NASCAR at Dover betting preview: The five favorites are the five most recent Dover winners

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NASCAR at Dover betting preview: The five favorites are the five most recent Dover winners
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Drydene 400

2 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)

The favorites at Dover are all recent winners at the track.

The five drivers with the best odds to win Sunday’s Cup Series race are the five most recent winners at the one-mile concrete oval. Chase Elliott won the 2018 fall race. He’s at +700. Martin Truex Jr. won the 2019 spring race. He’s at a +350. Kyle Larson won the 2019 fall race. He’s at +450.

The 2020 race weekend was a doubleheader because of the coronavirus pandemic. Those races were won by Denny Hamlin (+500) and Kevin Harvick (+700).

Three of those drivers mentioned above have not yet won in 2021, though it’s only a matter of time before they do. Hamlin has been dominating in the points standings despite not visiting Victory Lane, and Harvick has been extremely consistent once again. Elliott, meanwhile, is the only member of Hendrick Motorsports who hasn’t won a race so far this season. He’s eighth in the standings. He’s been no slouch.

Sunday’s race at the track is also the only race at Dover this season. Dover hasn’t been one of the most entertaining tracks on the Cup Series circuit in quite some time, so fans probably aren’t going to miss a second race at Dover all that much. The track’s second date is now at Nashville Superspeedway, a track that hasn’t hosted a Cup Series race.

And given Dover’s unique characteristics — it’s twice the size of Bristol and Nashville is the only other track on the schedule with a concrete surface — Sunday’s race isn’t likely to tell us much about the rest of the Cup Series season. But some common sense and the betting odds make it clear that a surprise winner probably isn’t going to happen. The guys who have been good at Dover are going to be good at Dover again in 2021. Which one are you going to bet on?

As always, the odds listed below are provided by BetMGM.

The favorites

Martin Truex Jr., +350

Kyle Larson, +450

Denny Hamlin, +500

Chase Elliott, +700

Kevin Harvick, +700

Elliott has finished 38th and 39th in two of the four Dover races since his win at the track. His other two finishes are a pair of fifths. Truex hasn’t finished outside the top 15 at Dover since he was 38th in 2013. Larson hasn’t raced at Dover since his 2019 win and has finished lower than 12th just once in 12 starts. Hamlin has just 13 top 10s in 30 starts at Dover, but seven of those have come since 2016. Harvick has finished first, sixth, fourth, fourth, fourth and first in his last six Dover starts.

Good mid-tier value

Joey Logano, +1400

William Byron, +1600

Logano has never won at Dover, though he’s been pretty solid at the track. He has four top-19 finishes in his last five races and has 14 top 10s in 24 starts. Byron was fourth in the second race at Dover in 2020 and was eighth in the spring race in 2019. He has 10 top-10 finishes in 12 races so far this season and all those have come in a row. Byron hasn’t finished lower than ninth after he started the season with 26th- and 33rd-place finishes at Daytona.

Don't bet this driver

Austin Dillon, +5000

Dillon has three top-10 finishes in 15 Dover starts and has never finished better than seventh at the track. Dillon has been solid in 2021 and is posting the best average finish (13.6) of his career. That’s why he’s 12th in the standings. But he also has led just eight laps so far this year and has one top five. He’s still a ways away from a win.

Looking for a long shot?

Bubba Wallace, +20000

Don’t bet drivers with extremely long odds at tracks outside of Daytona and Talladega. Wallace gets a mention here because … well, he’s the best option of the guys with the long odds. He posted his first lead-lap finish at Dover in the second race of 2020.

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