Latest Lines: Blue-Emu 500

Dan Beaver
·4 min read


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Line Moves

With the Easter break, oddsmakers had plenty of time to think this through. On the other hand, this is Martinsville where the same drivers tend to run well year after year.

Among the top 10 this week, only two drivers experienced line movements of 100 points or greater at PointsBet Sportsbook. In both cases, the bookmakers needed to sweeten the pot a little to try and get more movement.

William Byron (+2500) was the biggest mover among the leaders. He opened the week at +2200 as Hendrick Motorsports drivers took three positions among the top 10. Frankly, Byron deserves more respect this week. He has already proved he can win at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Week 3. More importantly, he came up just one position shy of a Martinsville win in fall 2019. Last spring he finished eighth and might have a three-race, top-10 streak going if not for crash damage last fall.


Kyle Busch (+1300) opened at +1200 – the first driver above the 10/1 mark. He was tied with Kyle Larson (+1200) for a little while and the two actually swapped positions during the week. Larson briefly landed at +1300 before snapping back to his original spot. Busch then saw the movement that remains as the weekend begins. Perhaps the most telling stat is how his line has changed over the course of the last three races from +450 in spring 2020, to +800 last fall, to +1300 now.

The two favorites this week saw a little shaved off their lines. Martin Truex Jr. (+475) and Brad Keselowski (+600) each saw 50 points deducted, which suggests there was considerable wagering on the two at their original marks. If bookmakers can save 50 cents on each bet, that adds up over time.

Denny Hamlin (+775) went the opposite direction. This would seem to suggest that bettors have lost some faith in the former short, flat track king. That is not surprising in light of Hamlin’s modest record from last season as he failed to crack the top 10 in either Martinsville race. Last year Hamlin was posted at +650 in the spring and +575 in the fall.

Like his teammate Keselowski, Ryan Blaney (+775) generated enough action to necessitate a move of 75 points shaved from his payout. Blaney’s pair of runner-up Martinsville finishes last year grabbed the imagination of gamblers and even with new odds, he is a solid bet.

Otherwise the top drivers remained the same, which means bookmakers most likely top-five finishers are Truex, Keselowski, Chase Elliott (+625), Joey Logano (+725), Hamlin, and Blaney.

Alex Bowman (+2800) landed just outside the top 10 this week, but like his teammate Byron he did not get enough action early. Oddsmakers adjusted him 300 points as well. Given the dominance of longshots this year, the fact that Bowman is capable of keeping the streak of unique winners going at eight, and the strength of Hendrick Motorsports on this paperclip-shaped track, he is worthy of a moderate bet. In fact, gamblers will want to put a little money on both the No. 48 and 24 this week.

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Rank

Driver

Current
Odds

Opening
Odds

Change

Martinsville 2020
fall (2641)

Martinsville 2020
spring (2618)

1.

Martin Truex Jr.

475

525

-50

320

550

2.

Brad Keselowski

600

650

-50

560

600

3.

Chase Elliott

625

625

0

800

900

4.

Joey Logano

725

725

0

850

900

5.

Denny Hamlin

775

725

50

575

650

5.

Ryan Blaney

775

850

-75

1000

1000

7.

Kyle Larson

1200

1200

0

8.

Kyle Busch

1300

1200

100

800

450

9.

Kevin Harvick

1500

1500

0

900

1100

10.

William Byron

2500

2200

300

3500

3300

11.

Alex Bowman

2800

2500

300

2200

2800

12.

Kurt Busch

3300

3300

0

2800

2500

13.

Christopher Bell

3500

3300

200

12500

12500

14.

Matt DiBenedetto

8000

8000

0

6600

8000

14.

Tyler Reddick

8000

8000

0

9000

12500

16.

Aric Almirola

9000

9000

0

7000

5000

16.

Bubba Wallace

9000

9000

0

20000

15000

18.

Ryan Newman

10000

9000

1000

15000

8000

18.

Austin Dillon

10000

9000

1000

9000

10000

20.

Chris Buescher

15000

15000

0

40000

20000

20.

Erik Jones

15000

15000

0

7000

4500

20.

Daniel Suarez

15000

12500

2500

50000

100000

20.

Cole Custer

15000

12500

2500

20000

20000

20.

Chase Briscoe

15000

15000

0

25.

Michael McDowell

30000

25000

5000

50000

50000

25.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20000

20000

0

25000

12500

25.

Ryan Preece

30000

25000

5000

50000

50000

25.

Ross Chastain

30000

30000

0

29.

JJ Yeley

50000

50000

0

50000

100000

29.

BJ McLeod

50000

50000

0

29.

James Davison

50000

50000

0

50000

29.

Corey LaJoie

50000

50000

0

50000

75000

29.

Cody Ware

50000

50000

0

29.

Josh Bilicki

50000

50000

0

50000

29.

Justin Haley

50000

50000

0

29.

Quin Houff

50000

50000

0

50000

150000

29.

Anthony Alfredo

50000

50000

0

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