We are back on the pavement instead of the server this weekend and a lot of the top drivers are relieved that their nightmare is over. This race will only be 293-laps with no on-track preparation. That likely means that starting position plays a bigger role in who leads at the finish since drivers will be more cautious.
First of all, below you can see the Draftkings scoring system that is heavily weighted on predicting top finishers, with no captain’s slot or any distinction between picks. The name of this game will be finding lower priced participants that finish well to help afford the more premium guys that are safer bets to show up around the top of the leader board. With a solid amount of points being given as a result of place differential, it’s important to pay attention to where racers will be starting in order to find good opportunities.
|Place Differential||+/- 1 Pt|
|Fastest Laps||+0.5 Pts|
|Laps Led||+0.25 Pts|
|Finishing Position Scoring|
The largest difference for Fanduel is the lack of scoring for place differential, with points for completing laps instead. This negates the lack of knowledge of where the racers will be starting until just before the contest and helps reward drivers who finish the race over those who give up or say things you probably shouldn’t on stream.
Lineup construction is focused on locking in likely top performers and then finding value plays that will severely outperform their salary expectations. Now that we are back to normal racing, there should be more consistent performances, fewer strange issues, but also the issue of more severe fallout from crashes.
Below we have current betting odds for each driver. These odds are as of 10:00 PM EST on 5/16 and we will look for some value plays relative to their FD & DK pricing.
|Name||Draftkings Salary||Fanduel Salary||Betonline Odds||William Hill Odds|
|Martin Truex Jr||10,800||11,500||+750||+800|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||6,800||6,400||+20000||+15000|
|John H. Nemechek||5,900||5,000||+25000||+75000|
Brad Keselowski has finished in the top 10 at Darlington in 4 of his last 5 appearances and is a safe bet to do so again. He’s expensive here but has the track record to prove it. Kevin Harvick has been a beast at Darlington, finishing in the top 10 in all six attempts since 2014. He comes in at a slight discount to Kyle Busch but should be right there with him at the top of the leaderboard when it’s over. Kyle Busch is the other top guy to chase, who is also the betting favorite and most expensive option. He went from 33rd to 3rd last year at Darlington and led the most laps of any driver. He seems like a man on a mission right now and it’s tough to bet against him.
Alex Bowman is starting second but he isn’t priced like it. He’s 4th in the points standings and with his positioning, his price is just too low for the upside. Erik Jones isn’t cheap but he’s the defending champion with great overall success on this track. He might be a bit chalky but there’s a reason for that. Jimmie Johnson is our last guy here and in his last full season he’s going to want to make the most of it. He’s had a lot of success at Darlington and he is starting 8th, hopefully aligning the stars for him at Darlington one last time.
High risk / high return:
Matt DiBenedetto is starting third and Aric Almirola is starting 5th. Both of these guys are cheap for where they are beginning and the hope is they can hang around in a short race and finish with some solid placement points at a cheap rate. They are risky, but with great upside given how this race is shaping up to be.
Good luck to everyone playing the big NASCAR tournaments this weekend. This is the first race in a while and with little prep this could be a bit dicey. It’s a shorter race and we are not keen on playing too many people starting towards the back as time will slip away quickly. Good luck and game on.