And then there were two … races that is.
Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App/Peacock, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is the final race of the NASCAR Cup Series’ Round of 8, giving drivers one last opportunity to lock themselves into the championship finale at Phoenix next week.
Kyle Larson, by way of wins at Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, has already punched his ticket to the Championship 4, meaning that three positions are still very much up for grabs Sunday at Martinsville.
While anything can happen at the track known as “The Paperclip,” Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin currently sit 34 and 32 points, respectively, above the playoff cutline, so each driver can take a conservative approach on Sunday to advance.
On the other hand, Ryan Blaney sits just one point behind the final playoff position, while Martin Truex Jr. trails by three points heading into Sunday’s race.
The performances of Truex and Blaney will be huge storylines throughout Sunday’s Xfinity 500, and oddsmakers are taking full advantage.
NASCAR at Martinsville Betting Pick
WynnBET‘s NASCAR Matchup of the Week has Truex priced at -130 vs. Blaney at +110.
Both drivers have been phenomenal at Martinsville over the last three races, with Truex scoring two wins and the second-best driver rating while Blaney has posted the fourth-best rating.
In addition, all four of the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s wins have come using the 750-horsepower package that cars will run in Sunday’s race.
Based on the data, Truex has an edge, albeit a small one, over Blaney at this track, though the odds seem to reflect that with the current pricing.
Still, I believe that the No. 19 Toyota will finish ahead of the No. 12 Ford more than 56.5% of the time, which is the probability that -130 odds imply.
To be honest, I don’t feel too strongly about it, but prefer Truex at -130 in the matchup.
The bet: Truex (-130) over Blaney