There is disagreement among bookmakers as to which driver is the favorite to win Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Bristol Motor Speedway. WynnBET has Kyle Busch listed with the shortest price, while Kyle Larson sits atop the oddsboard at SuperBook USA. BetMGM and Barstool are dealing both Kyles at 9-2 odds (+450).
The SuperBook, in fact, adjusted Larson’s odds to +400 after originally hanging +450.
Here are odds to win at Bristol for drivers priced at 50/1 odds or shorter, plus playoff contender Michael McDowell, from a quartet of sportsbooks – NASCAR’s three official betting partners and the influential SuperBook.
|Martin Truex Jr||+1500||+1400||+1500||+2000|
Busch remains a bit out of sorts, failing to crack the top five in a Cup Series event since Watkins Glen on Aug. 8. But if there’s a track for Busch to regain his stride, it’s Bristol. His 5.33 average finish, 112.1 rating, two wins and five top fives over the six most recent non-dirt races on this infamous oval all lead the series.
In the 20 overall short-track races since 2018, Busch has been just as impressive, boasting the highest average finish (6.40) and second-best rating (108.0 to Martin Truex Jr.’s 108.4) on the circuit. He’s driven the No. 18 Toyota to four wins and 11 total top fives in that span.
Larson’s Bristol stats are pretty shiny in their own right, and he compiled them with Chip Ganassi Racing – a 7.25 average finish, 106.1 rating and three top 10s, including two in the top five in four races since 2018. He figures to improve upon those stats in Hendrick Motorsports equipment.
While only one of his five wins this season have come on a track shorter than 1.5 miles (Nashville), he can usually be found near the front of these races, finishing among the top seven — including two seconds to go along with the win — in seven of eight starts with the 750-horsepower package on ovals.
Larson vs. Busch, of course, makes for an intriguing head-to-head prop. For believers in the No. 5 over the No. 18, the -110 listings at WynnBET and BetMGM are the best prices we’re seeing. Busch can be had at even-money at the SuperBook, so shop for that price if you like him in this matchup.
Betting on the bubble
While Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman are tied for the 12th and final spot in the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs heading into Bristol, the betting odds suggest the No. 1 Chevrolet is more likely to advance.
Busch is priced above not only Bowman on oddsboards around the country, but also well ahead of Tyler Reddick, who is in 14th place and within striking distance of moving on to the Round of 12.
Bristol Motor Speedway has been an excellent track for the elder Busch. In the six (non-dirt) races on the .533-mile track since 2018, he has four top-10 finishes, including a win and a second. His 9.33 average finish is third among active drivers. In 20 short-track races over the same span, Busch is top-10 in both categories.
The stats for Bowman and Reddick stats don’t quite stack up.
While the situation in Bristol looks favorable for Busch to make his way into the final 12, winning the race outright is a different matter. He’s certainly capable, but this race figures to be won by a driver from the Hendrick, Gibbs or Penske garages.
For NASCAR bettors who like Busch on Saturday night but aren’t sure he’s got the goods to finish first, Barstool Sportsbook offers plus-money odds on some more likely outcomes, pricing Busch at +550 for a top-three finish and +275 for a top five. For those comfortable laying money, Busch is -225 for top 10 — a wager that requires at $225 risk for a $100 profit.
No. 19, prime from the pole
In a matchup prop at Barstool, Kurt Busch is priced as a short -108 underdog against Martin Truex Jr. (-120), which looks like a tough proposition on its surface. While the SuperBook pricing Busch shorter than Truex in its outright market entices a matchup play on the No. 1, Truex has been the better driver this season, and his 108.4 rating and six wins on short tracks since 2018 both lead the series.
Bristol, though, just hasn’t been his thing, and his stellar short-track record comes in spite of his performances here. He owns a paltry 22.33 average finish and no top 10s over the six most recent non-dirt races on this track.
Truex is priced in the 14-1 to 20-1 range at the sportsbooks listed above to win his second consecutive Cup Series race, long odds we’re not used to seeing for the No. 19 Toyota.
Truex figures to be aggressive this weekend – his win at Richmond last week secured his spot in the Round of 12 – and he starts on the pole. Aggressiveness at Bristol, of course, can go either way.
Marcus DiNitto is a writer and editor living in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been covering sports for nearly two-and-a-half decades and sports betting for more than 10 years. His first NASCAR betting experience was in 1995 at North Wilkesboro Speedway, where he went 0-for-3 on his matchup picks. Read his articles and follow him on Twitter; do not bet his picks.