NASCAR promised that 2021 was going to be the most exciting season ever. At this point, you have to say that the best word to describe what we have seen is surprising. We have seen some big underdogs win races and have yet to see any driver win more than one races. If this continues, then things are certainly going to end up being exciting, as that would mean a very close race for the available playoff spots. That is all still a long way off in the distance, though, so let’s instead turn our attention to Martinsville and the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, which will be run this coming Sunday. We are going to take a look at the favorites, but given what has happened thus far, you may want to pick out a longshot to play. With that in mind, let’s get right to it so you can bet against their NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series: 2021 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 Betting Analysis
Martin Truex Jr. (+500)
If you toss out his last run at Martinsville, where he finished 22nd, this is a track that has been very good to Truex Jr. Prior to that run last November, he had back-to-back wins under his belt, as well as a run that saw him land in the top 5 in 5 of 6 races, with the other run in that stretch being an 8th place finish. Truex Jr. has made a fantastic start to the season and already had 1 win to his name, as well as landing in the top 10 in 4 out of 7 races. That is enough to have him sitting in 3rd in the driver standings. If he can get the win this weekend, he may move even higher.
Chase Elliott (+600)
Last season, Chase Elliott hung out near the top of the driver standings all the way before finally making his move in the playoffs. It was a win at Martinsville last November that helped put him in the position to win his first ever championship. Elliott is not off to the greatest of starts this season in the defense of his title, although he does have a pair of top 5 finishes through the first 7 races, which has him sitting down in 9th overall, probably a good deal lower than where we thought he would be at this early stage of the season.
Denny Hamlin (+600)
For a good portion of the 2020 season, it looked as though it was going to be either Hamlin or Kevin Harvick that would win it all, but both drivers ended up coming up short. Hamlin at least made it into the final four of the playoffs, but ended up losing out to Elliott. Hamlin has come into this season picking up where he left off last year. While he has yet to pick up a win, he does have 6 top 5 finishes out of 7 races, which has him in the #1 spot right now. Hamlin has 5 previous wins at Martinsville, although the last one came back in 2015.
Brad Keselowski (+650)
If you are looking for the driver who has been the most consistent at this track over the past few years, look no further than Keselowski. He has been in the top 10 in each of his last 10 runs there, which includes a win and 8 other top 5 finishes. In fact, 10th was his worst run at Martinsville dating back to April 2016. He already has 3 top 5 finishes this season, so I believe that he can win here, which is why he is my pick for Sunday.