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NASCAR at Richmond betting preview: Can Denny Hamlin or another driver get win No. 1?

Nick Bromberg
·3 min read
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Toyota Owners 400

3 p.m. ET (Fox)

Denny Hamlin. Kevin Harvick. Kyle Busch. Chase Elliott. Brad Keselowski

Those are five of NASCAR's biggest stars. And neither of them has a win so far through eight races in 2021.

All five of those drivers will find themselves in the playoffs. They're all in the top 11 in the points standings and each has at least three top-10 finishes this season. But it's a little surprising that none of them has gotten to Victory Lane so far this season. And it reasons that one of them will get his first win of the year on Sunday at Richmond. 

Each of the five are among the top seven favorites for Sunday's race and have odds of +1100 or lower at BetMGM. Hamlin has the best odds of the group at +600. Only Martin Truex Jr. has better odds. 

Hamlin has three wins in 28 Richmond Starts. He’s failed to complete just 12 laps in his entire career at the track and has finished outside the top 12 just once in seven starts since his last win at the track in the fall of 2016.

Keselowski isn't far behind Hamlin at +650. He won the 2020 race at Richmond after leading 192 of 400 laps. He hasn’t finished lower than 11th at Richmond since he was 17th in the spring of 2015.

Feel free to bet any of those five drivers ahead of Sunday's race. You can't go wrong with any of them. 

[Richmond starting lineup]

The favorites

Martin Truex Jr.: +400

Denny Hamlin: +600

Brad Keselowski: +650

Joey Logano: +800

Logano has been on a good run at Richmond lately. He hasn’t finished any lower than 14th since he was 22nd in the fall of 2013. That’s a streak of 13 races that includes 11 top 10s and two wins.

Truex, meanwhile, is the favorite after his win at Martinsville on Sunday and his recent success at Richmond. Truex has won two of the last four races at Richmond and hasn’t finished lower than third in any of them. Truex had led at least 120 laps in five consecutive Richmond races before he didn’t lead any on the way to a second-place finish in 2020.

Good mid-tier value

Christopher Bell: +3000

Bell was 15th a year ago at Richmond while driving for Leavine Family Racing. Now he's at JGR and in much better equipment. He also has three Xfinity Series wins at Richmond. If you want to look outside the favorites, Bell is probably your best bet.

Don’t bet this driver

Aric Almirola: +8000

Don't bet anyone outside of Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing for the time being. SHR can't find any success right now. Almirola, Chase Briscoe and Cole Custer have combined for zero top-10 finishes so far this season. And neither of the three drivers is in the top 20 in points. Custer is the highest in 24th; he's a spot behind former SHR driver Daniel Suarez.

Looking for a long shot?

Austin Cindric: +25000

Cindric starts last and has really high odds. He's not going to win. But if you're going to bet someone at the back of the pack, go with the guy in Penske equipment. There's at least a chance he'll have a car capable of running up front. You can't say that about anyone else starting outside the top 30.

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