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Coke Zero Sugar 400 Odds, Tips and Betting Preview for NASCAR at Daytona

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 20 mins

Coke Zero Sugar 400 Odds, Tips and Betting Preview for NASCAR at Daytona

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Although there’s only one spot in the 16-driver NASCAR playoff field up for grabs in Saturday’s regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway, 15 drivers have a shot at it. And 13 of those can make the circuit’s playoffs only with a victory, injecting another element of uncertainty into a track that’s already famous for it.

In the two years since the summer Daytona race was moved to the end of the regular season, the winners have both been established drivers with elite teams—Alex Bowman in 2020, and Ryan Blaney last season. But there’s clearly the potential for very different results on a 2.5-mile speedway where Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric have won the past two Daytona 500s, and Justin Haley won the last summer race on July 4th weekend.

And we’ve still seen only one NASCAR odds favorite win so far this season, Kyle Larson way back at Fontana in the second race of the year. Chase Elliott, the NASCAR betting favorite for Saturday night’s race, once crashed out of four consecutive starts at Daytona—but has rebounded to post four straight top-10s at the big track, among them runner-up results in the 2020 regular-season finale and the 2021 Daytona 500.

Coke Zero Sugar 400 Odds

DriverWinTop 3Top 5
Chase Elliott +1000 +275 +140
Ryan Blaney +1200 +330 +160
Denny Hamlin +1200 +330 +160
Bubba Wallace +1200 +425 +220
Ross Chastain +1300 +400 +200
Kyle Larson +1300 +400 +200
Joey Logano +1300 +400 +190
William Byron +1300 +400 +190

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and current as of publication.

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Coke Zero Sugar 400 Betting Tips

Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with three career victories at Daytona, although they’ve all come in the 500. Kevin Harvick follows with a pair of Daytona triumphs, both of them a long time ago, including a victory in the summer race way back in 2002. Beyond that, the list of past Daytona winners starts to get a little weird, and includes the likes of Haley, Cindric, McDowell, Aric Almirola, Erik Jones, David Ragan, Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Add in the fact that 27 active drivers have at least one career top-five finish at Daytona, and it becomes very clear that the capricious nature of superspeedway racing can reward bettors who go out on a limb. McDowell and Chris Buescher both have more career top-fives at Daytona than Elliott, which tells you something about the place. There’s almost no such thing as a bad bet at Daytona, where 34 active drivers have scored a career top-10.

Of course, enhancing your chances of winning means more than taking a flier on Josh Bilicki or B.J. McLeod. There are high-value options like McDowell, Dillon and Corey Lajoie who have very good records at Daytona relative to the track’s roulette-wheel tendencies, and elite drivers like Harvick and Hamlin who collect top-10s by the truckload. Then there’s the looming inevitability of the Big One, which can wipe out even the best-researched wager, and can leave drivers and bettors both shaking their heads.

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Coke Zero Sugar 400 Three Best Predictions

Kevin Harvick to Win

Odds: +2500 at DraftKings

Ridiculous value on betting apps on one of the best of his era at Daytona, who’s also won the past two oval races this season. Who cares if he finished 12th last week on the road course at Watkins Glen.

Harvick and his No. 4 team have found their footing in the next-gen car, he was a contender at Daytona as recently as last season, and even in the depths of his 65-race winless streak he showed plenty of signs that a big breakthrough was coming. Now, it’s here.

Bubba Wallace Top 3

Odds: +425 at DraftKings

Of the 13 drivers who have to win to get into the playoffs, the best option at betting sites for bettors is Wallace, who’s been runner-up in two consecutive races at Daytona.

While his season overall has been uneven at best, the No. 23 car is clearly rounding into shape on big tracks after an eighth-place finish at Pocono and runner-up result at Michigan. Wallace has three career second-place finishes at Daytona, adding in his 2018 Daytona 500 runner-up in a Richard Petty car.

Michael McDowell Top 10

Odds: +200 at DraftKings

The former Daytona 500 champion is enjoying the best season of his career, with 10 top-10s so far overall, three of them coming in his past five races.

McDowell also has eight career top-10s at Daytona, including a seventh-place result in February. Even when he wasn’t a contender anywhere else, McDowell was a contender at Daytona. In this car and in this season, he’s certainly a threat.

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Coke Zero Sugar 400 Date, Time and TV

When: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.

TV: NBC

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.