The Bass Pro Shops Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) marks the final race of the first round of the playoffs. Usually races at Bristol are wild affairs, with an average of 11.2 cautions over the last five low-downforce races. That includes a 17-caution race earlier this year.
At a race with such volatility, we can take advantage of longer shots, especially in head-to-head matchups. Here are three props to bet for tonight’s race.
NASCAR at Bristol Odds, Betting Picks
Ryan Blaney (+250) over Chase Elliott
This one is a bit of a doozy. Blaney has actually led more laps than Elliott in terms of percentage of laps run in each of the last three low-downforce Bristol races. In addition, he’s had a higher percentage of fastest laps relative to laps run than Elliott in two of three races.
Simply put, Blaney has been slightly better than Elliott at Bristol under low-downforce rules. Blaney also has the added element of needing to win to advance, while Elliott just needs to keep his nose clean. That allows Blaney to have more aggression.
Once again, this generous head-to-head matchup is available at BetMGM. I’d take Blaney down to +110.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+275) for a Top-10 finish
If we stick with the lower-downforce races in 2017, 2018 and 2020, it looks even more promising since Stenhouse’s average green flag speed was no worse than 13th for an individual race. Three of those five races landed him inside the top 10 in average speed.
A driver who is consistently hugging the top 10 in average speed should not be this heavy of an underdog to finish there.
Stenhouse has six top-10 finishes in 15 starts at Thunder Valley for a 40% top-10 finish rate. If that was his long-term average, then +150 would be much more of a fair number. Of course, he’s not in Roush equipment, but the JTG Daugherty ride isn’t much of a drop off, especially at Bristol.
This +275 offering is available at BetMGM. I’d bet Stenhouse down to +210, which is where he’s priced at both DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s also where rookies Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell are being priced.
I’d say his chances of a top-10 finish align with these two drivers.