Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Dark Horses

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Last week four drivers with outright-to-win odds to win the Quaker State 400 that were long enough to drag their top-10 odds into the plus range earned top-10 finishes, proving there are multiple ways to make money on a NASCAR race. One of them, Kurt Busch won at +3300 and that offset a consistent weekly bet through this stage of the season.

Busch led Tyler Reddick in sixth, Christopher Bell in eighth, and Matt DiBenedetto in ninth as dark horse success stories. Austin Dillon’s 12th-place finish, Bubba Wallace’s 14th, and Chase Briscoe’s 15th put them on the cusp of being great values as well.

The similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks have developed a tendency to reward dark horses for top-10s in what has become standard fare – enough so that several units of one’s budget should go to this wager. But what about short, flat tracks? The answer is similar, but oddly enough these drivers’ tracks have slightly fewer successful longshots than the horsepower-laden 1.5-milers in 2021.

Many of the same drivers who were successful at Atlanta will run well this week.

DiBenedetto (+115 for a top-10) tops our list of dark horses because of his consistency and strength on minimally-banked courses one-mile or less in length. Dating back to the 2019 Foxwood Resort 301, DiBenedetto has amassed six top-10s, another five top-15s and a worst of 17th in 13 races. His best effort in that span netted a top-five at New Hampshire.

The news this week that he will be released from Wood Brothers Racing for the up-and-coming, Harrison Burton dulls our enthusiasm a little, but not enough to suggest he is not a good value for the Foxwood Resort Casino 301.

Christopher Bell (+650, top-three) has currently has momentum on his side and is racing for a team that is headed in the right direction. Joe Gibbs Racing placed all four of their drivers in the top 10 at Atlanta with Kyle Busch challenging for the win and Bell finishing eighth. That comes on the heels of a second-place finish at Road America and not too long since he finished ninth at Nashville Superspeedway. Bell is easily in the best equipment for the dark horses and has the greatest opportunity to earn a top-10. Unfortunately his PointsBet Sportsbook odds for that are in the minus range, so you need to decide if a top-three bet is indicated.

Click Here for the Foxwood Resort 301 Best Bets

If this keeps up, we are going to have to stop calling Tyler Reddick (+150, top-10) a dark horse. In the last 18 races (a rolling half season), he has a top-10 percentage of .556 and a top-15 rate of .667. He hasn’t earned a top-five in that span of events, however, and chances are good that until he does, his top-10 odds will remain positive. How misplaced is that? Reddick has been among the Power Rankings Top-10 for 10 weeks now, which outpaces Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman.

Last week we predicted Austin Dillon (+150, top-10) would land on the cusp of a top 10. He finished 12th, which is his 14th top-15 in the last 18 races – or put another way, it is a top-15 percentage of .778. In that span of races, when he missed the top 15, it was by a narrow margin and he has an average finish of 12.7. Be conservative, however, because his last top-10 came in the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway when he finished sixth.

Ross Chastain (+230) wants a good run to put him on equal footing with teammate Ku. Busch while the decision of who will be Daniel Suarez’s teammate is being made. His recent stats are solid, but they do not put him on the same plane as the drivers already mentioned. What he does have in his favor, however, is that he has a perfect record of top-20s on short, flat tracks this year with a best of 15th in the most recent outing at Richmond Raceway.

We’re not sure if Aric Almirola (+220) deserves the label of dark horse, but with plus odds this week, he is worthy of consideration. Stewart-Haas Racing is slowly improving and as that happens, Kevin Harvick’s teammates are moving up the grid. Almirola finished 11th at Phoenix Raceway earlier this year and sixth at Richmond. He was fourth last month in Nashville and narrowly missed the top 15 in the next three starts. If you find the right bet, he could add a few shekels to your kitty.

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