NASCAR Go Bowling 235 from Daytona Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

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Martin Truex NASCAR Go Bowling

On Sunday, August 16th, NASCAR returns to Daytona for the Go Bowling 235. However, this isn’t your typical speedway racing. Instead, NASCAR is racing on the Daytona Road Course for the first time in the Cup Series history.

The Go Bowling 235 marks the 23rd race of the 2020 season. With just four weeks left until the Playoffs, drivers have ramped up their horsepower and intensity in order to clinch a postseason birth.

Last weekend, Kevin Harvick showed the rest of the field why he’s the best driver in 2020. Harvick made history by sweeping both races at Michigan and pretty much locking down the #1 spot heading into the Playoffs.

However, for the first time in months, Harvick is not the odds on favorite to win this weekend’s road race. Instead, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. are the top choices for most NASCAR betting sites. Those three drivers are joined by Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin as the Top 5 betting favorites for Sunday.

Daytona’s Road Course

The Daytona Road Course has been around for over 60 years now. It was originally called the International Horseshoe bend, but you can see why owners of the Daytona International Speedway decided to rebrand the road course’s name.

Although the course is making its NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend, it has been used for many popular races in the past like the annual Rolex 24, which many current drivers have participated in at one point during their careers. Basically, Sunday’s field will all be at an equal disadvantage.

Some pundits feel that Daytona’s road course is similar to Charlotte’s ROVAL course, which was added to the Cup Series schedule in 2018. Additionally, the technical skills needed for the Daytona Road Course are comparable to another of NASCAR’s annual road course races – Sonoma.

Race Profile

The Daytona Road Course has 14 turns per lap with a distance of 3.61 miles per lap. Typically, the road course is 3.56 miles per lap, but a new chicane near Turn 4 was added and pushed the lap length to 3.61 miles. Sunday’s race breaks down as follows:

  • Total Miles: 235 miles
  • Total Laps: 65 laps
  • Stage 1: First 15 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 15 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 35 laps

The Go Bowling 235 is set to begin at 3 PM ET and will air live on NBC.

What to Watch for at Daytona

With all of the excitement heading into the first Daytona Road Course race, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on:

  • How will drivers perform in the first Cup Series race at this course?
  • How will the Playoff standings shake out?
  • Can Ford continue their recent dominance?
  • Will Elliott or Truex continue their road course success?
  • Will we get a Kyle Busch sighting this weekend?
  • Can Harvick win a 3rd straight race?

NASCAR Go Bowling 235 Betting Odds

The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Chase Elliott (+400)
  • Martin Truex Jr (+500)
  • Kyle Busch (+650)
  • Kevin Harvick (+700)
  • Denny Hamlin (+800)
  • Ryan Blaney (+800)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1400)
  • Joey Logano (+1600)
  • Clint Bowyer (+2200)
  • Kurt Busch (+2200)
  • Alex Bowman (+2800)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+2800)
  • Erik Jones (+3300)
  • Jimmie Johnson(+3300)
  • William Byron (+3300)
  • Aric Almirola (+5000)
  • Christopher Bell(+6600)
  • Cole Custer (+10000)

It should be noted that the drivers listed in the betting sections below were chosen based on their odds and their success with road course racing.

The tables will show each driver’s average finish at NASCAR’s road races and a combined total number of wins they’ve had at all of the sport’s road course tracks.

Betting Favorites for the Go Bowling 235

According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the Go Bowling 235 on Sunday, August 16th:

Driver Total RC Wins Sonoma Avg. Watkins Glen Avg. Charlotte ROVAL Avg.
Chase Elliott 3 17.5 7.0 3.5
Martin Truex Jr 4 18.1 10.6 10.5
Kyle Busch 4 15.3 9.5 34.5
Kevin Harvick 2 12.7 12.9 6.0
Denny Hamlin 1 17.7 16.3 15.5

Chase Elliott (+400)

  • Top 3 (+115)
  • Top 5 (-134)
  • Top 10 (-500)

Chase Elliott enters this weekend as the betting favorite and currently sits 5th in the driver standings. He’s tied for the 2nd most stage wins on the year with 5, has one victory and is 5th in Playoff points.

Last weekend, Elliott finished 7th and 9th in the two Michigan races. That gives him three straight Top 9 finishes on the season.

Last year, Elliott won two of the three road course races and would’ve swept them all if it weren’t for a blown engine in Sonoma. He has three road course wins in his career and has quickly become one of the best drivers in races that also turn left.

In 2020’s crazy season, Sonoma and Watkins Glen were both cancelled due to the pandemic. So, this will be the first road course race of the year. Drivers will also compete at Charlotte’s ROVAL as well.

In Elliott’s last six road course races, he’s scored three wins and five Top 6 finishes. The lone hiccup was the blown engine at Sonoma.

I definitely see Elliott in the Top 10 and Top 5 on Sunday. In fact, I also see him being a Top 3 car and the leading contender for the checkered flag.

Martin Truex Jr (+500)

  • Top 3 (+115
  • Top 5 (-134)
  • Top 10 (-500)

Martin Truex Jr. enters Sunday’s race sitting 7th in both the driver standings and Playoff points. He’s starting to heat up after a stagnant first 15 races of the season. Truex has scored four straight third place finishes and five Top 3s in the last six races. He was third in both Michigan races last weekend.

Like Elliott, Truex is one of the best road course drivers in the sport. In fact, he’s combined with Elliott to win six of the last seven road races. However, he’s been able to win at Sonoma where Elliott has yet to capture the checkered flag.

In fact, Sonoma is Truex’s best road course as he’s won there three times including the last two years. He also has a win at Watkins Glen as well. He’s been unable to contend for the win at Charlotte as of yet. In the two races there, he’s finished 14th and 7th.

In 2019, Truex won at Sonoma, finished 2nd to Elliott at Watkins Glen and was 7th at the ROVAL. In his last eight road races, Truex has three wins, five Top 5s, and six Top 10s. He could’ve won in 2017 at Sonoma, but suffered a blown engine.

Truex is the one man that can upstage Elliott on Sunday. I expect him to be in the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3 and compete for the checkered flag at Daytona.

Kyle Busch (+650)

  • Top 3 (+180)
  • Top 5 (+120)
  • Top 10 (-335)

Kyle Busch is right up there with Elliott and Truex as one of the best drivers in road course racing. He has four road course race wins in his career, which is one more than Elliott and tied with teammate Martin Truex.

Yet, Busch comes into this road race mired in a slump. Kyle is on a 22 race winless drought, is 9th in the driver standings and 12th in Playoff points. He did race well at Michigan last weekend with 5th and 4th place results.

Busch is going to need some of his past road magic this weekend to pull off another strong finish and contend for the checkered flag.

At Sonoma, Busch has five straight Top 7 finishes, one victory, and was runner up last year. At Watkins Glen he has four Top 7s and five Top 11s in the last five races at this track. He was runner up to Elliott in 2018.

Unfortunately, Busch has yet to find the right groove at ROVAL as he hasn’t finished a race at this track. In two tries, Busch crashed out in 2018 and has suspension issues in 2019.

I can see Busch being a Top 10 driver and a Top 5 result on Sunday. But, I don’t see him being a Top 3 car or winning this race.

Kevin Harvick (+700)

  • Top 3 (+190)
  • Top 5 (+125)
  • Top 10 (-315)

What can I say about Harvick that I haven’t said already? The man is on fire this season and is starting to lap the field in the standings. Currently, he’s on top of both the driver and Playoff standings. He has a commanding 137 point lead over second place Brad Keselowski.

Harvick made history last weekend by winning both Cup Series Michigan races. He’s the first driver to win two NASCAR Cup races at the same track in the same weekend. I had picked him to win at least one of the Michigan races, but didn’t think he would win both.

On the season, Kevin leads all drivers in wins (6), Top 5s (15), Top 10s (19) and laps led (888). He also has nine straight Top 5s and 10 straight Top 10s on the year.

Many of the drivers chasing the #4 car in the standings are hoping this new road course will trip up Harvick on Sunday. Unfortunately for them, that’s not going to happen.

At Sonoma, Harvick has five straight Top 6 results including a win in 2017 when Truex blew an engine. He was 2nd to Truex in 2018. At Watkins Glen, Harvick has two straight Top 10 results. And, at the ROVAL Harvick has two Top 9 finishes.

In 2019, Harvick was 6th (Sonoma), 7th (WG), and 3rd (ROVAL) in road course races. Furthermore, in his last six road races, Harvick has six Top 10s and two Top 3s.

Harvick will start on the pole this Sunday and I fully expect him to be a Top 10, Top 5 and most likely a Top 3 car. In fact, if Elliott or Truex slip up this weekend then watch out for Harvick making history for the second straight week.

Denny Hamlin (+800)

  • Top 3 (+225)
  • Top 5 (+140)
  • Top 10 (-275)

The only driver in the same zip code as Kevin Harvick on the season is Denny Hamlin. He sits 3rd in the driver standings, but is 2nd in Playoff points. Hamlin is also 2nd in wins (5), Top 5s (12), third in Top 10s (14) and second in laps led (631).

Hamlin finished 6th and 2nd in the Michigan doubleheader last weekend, which pushed his streak to four straight Top 6 finishes. However, that streak could come to an end this weekend at Daytona.

In 30 career road races, Hamlin has one win, eight Top 5s, and 13 Top 10s. These aren’t exactly awe inspiring numbers. In fact, he has the lowest numbers out of the betting favorites. Hamlin is listed this high because of his strong 2020 season to date.

Hamlin has never won at Sonoma or the ROVAL. His lone road course win came at Watkins Glen in 2016. In his last 10 road races, Hamlin has seven Top 10s, six Top 5s, and one win.

I see Hamlin being a Top 10 car, pushing for a Top 5 spot, but falling short of a Top 3 and checkered flag. There is betting value with a Top 5 result as he did finish 5th at Sonoma and 3rd at Watkins Glen last year.

The Best Go Bowling 235 Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the Go Bowling 235 on Sunday due to their current betting odds, their past road course success, and their 2020 season so far:

Driver Total RC Wins Sonoma Avg. Watkins Glen Avg. Charlotte ROVAL Avg.
Ryan Blaney 1 17.2 11.0 4.5
Brad Keselowski 0 16.8 11.2 18.0
Clint Bowyer 1 10.1 14.5 3.5
Matt DiBenedetto 0 20.8 25.4 12.0

Ryan Blaney (+800)

  • Top 3 (+250)
  • Top 5 (+140)
  • Top 10 (-245)

Ryan Blaney rolls into Daytona sitting 4th in the driver standings and 6th in Playoff points. He finished 4th in the first Michigan race last Saturday, but crashed out of the second Michigan race on Sunday. Blaney has three Top 7 results in the last six races on the season.

Looking over Blaney’s history for road racing in the Cup Series, I like what I see. In fact, I like him more than Denny Hamlin and about as much as Kyle Busch.

In 10 road races, Blaney has one win, three Top 5s, and six Top 10s. His lone win came in the first ROVAL race back in 2018.

Last year, Blaney was 3rd at Sonoma, 5th at Watkins Glen, and 8th at the ROVAL. I really like Blaney to be a Top 10 car, push for a Top 5, but fall just short of a Top 3 and race win this weekend.

Blaney’s betting value is with his Top 5 odds of +140. He averaged, a 5.3 finish in road races last year.

Brad Keselowski (+1400)

  • Top 3 (+350)
  • Top 5 (+225)
  • Top 10 (-160)

Keselowski’s streak of six straight Top 10 finishes came to an end on Sunday when he crashed out of the second Michigan race. However, the #2 car is still 2nd in the driver standings and 3rd in Playoff points. He’s also first in stage wins (6), third in win race wins (3) and second in Top 10s (16).

I think Keselowski is cruising under the radar this weekend as he’s not well-known for being a road racer. I don’t believe he will take the checkered flag on Sunday, but I do see potential value with his Top 5 odds at +225. In fact, it’s worthy of a flier.

Keselowski was 5th at ROVAL last year along with 9th at Watkins Glen. That’s a 7.0 average finish over the last two road races. Yet, when you combine that with his strong 2020 campaign, I believe that the #2 car is worth a flier for the Top 5 on Sunday.

Clint Bowyer (+2200)

  • Top 3 (+500)
  • Top 5 (+300)
  • Top 10 (-135)

You might be surprised to see Clint Bowyer’s name here, but the #14 car is actually a solid road course driver. If it weren’t for his 2020 season, Bowyer would probably be higher up in the betting odds. However, he has zero wins, just two Top 5s, and five Top 10s on the year.

Yet, even with numbers that subpar, Bowyer sits 12th in the driver standings and 13th in Playoff points. A solid run at Daytona on Sunday can go a long way towards solidifying a Playoff spot.

Bowyer does have one road course win, but that came in 2012 at Sonoma. However, pay attention to these Sonoma numbers, in 14 races he also has eight Top 5s and 10 top 10s. Additionally, Bowyer has two Top 4 results in the two ROVAL races.

I bring up those two tracks because the Daytona Road Course is said to be similar to the ROVAL and very technical like Sonoma, which Bowyer has had a great deal of success at both road courses.

I believe Clint Bowyer’s Top 10 odds of -135 offer betting value. In 30 road course races, he has 17 Top 10s including six in the last eight road races.

Matt DiBenedetto (+2800)

  • Top 3 (+800)
  • Top 5 (+500)
  • Top 10 (+115)

Sitting one spot behind Bowyer in the driver standings is Matt DiBenedetto who does have seven Top 10s on the year. Even more surprising is that he’s currently 57 points above the cutoff line and would make the Playoffs if they started this week.

Matt DiBenedetto has had some inconsistencies at road courses over his career, but showed last year that he’s greatly improved and should be on the radar this weekend.

In 2019, DiBenedetto was 4th at Sonoma, 6th at Watkins Glen, and 11th at the ROVAL. That’s a 7.0 average finish in road races last year. For me, that gives me hope for a Top 10 finish this weekend and taking advantage of the +115 Top 10 odds for the #21 car.

The Top Longshot to Win the Go Bowling 235

Aric Almirola (+5000) is my longshot pick of the week to win the race. However, he does offer betting value with some of his listed odds:

  • Top 3 (+1200)
  • Top 5 (+650)
  • Top 10 (+160)

Almirola currently sits 8th in the driver standings and 11th in Playoff points. He’s quietly put together a strong 2020 season with five Top 5s, 13 Top 10s, and two stage wins. Most of this success has come in the last few months for the #10 car.

In the last 11 Cup Series races, Almirola has 10 Top 10s, five Top 5s, and has not finished worse than 16th. That’s a strong streak that I expect Aric to bring into this weekend’s road course at Daytona.

Like with DiBenedetto, Almirola has greatly improved on road courses from earlier in his career. In 2019, he finished with an 11.3 average finish in road races. He’s also had two Top 9 results at Sonoma the last two years.

When you combine his 2019 road course success, with his hot streak over the last few months, I see great value in Almirola sneaking into the Top 10 on Sunday.

Go Bowling 235 Checkered Flag

My Top 5 drivers this week are Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.

If you notice, these are the five drivers that have won most of the recent road course races and have had the most success since Elliott came up to the Cup Series.

As usual, until Kyle Busch wins a race in 2020 I am not going to pick him. With that in mind, I’m eliminating Busch and Blaney as well. Although Ryan has a solid road course resume, his win in 2018 did come by a bit of luck. He should’ve finished 3rd in that race.

I hate to rule out Kevin Harvick from winning any race this year. He’s just too good to pass on. Yet, I believe this weekend’s race will come down to Elliott and Truex with Harvick in 3rd.

As for the winner, I am going with Truex. It’s a bit of a coin flip for the two, but I like Truex’s recent success in the last month. Truex has four straight Top 3s and Elliott has four straight Top 12s.

Furthermore, Truex has won at Sonoma three times while Elliott has yet to crack that code. And, as mentioned above, Sonoma is more technically similar to Daytona’s Road Course than Watkins Glen where Elliott has won all three of his road races at.

Some of you might point to Elliott’s win at ROVAL last year as a big reason why he should get the nod this weekend. However, I point to the fact that Truex would’ve won the 2018 ROVAL race if Jimmie Johnson didn’t wreck him in the final turn of the last lap. Truex was leading and the best car that day.

I’m taking Truex to win the race, but looking to hedge my prediction with some of the Go Bowling 235 prop bets below.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Chase Elliott
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Kyle Busch

Go Bowling 235 Prop Bets

The following NASCAR prop bets are courtesy of DraftKings:

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Even (-135)
  • Odd (+100)

The Even betting option is favored in this wager, but it’s the Odd option that you should take. The two betting favorites in Elliott (#9) and Truex (#19) are both odd numbered cars. I believe one of these two drivers will win the race, so take the Odd at an even payout.

Car Number of Race Winner –Odd (+100)

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Over 12.5 (-105)
  • Under 12.5 (-125)

This one is slightly more challenging, but it does give us a great opportunity to hedge our bets. I took Truex (#19) to win the race, but I am going with Under -125 for this wager.

Kevin Harvick (#4), Chase Elliott (#9), Denny Hamlin (#11) and even Brad Keselowski (#2) are all under 12.5. Taking the Under gives me a chance to ride with Elliott and Harvick on Sunday even though I took Truex to win.

Car Number of Race Winner –Under 12.5 (-125)

Manufacturer of Race Winner

  • Ford (+150)
  • Toyota (+150)
  • Chevrolet (+230)

Truex drives Toyota, Harvick drives Ford and Elliott drives Chevrolet. So, we have an even split among the Top 3 drivers this weekend. Yet, Elliott is really the only contender for Chevy on Sunday. However, Toyota also has Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Ford also has Keselowski, Logano, Almirola and Blaney.

I’m torn between this one as I do love the value with Chevy. However, I’m going to take Toyota for this prop bet due to my pick of Truex winning the race.

Manufacturer of Race Winner –Toyota (+150)

Team of Race Winner

  • Joe Gibbs Racing (+155)
  • Hendrick Motor Sports (+300)
  • Team Penske (+375)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing (+450)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing (+1600)
  • Any Other Team (+2200)
  • Richard Childress racing (+5000)
  • Roush Fenway Racing (+5000)
  • JTG Daughtery Racing (+15000)

Joe Gibbs Racing is the favorite this weekend with Hamlin, Busch and Truex all expected to run well. Hendrick Motor Sports has Elliott as its only contender. But, it’s Stewart-Haas that has the best value at +450 with Harvick and Bowyer.

With that in mind, the safe play is on JGR as they do have three top contenders who have a combined nine road course wins between them.

Team of Race Winner –Joe Gibbs Racing (+155)

Go Bowling 235 Betting Recap

Betting Value:

  • Ryan Blaney (+800)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1400)
  • Clint Bowyer (+2200)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+2800)

Longshot

  • Aric Almirola (+5500)

Winner

  • Martin Truex Jr. (+500)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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