2016 NASCAR Sprint Unlimited Betting Preview, Odds & Picks

Jake Walker

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 8:37 PM UTC

NASCAR's official season-opening event is the Daytona 500, but the Sprint Cup Series unofficially starts with the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race on Saturday. Let's analyze the betting odds for the drivers.

Sprint Unlimited Format
This race features 75 laps split into two segments. It will feature a competition caution on Lap 25, followed by a 50-lap dash to the finish. There's no qualifying for the Sprint Unlimited and the starting lineup is determined by random draw with fan participation, as fans are paired with the crew chief for each driver. The drawing takes place next Friday.

The list of 25 eligible drivers for this race includes former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time last season, former Sprint Unlimited winners, last season's Chase drivers and  2015 pole winners. Casey Mears will take Jeff Gordon's spot (Gordon recently retired) and the injured Tony Stewart will be replaced by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.


Contenders With Decent Betting Value
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is favored to win this race at +500 odds at Bovada. Other drivers might offer better value for our sports picks, but Earnhardt Jr. has always driven well at Daytona International Speedway, with an average finish of 4.75 in 4 races there since February 14, 2014, including 2 wins. He has led 182 laps in those 4 races at Daytona.  

Kevin Harvick has no wins in any of the last 4 races at Daytona, but he did place in the Top 10 in two of those. He won 3 races last year and finished second in the Sprint Cup Standings. Harvick has a bit of momentum on his side, so don't ignore him at a value price of +1000 because he is capable of stepping up on Saturday.  

Austin Dillon might be a young driver but it can't be denied that he has done an exceptional job in the last 4 races at Daytona since 2014. Dillon is 4th in average finish at 8.75 in those 4 races. That 8.75 average finish is his beat at any track in the Sprint Cup Series. It's worth noting that he has a Top 5 finish and three top 10 finishes. He won a pole and led 9 laps in the four races, so expect him to do very well Saturday. Siding with him is not a bad idea since he is at +2800 to win this race. 

Here's a look at the betting odds from Bovada:  

Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88 +500

Jimmie Johnson #48 +800

Joey Logano #22 +900

Kevin Harvick #4 +1000

Denny Hamlin #11 +1000

Kyle Busch #18 +1000

Matt Kenseth #20 +1200

Kurt Busch #41 +1400

Brad Keselowski #2 +1600

Carl Edwards #19 +1600

Kasey Kahne #5 +1600

Martin Truex, Jr. #78 +1800

Kyle Larson #42 +2000

Jamie McMurray #1 +2200

Austin Dillon #3 +2800

Clint Bowyer #15 +3300

Greg Biffle #16 +3300

Paul Menard #27 +3300

Ryan Newman #31 +3300

A.J. Allmendinger #47 +5000

Aric Almirola #43 +5000

Danica Patrick #10 +5000

Casey Mears #13 +6600

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17 +6600

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