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NASCAR bets for Martinsville: Chase Elliott returns; forget him, Kyle Larson and favorites

NASCAR kicks the dirt off its boots and returns to its roots this weekend for the NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway, and I know what you’re thinking.

“NOCO?”

Thanks for asking, and here’s some background: NOCO has been around since 1914 and the name comes from the two founders — fellas named Nook and O’Neill. Along with other accessories, the Cleveland-based company is best known for its quality battery chargers.

If you don’t own one, you’re courting trouble. You know it’s only a matter of time before your Diehard goes belly-up in the middle of a war-torn village and there’s no one around but mouth-breathing guerrilla rebels.

Lecture over.

But I craftily segue from battery chargers to last week’s net gain at Bristol, which hopefully jolts some life into my efforts to crawl back into plus-territory for the season. True, it was just $30, but 30 bucks beats a kick to the undercarriage, not to mention a dead battery.

Now it’s on to Martinsville's famed paperclip, where I hope to attach another winning ticket to the ledger.

And guess what!!!??? Chase Elliott — CHASE FREAKIN' ELLIOTT — is back! You have no idea how happy that makes a wide swath of NASCAR fandom.

Let’s go to the board and find a winner.

Chase Elliott is back and everyone is happy, including the Hooter's girls.
Chase Elliott is back and everyone is happy, including the Hooter's girls.

NASCAR POLL TV ratings have been significantly lower this year. Why? Vote here!

NASCAR QNA Hey Bill Mullis, time for your close-up; the final appeals officer is needed

William Byron +600, Christopher Bell +650, Kyle Larson +650, Chase Elliott +700, Denny Hamlin +700, Martin Truex Jr. +850, Joey Logano +850

Not sure I like Chase with just one leg at 100% on a braking track. But the odds react to where the money is going, and God bless 'em, a lot of folks will always bet with the heart and not the noggin.

Denny sure gets a lot of respect for a guy who’s been stuck in traffic most of the season, and for a guy who has two Martinsville top-10s in his last six starts. And Truex? He’s on a 52-race winless slide and in two Martinsville starts last year, his best finish was 20th.

Sometimes you have to ask, “what do they know that I don’t know?”

Ryan Blaney +1,100, Kyle Busch +1,200, Ross The Boss Chastain +1,600

In his last eight Martinsville starts, Kyle Busch has led five laps. Total. That’s creepy weird.

Kevin Harvick +2,000, Alex Bowman +2,000, Brad Keselowski +2,200, Tyler Reddick +2,800, Chris Buescher +3,000

Josh Berry is still driving Chase Elliott's No. 9 Chevy.
Josh Berry is still driving Chase Elliott's No. 9 Chevy.

You might think Reddick is too low on the odds board. Except Reddick has basically stunk at Martinsville. But maybe things change with his new team.

The Other Chase, Briscoe +4,000, Aric (With an A) Almirola +4,000, Daniel Suarez +4,000

Wondering if Suarez should be higher on the board? Take a look at his career short-track record and get back to me. I’ll wait. You’re right, he should actually be lower.

The Other Ryan, Preece +5,000 Bubba Wallace +5,000, Austin Dillon +5,000, Ty Gibbs +6,000, Austin Cindric +6,000

Don’t sneak a look south, I’ll tell you right now I’m gonna continue putting a token bet on Ty Gibbs until the dam breaks and he takes off. Meanwhile, I hear a piano …

All at +20,000: Ricky Stenhouse, AJ Allmendinger, Erik (With a K) Jones, Noah Gragson, Todd Gilliland, Corey LaJoie, Justin Haley, Ty Dillon, JJ Yeley, Anthony Alfredo, Harrison Burton, Michael McDowell.

Enter the Longshot Lounge, where there’s no mistaking the unique ivory-tickling chops of Floyd Cramer, one of those rare birds who’s in both the Rock and Country halls of fame. Between “Last Date” and his take on “MacArthur Park,” send a round of drinks to Erik and Noah. They could use ’em.

Last Week: 'We have a winner!'

That $20 flier on dirt ringer Jonathan Davenport flew away quickly and without fanfare. But $20 on one of the Bristol favorites, Christopher Bell, paid off. At +650, it was worth $130, which won’t change a tax bracket, but will adjust an attitude.

This Week: Ignoring the favorites; it's called GAMBLING, dammit!

With some help from Nook, O’Neill and the NOCO assembly line, more positivity is welcomed.

Let’s start with the first three names on the odds board — Billy the Kid, Bell and Larson. You sorta just know the winner is coming from that trio, right?

But they call it gambling, you know, which means sometimes you have to fight your belief system and wing it. So I take a deep breath and look for bigger paydays this week. And no chance you bank on Chase, regardless of the rooting interest.

Here’s the dispersal:

$30 on Ryan Blaney.

$25 on Brad Keselowski.

$25 on Ross the Boss.

$10 on Kevin Harvick.

$10, as warned, on Ty Gibbs.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: NASCAR betting odds for Martinsville: Chase Elliott returns; no thanks