NASCAR Betting Odds Coke Zero 400

Posted by Jordan Walterss on Friday,July 1, 2016 8:58, EST in

The most storied track in NASCAR Sprint Cup history is Daytona International Speedway in Florida, which is considered the home of stock-car racing. The biggest event every year on the NASCAR schedule is the season-opening Daytona 500 there. And often considered the second-biggest event is this Saturday’s Coke Zero 400, which is run every July 4 weekend. It’s also considered the unofficial halfway point of the season. Your favorite on betting lines for Saturday night’s face, which will be shown on NBC, is Dale Earnhardt Jr. at +550.

In Depth Look at the NASCAR Betting Odds Coke Zero 400

This race is known for its close finishes, posting a (.154 ds) margin of victory in its last 21 races, high-speed high-density crashes under the lights and of course fireworks during post-race celebrations.

There is no better driver alive on restrictor-plate tracks, as only Daytona and Talladega are, than Dale Earnhardt Jr. — his daddy was the same way. And Earnhardt is the defending champion of this race. Because of a conflict with Macy’s fireworks shows that NBC also has broadcast rights for, the race was moved to Sunday in 2015. It was very rainy last year and the delayed race didn’t end until 2:14 a.m. on Monday. The race didn’t go green until 11:42 p.m. ET, far beyond the 8:10 p.m. scheduled green flag.

The outcome was never in doubt as Earnhardt dominated the entire race. But the race was marred by a spectacular and scary last-lap crash as Austin Dillon’s car sailed upside-down into the protective fence then shot back onto the track. The car was on its roof and mangled when it was hit hard by Brad Keselowski. The car tore down a section of fencing, debris scattered into the grandstands and several fans were injured but none seriously.

Of course Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a late crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. He won 34 races at the track. Last year’s Coke Zero was Junior’s fourth Sprint Cup Series win at Daytona and first in that race since 2001. Earnhardt led 96 of the 161 laps in 2015, including the final 55 laps. He held off Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson during a green-white-checkered finish. Johnson ended up second, with Hamlin third — as he was spinning across the finish line after getting a push from Kevin Harvick.

Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, has amassed 13 top-five finishes in 33 starts overall at Daytona including those four wins. So far this year, Earnhardt’s fortunes at Daytona and Talladega have not been good. He crashed out of both the Daytona 500 and the spring Talladega race, destroying his favorite plate-track car in the process.

The only other active driver with four points race victories at Daytona is Tony Stewart, with all of the three-time champion’s wins coming in this race. He’s a +2300 longer shot this week. Stewart snapped an 84-race winless streak last week with a victory at Sonoma. Stewart bulldozed Denny Hamlin into the outside wall in Turn 11, executing a dramatic last-lap pass for his first victory since June 2, 2013 at Dover.

Hamlin has a sour taste in his mouth after losing last week’s Sonoma race to Stewart on that last-lap pass. Hamlin won the season-opening Daytona 500. He earned his first Daytona 500 victory in the closest finish in the race’s storied 58-year history, pushing his No. 11 FedEx Toyota ahead of Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota at the finish line by one-hundredth of a second (0.010) — a half-foot winning difference in NASCAR’s most celebrated event. The two cars crossed the finish line simultaneously, and it wasn’t until NASCAR made the official call and television replayed the finish before most people were certain who had won. It was Toyota’s first ever win in NASCAR’s premier event and the first Daytona 500 win for Joe Gibbs Racing in 23 years.

Hamlin is a +900 second-favorite on betting lines with Johnson this week. Hamlin hasn’t won this event, while in 2013 Johnson became the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to sweep a Daytona season.

Expert Betting Prediction

Hard to go against Junior. If looking at the past 10 restrictor-plates races since 2014, Junior has a series best three wins and 382 laps led. In the four plate races last season, his worst finish was third and had two wins. He has simply had bad luck this year.

ODDS TO WIN

  • DALE EARNHARDT JR: +550
  • JIMMIE JOHNSON: +900
  • DENNY HAMLIN: +900
  • KEVIN HARVICK: +1100
  • JOEY LOGANO: +1100
  • KYLE BUSCH: +1100
  • MATT KENSETH: +1100
  • CARL EDWARDS: +1100
  • MARTIN TRUEX JR: +1100
  • BRAD KESELOWSKI: +1100
  • KURT BUSCH: +1400
  • CHASE ELLIOTT: +1800
  • KASEY KAHNE: +1800
  • AUSTIN DILLON: +2300
  • KYLE LARSON: +2300
  • TONY STEWART: +2300
  • RYAN BLANEY: +2800
  • JAMIE MCMURRAY: +2800
  • RYAN NEWMAN: +3800
  • GREG BIFFLE: +3800
  • RICKY STENHOUSE JR: +3800
  • PAUL MENARD: +3800
  • CLINT BOWYER: +3800
  • TREVOR BAYNE: +3800
  • AJ ALLMENDINGER: +4800
  • ARIC ALMIROLA: +4800
  • DANICA PATRICK: +5500
  • REGAN SMITH: +5500
  • FIELD: +2300