Bass Pro Shops Night Race Odds & Picks For NASCAR At Bristol
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Call it an ideal confluence of time and place: Kyle Busch arriving at Bristol Motor Speedway, where no driver of his generation has been better, to try to rescue his NASCAR playoff hopes that are suddenly trending in the wrong direction.
Busch is the NASCAR betting favorite at +400 for Saturday night’s tilt at the half-mile oval, which thankfully this time won’t be covered in dirt. After an early crash last week at Richmond, Busch is a perilous 10th in points. The championship field will be cut from 16 cars to 12 at the checkered flag this week. Just eight points from that elimination spot, Busch needs to make something happen – and he should have the opportunity at his best track.
Over his past seven starts on the Bristol asphalt, Busch owns three victories and just one result outside the top four. His eight career victories there are better than anyone, and only Chase Elliott betters Busch’s average finish of 12.8. A victory locks Busch into the next round; further trouble puts a +900 title option on the brink.
Bass Pro Shops Night Race Odds
|Driver||Win||Top 3||Top 10|
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Bass Pro Shops Night Race Expert Picks
Kyle Larson to Win
Odds: +450 at DraftKings
Larson owns only one career victory on a short track – in 2017 at Richmond – but he has been very competitive at Bristol, where he has finished worse than ninth just once in his last six starts. He was the runner-up at both Bristol races in 2018, and finished sixth in the night race last season.
More convincing is how Larson has performed lately, with a crash at capricious Daytona leading to his only finish outside of the top seven since July. He is safely through to the next round based on his points standing no matter what happens Saturday night – Larson is 98 points clear of the elimination spot – so the Hendrick Motorsports standard-bearer has nothing to lose.
And with Busch taking the role as NASCAR odds favorite for this race, bettors at sportsbooks and betting sites receive some enhanced value on the best driver in the sport this season. You take that when you can get it.
Bass Pro Shops Night Race Betting Tips
Outside of Busch, just four other active drivers have victories at Bristol. One of those is Denny Hamlin, the No. 3 odds choice at +600 on betting apps. He has looked like a serious title contender the past two weeks by finishing first and second, and leading 146 and 197 laps, respectively, in those races.
Hamlin placed 17th and 21st in the two Bristol races last season, but he won there as recently as 2019, and his recent performance certainly marks him as a contender Saturday night.
Although Elliott owns the highest average finish among active drivers at Bristol, his recent results there have been very inconsistent, as have his runs so far in the playoffs. Richmond winner Martin Truex Jr. would seem a steal at +1800 to win, until you realize he owns just two top-5s in 30 career starts at the high-banked oval.
A better value option might be Kevin Harvick at +1100. He's still winless this season, but won the Bristol night race last year and turned in two of his best runs of the season in the opening rounds of the playoffs.
And there are a few drivers around the playoff elimination line who could be sleepers to slip into the top 10. Tyler Reddick finished fourth in last year’s Bristol night race, and would pay +425 if he sneaked into the top-3. Six-time Bristol winner Kurt Busch has placed ninth or better in five of his last seven starts on the half-mile.
And then there’s our man Ross Chastain, who has been fantastic the past three weeks and has never had a car this good at Bristol. Our three best bets would be Larson to win at +450, Hamlin top-3 at +200, and Chastain top-10 at +130.
Bass Pro Shops Night Race Time, Date and TV
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
TV: NBC Sports Network