretch of the season: Three consecutive finishes of 18th or worse. And he has never won at Darlington, though he has been strong there, finishing third or better in three of his last four starts (the most recent in 2019).

The only active driver with better Darlington stats than Harvick is Hamlin, a three-time winner with a career average finish of 7.5. But Hamlin has been all over the place there as of late, with three double-digit finishes in his last five starts. Beyond Harvick and Hamlin, only four other active drivers have victories at Darlington, including Busch, who has finished seventh or better in nine of his last 11 Darlington starts and at +230 could be worth a top-three wager.

A sleeper might be Erik Jones, who has been excellent at Darlington throughout his career. He has a victory, an average finish of 5.2 and no finishes worse than eighth in six starts at “The Track Too Tough To Tame.” The move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Richard Petty Motorsports leaves him in inferior equipment this time around, but he’s still worth a look at +235 for a top-10.

Austin Dillon, runner-up to Harvick in the most recent Darlington event (the Southern 500 in September), has three career top-10s there and is +160 to crack the top 10 again. Likewise, Matt DiBenedetto, the Wood Brothers driver who has top-10s in two of his past four Darlington starts, is an intriguing choice at +135.

Drivers to perhaps avoid this week include Ryan Blaney (who never has finished better than 13th at Darlington in eight starts) and Chase Elliott, whose two top-five Darlington finishes have been vastly outweighed by a series of mediocre to disappointing runs.


Goodyear 400 Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m.

Where: Darlington Raceway, Darlington, South Carolina

TV: FS1