The NASCAR season opened with a pair of races at Daytona, and we got two first-time winners in those events. Veteran Michael McDowell took the checkered flag in the 500, while youngster Christopher Bell won at the road course. I suspect that we’ll start to see some repeat winners in the coming weeks, and my favorite bet for today has six victories under his belt — but he hasn’t won since 2019.
Isaiah’s Best Bets: Dixie Vodka 400
#1. Top 10: Tyler Reddick (-125 at DK Sportsbook)
Reddick hasn’t had the best start to the 2021 season. He finished 27th in the Daytona 500 and 38th at the Daytona Road Course. His second race at Daytona literally ended in flames.
Tyler Reddick's day goes up in flames. pic.twitter.com/COzN589HWO
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 22, 2021
Fortunately, he should bounce back this weekend at Homestead. He finished a career-best fourth here last season, and his success at the track dates back to his time in the Xfinity Series. Back then, he recorded finishes of fourth (2017), first (2018), and first (2019).
Reddick also posted the fourth-best driver rating (115.5) at Homestead last season — despite his inferior equipment. His driving style lends itself well to the track, as his ability to stay dangerously close to the wall allows him to carry more speed out of the corners. I expect him to compete for a top 5, but this line is much safer.
#2. Top 10: Kyle Busch (-225 at FOX Bet)
Kyle Busch has one of the best recent resumes at this track. He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since 2014, and he has posted top 10s in seven of his nine most recent races here.
To be fair, some of those numbers may be skewed. The track used to end the NASCAR schedule, which led some drivers to let those still in championship contention pass them.
I still have faith in Busch regardless; he posted a top 10 in the track’s mid-season date last season. Of course, the implied odds on this line aren’t super friendly — they sit at 69.23%. However, that figure still underestimates how successful Busch has been at this track. His top 10 rate (77.8%) points to a slight edge here.
#3. Top Chevrolet Car: Kyle Larson (+250 at DK Sportsbook)
I think the first two plays are fairly safe, so I’ll end with one somewhat aggressive call here. Like Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson’s driving style lends itself well to this track. Despite his mid-tier Ganassi equipment, Larson managed to lead 100-plus laps in two of his races here.
Larson’s recent resume at Homestead doesn’t jump off the page. In his last five races, Larson has three top 5s and no wins. That said, he has three stage wins and two stage runner-ups. He finished with the highest driver rating in 2016 and 2017, too.
I like this line because Larson doesn’t have a ton of competition — and he has higher-end equipment this year. The other two betting favorites, Chase Elliott (+175) and Tyler Reddick (+800), are the only drivers who can truly compete with Larson here. I don’t think Reddick can compete with Hendrick equipment, and Elliott’s resume at this track is worse than Larson’s. He has two top 5s, no stage wins, and only 27 laps led.
Top Bets to Win: Dixie Vodka 400
Favorite: Denny Hamlin (+500 at DK Sportsbook)
Hamlin is the consensus favorite across the market. He won the race from the pole here last year, and he has three wins at this track. That ranks first among all active drivers. Hamlin is tied for the most all-time wins at Homestead, too, as both Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart won here three times.
Only five active drivers have won here: Kyle Busch (2), Joey Logano (1), Martin Truex Jr. (1), and Kurt Busch (1). While I believe that Hamlin deserves to be the betting favorite for this race, I would prefer to bet on someone else.
Best Value: Kyle Larson (+900 at DK Sportsbook)
We have never truly seen what Larson can do at Homestead. We have never raced here in a non-finale event, and since he never qualified for the Championship 4, he always had to race deferentially toward those still in the running.
Larson’s statistic profile and driver rating point to him as a fantastic value play here. You should take advantage of the market uncertainty and take him to win at 9-to-1 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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