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Coke Zero Sugar 400: NASCAR Preview, Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 7/7/18

The 2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400

Coke Zero Sugar 400: Sunday, July 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm (Daytona International Speedway)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: NBC

We make our second and final trip to Daytona Beach for the Coke Zero Sugar 400, possibly the most underrated race on the card. Not only is it at the historic Daytona International Speedway and finishes under the lights, but it wraps up the Fourth of July weekend and just has a special feel to it. This is the perfect race to snap a string of frustration and get back in victory lane. We’ve been so close the last few weeks yet so far. It ends this week. 

Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t released when this article was posted)  

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Coke Zero Sugar 400: NASCAR Preview, Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 7/7/18

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Dillon - Austin Dillon hasn’t even been worth a mention betting wise since winning the Daytona 500, as he has just one other top-10 finish this season and has finished outside the top-30 in three of the last eight races. If this race wasn’t in Daytona, don’t even look Dillon’s way. The thing is, it is. Dillon obviously won the biggest race of the year, but he’s also finished ninth or better in six of his last nine appearances at the Daytona International Speedway. Dillon may have just two career wins under his belt, but he has a thing for Florida races. He’s a nice play this weekend.

Brad Keselowski - This race has a thing for multiple winners, as five of the last 14 winners have won this race more than once. Brad Keselowski won here back in 2016 and has three other top-10 finishes at the Daytona International Speedway. Keselowski also has a history of struggling at Daytona, but returning to a track he recently won at should give him confidence. It’s only a matter of time before Keselowski ends this drought, as he’s gone this long in a season without a victory just once since 2011. Keselowski could be the 12th driver to win this race at least twice.

Kevin Harvick - Kevin Harvick has burned us a lot lately, and it’s been frustrating considering he’s finished fourth or better each of the last four races but can’t close the deal to put money in our pocket. We’re not giving up on him just yet. Harvick won this race back in 2010 and has finished fourth or better in four of his last 10 appearances at the Daytona International Speedway overall. Harvick has finished fifth or better in eight of his last nine races this season, so while he hasn’t won since Kansas, he’s worth money each week based on his consistency alone.

Denny Hamlin - Denny Hamlin is another driver who hasn’t won a race yet this season, but he has finished in the top-10 in five of his last seven races. Hamlin has also gone this far without a victory in a single season just once since 2014. Hamlin not only won the Daytona 500 in 2016, but he’s finished sixth or better in six of his last nine appearances at the Daytona International Speedway. This is clearly a track that makes Hamlin comfortable, and he’s been in the thick of things in four of the last five Daytona 500s. We might actually see a first time season winner this week.

Clint Bowyer - Clint Bowyer has finished fifth or better each of the last three races, which includes a victory at the FireKeepers Casino 400. Bowyer has two wins this season, but he’s currently enjoying his best stretch currently. As for this week, Bowyer finished runner-up last year at the Coke Zero 400 and has finished in the top-10 each of his last five tries at this event. Bowyer has finished 10th or better in six of his last 10 appearances at the Daytona International Speedway. Combine his current form and recent history here, Bowyer is a decent play.

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