NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series will make its second stop of the season at storied Daytona International Speedway over the 4th of July Holiday for the running of this season’s Coke Zero 400. Sunday night’s race is set to start at 4:45 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
Both Kyle and Kurt Busch have garnered the spotlight in the last two Sprint Cup point races. Kyle posted his first victory of the season with a win in last Sunday’s road course event at Sonoma. Kurt finished second in that race after winning at Michigan a few weeks back. Clint Bowyer went on to round-out the top three at Sonoma.
Top Valued Favorite
There are longer odds for everyone this week given the wide-open racing style at this track, but my top favorite on the board at +800 betting odds to win is Dale Earnhardt Jr. The No. 88 car comes into this year’s Coke Zero in excellent racing form with a top-five finishes in half of the first 16 Sprint Cup point races it has run. This includes a victory at Talladega, which is another restrictor plate track like Daytona. Dale Jr. also adds some solid value to his odds to win given a third-place finish in this season’s Daytona 500. He has now placed third or better in four of his last seven trips around this track.
Top Valued Contender
It is very rare to see Kevin Harvick with double-digit odds to win so that is why he is my top valued pick this week at +1200. The No. 4 car has followed-up its run to the 2014 Sprint Cup title with two victories and an impressive eight additional second-place finishes in the first 16 point races this year. The team sits atop the current Sprint Cup standings with a total of 616 points. Harvick is another driver that has had some recent success at Daytona. He ended-up third in this race in 2013 and he started the defense of last season’s title with a second-place finish in this year’s Daytona 500.
Top Valued Longshot
The odds to win this race really drop-off the map after the first dozen drivers or so, but I think that Jamie McMurray at +3000 odds to win is still worth a closer look. Driving behind the wheel of the No. 1 car, he has placed in the top 10 in seven races this season including a near-miss second-place finish at Phoenix. Current form also remains good with three seventh-place finishes in his last four Sprint Cup events. McMurray caught everyone’s attention with a victory in the 2010 Daytona 500, but in the 10 races since that unexpected win, he has only been able to crack the top-10 once.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon are next on the list at +1000 betting odds for Sunday’s race following Earnhardt Jr. The value is there for Johnson, but Gordon has only finished in the top-five once in his last nine races at this track. Along with Harvick, there are six additional drivers listed at +1200 betting odds to win this race starting with Joey Logano, who won this year’s Daytona 500. Also in this group is Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr.