NASCAR O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Betting Preview, Odds and Predictions

By | February 18, 2021

On Sunday, February 21st, NASCAR returns to Daytona for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253, which is the second race of the season. However, instead of using Daytona’s famous speedway like they did last weekend, the drivers will take to the road course.

Last weekend’s Daytona 500 was a crazy race that suffered big wrecks and a long rain weather delay. In the end, the unheralded Michael McDowell won the biggest race of the year and of his career.

Now, the drivers will turn their attention to road racing as the NASCAR Cup Series makes its second ever appearance at the Daytona road course. Last year, Chase Elliott won the inaugural race for this event in dominating fashion.

Elliott is favored to this weekend’s road race as he’s quite possibly the best road course driver in the sport today. Right behind him are other road course drivers Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch according to NASCAR betting sites.

Let’s strap the safety gear on, rev up those engines, and make some left and right turns with our O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 betting predictions.

Race Profile

The Daytona Road Course has 14 turns per lap with a distance of 3.61 miles per lap. This will be the second time that NASCAR runs the Daytona road course.  Sunday’s race breaks down as follows:

  • Total Miles: 253 miles
  • Total Laps: 70 laps
  • Stage 1: First 16 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 18 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 36 laps

The O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 is set to begin at 3 PM ET and will air live on FOX.

What to Watch for at Daytona

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

  • Can Chase Elliott repeat as the race winner?
  • Can Martin Truex Jr. challenge for the win?
  • Is Michael McDowell for real?
  • How will drivers fare on this early road race of the season?
  • Will we get another surprise winner like last weekend?
  • Can anyone other than Truex or Elliott get the win?

NASCAR Betting Odds

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Sunday due to their current betting odds from online sports betting sites and their past road course racing success:

  • Chase Elliott (+225)
  • Martin Truex Jr (+400)
  • Ryan Blaney (+900)
  • Denny Hamlin (+1000)
  • Kyle Busch (+1000)
  • AJ Allmendinger (+1400)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1600)
  • William Byron (+1800)
  • Joey Logano (+2000)
  • Brad Keselowski (+2200)
  • Kyle Larson (+2200)
  • Alex Bowman (+2500)
  • Kurt Busch (+2800)
  • Chase Briscoe (+4000)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+5000)
  • Christopher Bell(+6600)
  • Erik Jones (+6600)
  • Michael McDowell (+6600)
  • Aric Almirola (+8000)
  • Chris Buescher (+8000)

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 O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Sunday, February 21st:

Driver Total RC Wins Sonoma Avg, Watkins Glen Avg. Charlotte ROVAL Avg. Daytona RC Avg.
Chase Elliott 4 17.5 7.0 2.7 1.0
Martin Truex Jr 4 18.1 10.6 9.3 3.0
Ryan Blaney 1 17.2 11.0 4.7 31.0
Denny Hamlin 1 17.7 16.3 15.3 2.0
Kyle Busch 4 15.3 9.5 33.0 37.0

Chase Elliott (+225)

  • Top 3 (-155)
  • Top 10 (-670)

Chase Elliott had a strong run in the Daytona 500 last week as he finished 2nd behind McDowell. He also led three laps, but failed to beat out the #34 car in the end.

Now, he comes to a road course where Elliott is considered to be the best road racer in the Cup Series today. And, the stats back up that claim.

Last year, Sonoma and Watkins Glen were cancelled due to the pandemic. So, the Cup Series only ran at Charlotte’s ROVAL and this Daytona Road Course. Elliott won them both. In fact, he’s won four straight road races on the circuit.

In 2019, Elliott won two of the three road courses. He would’ve swept the season, but blew an engine at Sonoma. That’s four road race wins in the last five road course events. Elliott has yet to win at Sonoma in his Cup career, but you have to think that could happen this year.

Elliott is clearly the man to beat on Sunday as he’s a lock for a Top 10 and Top 5 finish. In fact, I would say he’s a lock for a Top 3 spot as well. It’s going to take Martin Truex Jr. and/or an issue with his car for Chase not to win this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr (+400)

  • Top 3 (+110)
  • Top 10 (-420)

Martin Truex Jr. is the only other driver on par with Elliott in road race success over the last few years. He has just as many road course wins as Elliott.

In fact, these two drivers have won eight of the last nine road course events. He’s won three times at Sonoma and once at Watkins Glen.

Truex has not won at the two newest road courses of Charlotte and Daytona. Truex has a 9.3 average finish for Charlotte and was 3rd in this race last year. He led 10 laps as well.

In his last 10 road races, he has three wins, six Top 5s, and eight Top 10s. Over his last five road races, his worst result was 7th overall.

Truex is going to need a solid run this weekend after finishing 25th in the Daytona 500. He was never a threat in that race.

This weekend, Truex is the only driver with a real shot at dethroning Elliott. I see him finishing in the Top 10, Top 5, and Top 3 with a chance at winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 race.

Ryan Blaney (+900)

  • Top 3 (+325)
  • Top 10 (-182)

The only other driver other than Truex and Elliott to win a road race in the last 10 road events was Ryan Blaney when he won the 2018 Charlotte race. In fact, he has a 4.7 average finish in that race which is better than everyone but Elliott.

In his last 12 road races, Blaney has one win, four Top 5s, and seven Top 10s. He had one of the worst road course performances of his young career in this race last year as he ended up 31st.

Last week in the Daytona 500 Blaney crashed out early and ended up 30th overall. Like with Truex, the #12 car is looking to bounce back this weekend by racing hard and smart at the Daytona road course.

I like Blaney to be a Top 10 and Top 5 car on Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised if he cracked the Top 3 as well.  But, I think he will come in just behind Truex and Elliott this weekend.

Denny Hamlin (+1000)

  • Top 3 (+325)
  • Top 10 (-182)

We’ve talked about Elliott and Truex being the best road racers in the Cup Series, but you might be surprised to know how well Hamlin has done on road courses.

In fact, you might have forgotten that Hamlin was the runner up in this race last year. He also led 16 laps, which was the second most on the day, and won a Stage.

In 32 career road races, Hamlin has one win, nine Top 5s, and 14 Top 10s. Last year, he was 15th at Charlotte in addition to his 2nd at this road course. He has three Top 5 finishes in the last five road race events.

Hamlin’s best road course is Watkins Glen, but he has showed that this Daytona road course is also to his liking.

Denny almost made history last weekend when he came up short in his quest to win three straight Daytona 500 races. Hamlin finished 5th overall, but led 98 laps and won both stages. Hamlin has carried his 2020 success over to 2021 and should race well this Sunday.

I expect the #11 car to be in the Top 10 with a Top 5 ceiling. I don’t see Hamlin cracking the Top 3 this year.

Kyle Busch (+1000)

  • Top 3 (+325)
  • Top 10 (-182)

The 2019 champ finished 14th last weekend in the Daytona 500 after being wrecked on the final lap. He showed some promise in the race, but could never get up to the front.

Busch also crashed in this road race last year when he finished 37th. He’s never finished a ROVAL race either. But, don’t let those trends fool you.

Do you know which active driver is tied with Truex and Elliott for the most road course wins in the Cup Series?

If you guessed Kyle Busch then you are correct. Busch has four road race wins with all of them coming at Sonoma and Watkins Glen. He’s been a strong force in those road races.

I expect Busch to have a much better performance this year in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253. I think he’ll shake off the bad mojo from last year and have a strong 2021 season. That strong run should start this weekend as he will be a Top 10 car with a Top 5 ceiling.

The Best O’Reilly Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on Sunday due to their current betting odds and their past road course racing success:

Driver Total RC Wins Sonoma Avg. Watkins Glen Avg. Charlotte ROVAL Avg. Datoyna RC Avg.
AJ Almmendinger 1 24.0 9.9 7.0
Kevin Harvick 2 12.7 12.9 7.7 17.0
Brad Keselowski 0 16.8 11.2 18.0 13.0

AJ Allmendinger (+1400)

  • Top 3 (+350)
  • Top 10 (-167)

Allmendinger hasn’t raced in the Cup Series since 2018. This weekend’s event will be his first Cup Series race since then. He’s already signed to compete full time in the Xfinity series. The 29 year old is being given a ride with Kaulig Racing this Sunday due to his road racing prowess.

AJ has one win, three Top 5s, and nine Top 10s in road course races during his Cup Series career. His best track is Watkins Glen where he’s won at and has six Top 10s in 10 races.

Allmendinger also raced the first event at Charlotte’s ROVAL where he finished 7th after starting 2nd overall. He didn’t compete in this Daytona road course last year.

Further adding to Allmendinger’s value this weekend is that four of his five career wins in Xfinity have come in road courses. He won both of Xfinity’s ROVAL races in 2019 and 2020.

I like Allmendinger’s value for a Top 10 result at -167 odds. As long as he doesn’t have any car troubles or crashes, AJ should sneak up on the rest of the field.

Kevin Harvick (+1600)

  • Top 3 (+375)
  • Top 10 (-148)

Harvick has come out of the gate this season with a 4th place result at Daytona last weekend, which was one spot better than his 5th place result last year before he would go on to dominate the field during the regular season.

In 2020, Harvick finished with the most wins, Top 5s and Top 10s in 2020, but failed to advance to the Final 4 race. He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder coming into this season and has already showed the field that he’s ready to pick up where he left off last year.

Harvick is an underappreciated road course driver as well. That’s hard to believe considering that he’s one of the best drivers in the sport. But, the #4 car is often overlooked when it comes to road races.

In 2019, Harvick was 6th at Sonoma, 7th at Watkins Glen and 3rd at ROVAL. Last year, he was 11th at ROVAL and 17th at this track. In his last eight road races, he has two Top 5s and six Top 10s.

Harvick’s value is in his Top 10 odds of -148. I can see him finishing in the Top 10 this weekend with a ceiling of a Top 5.

Brad Keselowski (+2200)

  • Top 3 (+450)
  • Top 10 (-125)

In his last four road races, Keselowski has an 11.0 average finish. He finished 13th in this race last year despite not being known for having road racing skills.

In addition to that 11.0 average, I like the fire I saw from Keselowski last weekend when he was wrecked late in the Daytona 500 on the final lap.

I believe that the #2 car will surprise people this weekend with a Top 10 result. I see value with his Top 10 odds at -125. Unlike the other drivers mentioned above, this is more of a feeling than an evidence based decision.

The Top Longshot to Win the Go Bowling 235

Matt DiBenedetto (+5000) is my longshot pick of the week to win the Daytona Road Course race.

  • Top 3 (+1200)
  • Top 10 (+175)

DiBenedetto finished 33rd last weekend in the Daytona 500 after being caught up in the early wreck. It was a tough start to an optimistic 2021 season.

In 2019, Matt finished 4th at Sonoma, 6th at Watkins Glen and 11th at ROVAL. Last year, he was 22nd at ROVAL and 15th in this race.

There is potential for DiBenedetto as a longshot threat this weekend. But, the reality is he is more likely to finish with a Top 10 result than a checkered flag.

The Rest of the Field at Daytona’s Road Course

The following drivers are worth keeping an eye on at Daytona’s road course:

  • William Byron (+1800) – Byron got caught up in some of the craziness of last weekend’s Daytona 500 and had a disappointing result. Yet, he could bounce back this weekend at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253. In his last three road races, Byron has three Top 8 results. He was 8th in this race last year and is quietly maturing into a solid driver no matter what type of track the race is at.
  • Kyle Larson (+2200) – Larson returned to NASCAR this year and finished 10th at the Daytona 500. It was a solid showing in his return to racing. Now, he heads to a road course where he’s never scored a victory. In 14 road races, he has one Top 5 and four Top 10s. However, he does have three Top 10s in his last five road races.
  • Michael McDowell (+6600) – McDowell shocked the sport when he won the Daytona 500 last weekend. He survived the last lap wreck to win the biggest race of his career. McDowell isn’t known for being a road racer. But, he will start 2nd this weekend and the lone Top 10 road race result of his career came at this track last year. Can he shock the sport two weeks in a row?
  • Chris Buescher (+8000) – Like with McDowell, Buescher isn’t known for his road racing success. Yet, his only Top 5 result came in this race last year when he finished 5th

Best Bet for a Top 5 Finish

Last weekend, we went with Denny Hamlin to finish in the Top 5 and he made us look smart. This weekend Chase Elliott is clearly the obvious choice for this one, but the value will be with Martin Truex Jr.

He was 3rd in this event last year. Truex has six Top 5s in his last 10 road races. I expect the #19 car to compete for the checkered flag this weekend.

Best Bet for a Top 10 Finish

Last weekend, we took Kurt Busch for this spot, but he fell short due to getting caught up in some crashes which caused damage to his car.

This weekend, outside of Elliott and Truex, I like Blaney’s chances and value at -182 odds to be in the Top 10.

Blaney has one win, four Top 5s, and seven Top 10s in his last 12 road races. I expect the #12 car to have a strong showing on Sunday as he cracks the Top 10 and finishes with a Top 5 spot.

Daytona Road Course Checkered Flag

There’s no playing around this weekend. When it comes to road course races, you go with one of the best road drivers in the series to win the race.

For me, that means choosing from Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick.

All five of these drivers have road wins and are real contenders for the checkered flag on Sunday. Outside of Blaney, Harvick and Hamlin haven’t won a road race since at least 2017. Blaney won the first ROVAL race in 2018.

With that said, this race is going to come down to either Chase Elliott or Martin Truex Jr. for the victory. They’re the smart plays for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 race. In fact, picking any other driver to win this event on Sunday is throwing money away.

Truex is my favorite driver and offers the better value, but you have to take Chase Elliott this weekend. He’s the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, finished 2nd at the Daytona 500 last weekend, and won both road course races last year.

In fact, he’s won four straight road races dating back to Sonoma in 2019. The winner of that race was Truex as Elliott blew an engine.

Let’s not get cute here. Take Elliott to win. As Ric Flair always says “to be the man, you gotta beat the man. Woooooooh!”

Chase Elliott is the man right now in NASCAR especially on road courses.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Chase Elliott
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Kevin Harvic

O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Betting Recap

Betting Value

  • AJ Allmendinger (+1400)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1600)
  • Brad Keselowski (+2200)


  • Matt DiBenedetto (+5000)


  • Chase Elliott (+225)

The post NASCAR O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Betting Preview, Odds and Predictions appeared first on GamblingSites.ORG.

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