Sunday’s XFINITY 500 at Martinsville Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM) marks the last race before the championship race at Phoenix next weekend.
Martinsville is a half-mile, paperclip-shaped track where passing is quite difficult.
It’s rare to get a long-shot winner here, so today I’ve buckled down and found one driver who seems to check all the outright boxes.
RELATED: Betting odds for Martinsville
NASCAR Pick for Martinsville
*Odds as of Sunday morning
With Joey Logano locked into the championship round, three playoff spots are still up for grabs among seven drivers.
Chase Elliott is a heavy favorite to advance given his 11-point cushion and impressive track history.
Elliott has led more than 100 laps in three of his last four Martinsville starts, and backs up that impressive track history with his on-track performance this weekend.
In practice, Elliott posted a top-five time across all long-run lap metrics, and backed that up with a second-place qualifying effort. Additionally, Elliott has been 2022’s best driver, racking up the most wins and comfortably taking home the regular-season points championship.
In Elliott we’re getting everything we want: track history, current weekend speed and current form overall.
Oh, and my model makes him the favorite at 18.3% to win.
That’s significantly better than the 14.7% odds that are implied at +580 at PointsBet. Even +550 at DraftKings or FanDuel are a nice healthy gap to my model’s projection.
I generally don’t back favorites, but this week my model is showing a large enough edge, so I’ll bite.
The Bet: Chase Elliott +580 | Bet to: +500