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NASCAR at Bristol: Odds, Picks & Best Bets for Bass Pro Shops Night Race

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 19 mins

NASCAR at Bristol: Odds, Picks & Best Bets for Bass Pro Shops Night Race

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The summer of Martin Truex Jr. has turned into a postseason of desperation for the one-time championship futures odds leader in NASCAR’s top series. 

A cut tire and crash just three laps into last week’s playoff race at Kansas left Truex on the brink of elimination entering Saturday night’s cutoff event on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. For four months, Truex ran in the top-10 as consistently as anyone and proved very good to sports bettors, even emerging as the championship futures favorite in late July. But his last three weeks have been disastrous, and Truex sits seven points on the wrong side of the bubble heading to the Tennessee short track.

Truex’s NASCAR futures odds have faded to +800, well behind the +400 of leader Kyle Larson. Truex is +1400 on betting apps to prevail Saturday at Bristol, where not only has he never won, but he’s also finished top-10 in just one of his past nine starts. Truex’s career average finish at Bristol, 20.8, ranks fifth-worst among the 32 tracks on which he’s competed.

So indeed, the odds seem stacked against NASCAR’s regular-season champion. At least we’ll have the memories—and the cash winnings—from his glorious summer run. 

NASCAR Odds For Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Odds via DraftKings and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings Review

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Bass Pro Shops Night Race Betting Tips

Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with eight career wins on the Bristol concrete (not including the spring dirt event), with his most recent triumph coming in 2019. Nobody else comes close to Busch in terms of Bristol victories: Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski are tied for second with three each, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano each own two, and Larson and Chris Buescher have one win apiece.

Busch has stretches of absolute domination at Bristol, or spans where he finishes well back in the pack. Between 2017 and 2020, he won three times and finished worse than fourth just once. But that run was preceded by crashes in four of five Bristol starts, and Busch suffered a rare engine failure last year in the first Bristol concrete race in the next-gen car. He’s also had a solid but quiet start to the postseason, though Busch hasn’t led double-digit laps in a race since Nashville in June.

Harvick has been top-10 in three straight on the Bristol concrete, a run that includes his most recent victory there in 2020. Keselowski also most recently won at Bristol in 2020, back in his Penske days, and he heads to the short track this time on the heels of three straight top-10 runs in his Roush-powered car. His teammate Buescher, the defending champion in this race, had an excellent run of four top-10s in five starts ended by a late blown tire at Kansas.

Larson is the odds favorite for a reason: he opened the playoff with finishes of first and fourth, and has been top-10 in seven of his last eight at Bristol, a run that includes a victory in 2021. Wondering if Kansas winner Tyler Reddick can go back-to-back? The RCR driver owns a best finish of fourth at Bristol, that from 2020.

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Bass Pro Shops Night Race Best Bets

Brad Keselowski to Win

Odds: +850 at DraftKings

The rechristened Roush Fenway Keselowski operation has made huge strides over the past year, with the results to back it up. Buescher may have stolen the spotlight with his three victories this season, but Keselowski is right there—he’s scored top-10s in three straight and seven of his last 10, leading 102 laps at Richmond in late June and another 23 at Kansas on his way to finishing ninth last week. He’s overdue for a first victory in his RFK ride, and among active drivers at Bristol, only Busch and Harvick have led more laps.

Kyle Larson Top 3

Odds: +160 at DraftKings

Hardly a value wager, but it’s also difficult to argue with a proven team that’s once again hitting its stride at the perfect time of year. Larson after his summer slump has roared back with top-10s in three of his last four oval starts, among them a Darlington victory that advances him through to the next round of the playoffs and takes all the pressure off him this week. Larson’s also been good at Bristol for a long time, scoring seven top-10s there (including a pair of runner-up finishes) back in his Chip Ganassi days.

Erik Jones Top 5

Odds: +750 at DraftKings

Why isn’t this guy in a better ride? Jones can do phenomenal things with a second-tier car, as he’s shown the past two weeks by piloting his Legacy Motor Club entry to a 10th-place result at Darlington and a third at Kansas. And Bristol is one of Jones’ best tracks—he’s finished top-10 in half of his 10 career starts there, including a career-best second for Furniture Row in 2017, a third with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2020, and an eighth last year for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race Time, Date and TV

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

Where: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway


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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.