2021 Daytona 500: NASCAR Picks, Odds, Predictions, and Preview - 2/14/21
Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Daytona 500
Sunday February 14, 2020 2:30pm EST
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We begin the season with the NASCAR version of the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500. Daytona is at the top of the list to win for these drivers and teams, and we can expect some aggressive racing on Sunday. That said, will the chalk prevail, or will a large priced long shot come through and take the checkered flag?
Here are a few drivers to consider for the Great American Race.
Denny Hamlin- +800- Hamlin is the favorite to win Daytona 500, and rightfully so. Denny won the 2020 Daytona 500 in a close battle with Ryan Blaney to take the checkers. Over the last 12 races between Daytona and Talladega, Denny has 3 wins and 8 top 10 finishes with only 2 DNFs. Very difficult to win 3 Daytona 500s in a row, but I think Denny will be in position for the win in the late stages Sunday evening.
Ryan Blaney +1200- Ryan Blaney is 2nd only to Joey Logano with an average driver rating of 93.1 on Super Speedways over the last 12 races. Blaney has claimed victory 2 times at Talladega in the 12-race span mentioned, 1 victory in 2019 and the other in 2020. Ryan has also led the 2nd most laps over the last 12 Super Speedway races at 255, once again behind teammate Joey Logano. All 3 Penske cars have a very legit shot to win the Daytona 500, you could put a blanket over the 3, but I think Blaney has the best shot.
Bubba Wallace +2000- Brand new team for Bubba Wallace in 2021 with Michael Jordan part ownership in the venture. No doubt there will be a lot of focus for Bubba’s team to start out on a great note, and it’s entirely possible that he could win on Sunday. Bubba has been very successful on Super Speedways, but especially at Daytona. Wallace finished 2nd in the 2018 Daytona 500, and he will have the help once again to be in contention at the end of the 2021 Daytona 500.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +2500- Stenhouse is an anomaly with his skill set, does very well at the Super Speedways and the short tracks, has struggled in between. Stenhouse has the 3rd best average driver rating over the past 12 races at Super Speedways, 4 top 10 finishes including 3 top 5s. Stenhouse is a take no prisoners type of driver and will make aggressive moves in efforts to grab the top spot. Expect Ricky to be around at the end of the Daytona 500.
Ryan Newman +4000- Newman makes a return to Daytona, 1 year after that horrific crash coming to the checkered flag of the 2020 Daytona 500. Newman has the 2nd best average finish of the drivers entered in the 2021 Daytona 500 at 12.75 over the last 12 Super Speedway races. Amazingly, Ryan has only failed to finish 1 of the last 12 Super Speedway races, and no doubt that has contributed most to the success. Big value here on Newman for the Daytona 500, definitely consider sprinkling in action on the long shot.