NASCAR Drydene 400 best bets: Larson out to tame Dover
The Monster Mile. That’s the amazing nickname for this week’s track — Dover Motor Speedway — and one of the tougher tracks on the NASCAR schedule. While it seems like a fairly docile concrete surface, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Drydene 400 is a race that’s as tough on the cars as it is on the drivers, and especially with new cars on the track this year.
Dover betting strategy
Dover is a track where track position tends to make the biggest difference in who wins and who comes just short. Going back to the first race of the 2016 season there — 11 races — drivers starting in the top 10 have won 7 of the 11 races with 5 of those winners starting P2. No driver has won from outside the top 20 since the June 2013 race. So for outright bets, we’re looking for drivers starting closer to the front of the field. If they can combine good long-run speed in practice and a high starting spot, they’ll be a good bet. For prop bets at Dover, we’re looking at track history for Spring races there. Track position will play a big role in finish position props as well. In the last three Spring races, we’ve seen only an average of 3 drivers moving up double-digit spots, meaning if you’re looking at a top-10 finish prop and a driver is starting outside of the top 20, it might be tough to hit. We also see 1-2 drivers leading most of the laps in these races.
Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.
Best Dover outright bets
Favorite Play: Kyle Larson +450
Kyle Larson has the best average finish in the last 5 Spring races at Dover of anyone in the field. He’s also led the most laps. The Hendrick stable is always a factor there and went 1-2-3-4 last year. Larson had the fastest 10-lap average at practice, which is usually a good indicator that long-run speed should show up in the race. Starting inside the top 5 gives him a great chance to stay up there on a track that’s tough to pass at.
Denny Hamlin +1000
I wasn’t high on Denny Hamlin until qualifying. He’s been up-and-down this year, though does have a win. What really ticked his box for this piece is that he’s starting P2. What does that have to do with him? Well in the last 11 races, the driver starting P2 has won 5 times, including 2 of the last 4.
William Byron +1600
William Byron has been very fast this year and the brief time on track at Dover practice showed that too. He wound up needing a backup car and will start from the back of the field on Sunday. That’s not typically a driver we’re interested in playing, except for this week. The backup cars now are just as good as the primaries and we’ve seen a driver win from the back at Dover previously. Martin Truex Jr. had to start from the rear after tech inspection in 2019 and wound up winning. Byron, a 2-time winner this year, is also with a team that’s fully capable of being fast at Dover.
Ryan Preece +7500
Here’s a long shot for you. We nearly hit a 70-1 bet last week at Talladega, and while this isn’t Talladega, Ryan Preece has speed. Preece is a part-time driver this year in the Cup series but that doesn’t mean he can’t be fast. At practice, Preece put up the second-best 10-lap average and the 6th-best single-lap time, before qualifying P13 for the race. We’ve seen drivers start in the teens and win the Drydene 400 and if he catches a break or two, he could nab his first Cup win.
Drydene 400 Prop Bets
Ryan Preece +225 top-10 finish
If we’re betting Preece, even with a small wager, to win, why not bet a top-10 finish too? He’s starting just outside the top 10 and has the speed to get there based on practice. This is a nice return on a bet that shouldn’t take much but a recurrence of speed to hit.
Justin Haley +250 top-10 finish
Justin Haley is in a similar boat to Preece. He’s starting near the top 10, has the speed to get there based on practice times. The Kaulig team has had good speed most of the year as well. In the Xfinity Series, Haley has posted a few top 10s in 4 races. Now it’s time to put that speed to use for a good finish at the Drydene 400.
Favorite Prop: Kevin Harvick -110 vs Martin Truex Jr.
Kevin Harvick has had a better season than Martin Truex Jr. so far, at least in the consistency department. Let’s factor in that Harvick has more top 10s this year and is now starting 7 spots higher in the grid. Practice also went in Harvick’s favor. With this year’s consistency in his pocket on a track that’s hard to pass, we’ll take close to even odds for Harvick.
Austin Dillon +200 top-10 finish
Austin Dillon has done so-so at Dover in the last several races, but is on a hot streak coming into this weekend. He’s posted 4 top-10s in the last 5 races this year, including at the last 2 short tracks. Weekends when we’ve not expected anything from him is when he’s shown up, and it seems like that’s shaping up to happen again this weekend. He’ll need some breaks to go his way to hit the bet but getting 2/1 return isn’t a stretch.