3 Great Value Bets in First NASCAR Martinsville Night Race
It’s another quick turnaround, and another one-day show with no practice, qualifying or fans in attendance. But Wednesday’s NASCAR event at Martinsville Speedway also brings something very different: a first Cup Series night race at one of the sport’s most entertaining short tracks.
For the first time in the track’s 73-year history, Cup cars will complete under the lights – promising lots of unknowns, given that drivers will have no practice to acclimate to the increased grip of a cooler night race at Martinsville, an aspect they’ve never experienced before. That presents a NASCAR betting challenge, as bettors will be relying on driver track records in daytime races, at a place where no one is afraid to bump another vehicle out of the way.
Kyle Busch is the odds favorite Wednesday at +450, and understandably so given that he has just one finish worse than fifth at Martinsville since 2015. But there are several other drivers who are very good on the flat half-mile layout, enough so that bettors should be able to find superior value for what should be an aggressive race. Here are three others to watch.
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Note: Odds current as of publication. Compare the latest NASCAR odds here.
Although he hasn’t won at Martinsville since 2015, among active drivers only the great Jimmie Johnson has better stats at the paper clip. Hamlin’s last three finishes at Martinsville have been fourth or better, indicative of his body of work. His fifth-place run last weekend at Atlanta continued a strong 2020 campaign that includes a pair of victories.
Having grown up on short tracks around his native Virginia, Hamlin is simply one of the best short track racers in the Cup Series. At +900 to win (via Unibet) he offers better value than his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Busch, and he also merits strong consideration at +240 for a top-three finish. Make the bet at Unibet.
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Keselowski has been fast almost every week since NASCAR returned, finishing ninth or better in five straight races, a span that includes two victories. His recent Martinsville results have also been stellar, with top-10s in eight straight starts, and a victory and a third-place finish his last two times out.
Over the last eight races at Martinsville, no driver has scored more points than Keselowski, who’s also never been shy about using his car’s front end. Keselowski’s aggression and Ford’s dominance this season make BK worth contemplating at +600 to win and +160 for a top-three (both at 888Sport), even if there are other contenders who offer slightly better value. You can make the bet at 888sport.
It’s been over a decade since Johnson was unbeatable Martinsville, and over three years since his last victory anywhere. Johnson’s recent Martinsville results hardly inspire confidence; he hasn’t finished better than 15th there since his last win in 2016. So why should bettors consider him?Because the 48 car continues to show great speed, with runs of eighth or better in four of five starts (not including the DQ after placing second at Charlotte). Johnson’s third-place run at Bristol after starting 24th offered hints of the old Jimmie.
And at +2000 to win and +550 for a top-three, he offers tremendous value for a guy who’ll brings loads of valuable institutional knowledge into Martinsville’s first night race. Make the bet with DraftKings.