West Virginia bettors will see a familiar event at a different time this week.
NASCAR, a Sunday staple, is going one day earlier, presumably in deference to the Easter holiday.
Thus, the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, running at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, will air Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Fox.
Here are the DraftKings Sportsbook WV favorites as of midweek:
- Martin Truex Jr. +500 to win, +145 for Top 3
- Chase Elliott +600 to win, +175 for Top 3
- Brad Keselowski +600 to win, +175 for Top 3
- Denny Hamlin +700 to win, +200 for Top 3
- Joey Logano +700 to win, +200 for Top 3
NASCAR betting at WV sportsbooks
Truex Jr. is the defending champion in this event. That can explain his odds. Keselowski triumphed here in 2019. Kyle Busch, +1200, has two victories in this event.
There have been no repeat winners in the NASCAR circuit, which has run every week since Feb. 9. Bettors who have opposed the previous week’s winner have been right.
While the winners rotate, certain drivers have been consistently strong each week. Look at them when evaluating bets regarding stage victories and individual head-to-head matchups as those become available close to race time.
Denny Hamlin is the circuit’s points leader with 327. He’s followed by:
- Logano – 269
- Truex Jr. – 247
- Kyle Larson – 242
- Keselowski – 232
Each member of this group has been reliable to hit the Top 10 and often the Top 5. Whether bettors believe there’s value in a Top 5, which could be minus numbers, is an individual choice.
Head-to-head matchups also provide good value, close to even money.
About the venue
Martinsville, at .526 miles, is the shortest track on the NASCAR circuit. Flat, narrow turns make hard braking going into turns and smooth acceleration exiting them important.
Every segment matters
In NASCAR, every finish is significant to the drivers because they compete in the postseason based on regular-season standings and bonus points.
Drivers earn five bonus playoff points for each regular-season win and one for each stage win. The top 10 regular-season point finishers earn playoff points on a sliding scale, starting with 15 points for the regular-season winner and one for the 10th-place driver.
When the playoffs begin, all drivers start with 2,000 points, plus their bonuses.
Last year, Kevin Harvick was the top seed in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He won the regular-season championship (15 playoff points), seven races (35 total playoff points) and seven stages (7 playoff points). He had 57 playoff points.
When the point totals reset to 2,000 for every playoff driver, Harvick began the postseason with 2,057 points — already 57 points ahead of 16th seed Matt DiBenedetto.
The system rewards regular-season consistency, making it difficult for someone at the bottom of the playoff rung to win it all.
But it doesn’t guarantee a title to the regular-season champion. Chase Elliott captured the Cup Series title last year. He started the playoffs with 2020 points, but drove his best when it mattered most.