David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 15 mins

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Odds, Picks & Betting Preview

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Odds, Picks & Betting Preview
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The car may be new, but some of the old tactics still matter. Pit strategy helped Denny Hamlin vault from fourth to first over the last 20 laps and claim his first NASCAR victory of 2022 last weekend at Richmond. Given Hamlin’s awful stretch of previous results, he still paid a solid +1200 to win. But the .75-miler brought a rare sense of normalcy in this otherwise wacky season, one that could continue Saturday night at another short track in the Old Dominion.

Three-time track winner Martin Truex Jr. is the NASCAR betting favorite at the flat half-mile layout, where Alex Bowman won the most recent event last fall. Bowman’s victory is an outlier at a track where championship drivers have absolutely dominated, and where winners like Ricky Craven in 2001 and John Andretti in 1999 count as true surprises. But of course this next-generation car has changed a lot this season, and now we find out if it changes the outcome at venerable Martinsville as well.

While Hamlin’s victory snapped a 12-race streak by drivers in their 20s, he was the sixth four-digit moneyline winner in seven NASCAR events so far this season. Martinsville may like to play NASCAR odds favorites, but the trend this season—Kyle Larson at Fontana is the lone odds leader to win—remains firmly against them.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Odds

Driver WinTop 3Top 5
Martin Truex Jr. +550 +150 -145
Chase Elliott +700 +175 -125
Ryan Blaney +900 +190 -110
Denny Hamlin +900 +200 -105
Kyle Busch +1000 +225 +120
Kyle Larson +1000 +225 +120
Joey Logano +1000 +225 +120
William Byron +1200 +300 +150

Odds current as of publication from DraftKings Sportsbook and subject to change.

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Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Betting Tips

Hamlin leads active drivers with five career victories at Martinsville, though the most recent came in 2015. He does have six top-five finishes since then, including a third-place result a year ago in which he led 276 laps. Truex, though, is the odds favorite on betting apps for a reason—his three career Martinsville victories have all come in his past five starts, over which his averaging finish is 5.8. Chase Elliott’s last three M’ville starts include a first and a second, while Kyle Busch’s three straight top-10s include a runner-up appearance last fall.

While Brad Keselowski might seem a contender with two career wins and 11 of his last 12 in the top-10, he’s off to a rough start in his first season with a Roush car he now co-owns. Kevin Harvick’s lone Martinsville victory came a decade ago, he’s on a winless streak that now stands at 49 weeks, and no Ford has won at the half-mile since 2019. Waiting for Kyle Larson to right the ship? He has just two top-fives at Martinsville in 14 career starts.

Ryan Blaney’s high position on the odds board on betting sites likely has less to do with his Martinsville history (five top-5s, including a pair of runner-ups) than how well the series points leader has run overall this season in the new car. Tyler Reddick, with an eighth-place run last season at Martinsville to go with a very good start to this year, will certainly be among the longer shots to watch. So will Christopher Bell, who ran seventh there last spring.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Predictions & Best Bets

William Byron to Win, +1200

It’s tough to beat the combination that Byron brings to Martinsville: He’s been really good there for most of his career, with top-5s in his last two starts and a runner-up at the flat half-miler in 2019, and he showed three weeks ago at Atlanta that he can win in this new car. Byron ran third last week at Richmond, and the pieces seem in place for him to chase a first career victory at another Virginia short track.

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Chase Elliott Top 3, +175

Historically, no team has been better at Martinsville than Hendrick, a run built by the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Geoff Bodine. Elliott’s last four races have certainly lived up to that legacy: Fifth, first, second, and 289 laps led before fading at the end. Elliott has led over 500 laps at Martinsville since 2020, and his four top-10s this season show that he’s another driver with a good handle on the new car.

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Tyler Reddick Top 5, +200

Reddick turned heads when he finished eighth at Martinsville as a rookie, and he’s gone on to become the most dependable driver in the Childress stable with top-7 results at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Circuit of the Americas this year. The former sprint car driver has developed a knack for the type of braking that’s needed on road courses and short tracks, which should serve him well again Saturday night.

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Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Time, Date & TV

When: Saturday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.

TV: FS1

About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.