Home Daytona 500 News 2023 Daytona 500: Surprising NASCAR Picks and Predictions

2023 Daytona 500: Surprising NASCAR Picks and Predictions


The 2023 Daytona 500 is set to start the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, February 19th at 2:30 p.m. ET. With back-to-back surprise winners in the past two years, fans and bettors are eager to see what this year’s race has in store. Denny Hamlin, who has won three times since 2016, is the current favorite, with 10-1 odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

2023 Daytona 500 Picks and Predictions
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

However, before making any predictions, it’s important to see the latest picks from SportsLine’s proprietary NASCAR model. Developed by daily Fantasy pro and predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking into account various factors such as track history and recent results.

The Model’s Top Picks for the 2023 Daytona 500

The model has already had a red-hot start this season, nailing Martin Truex Jr.’s win at the Clash at the Coliseum and five of Kyle Larson’s wins in 2022. With 10,000 simulations of the 2023 Daytona 500, the model has targeted several drivers as top contenders, including William Byron, who is an 18-1 longshot in the latest odds. Despite accidents wiping him out in three of his last four runs at Daytona, Byron recorded two wins in 2020 and six top-10s in his final 10 races of 2022, making him one of the drivers to back in the 2023 Daytona 500.

On the other hand, one of the top favorites, Kyle Larson, is expected to struggle and barely crack the top five according to the model. Despite his 19 career wins, Larson has never finished higher than third in any NASCAR event at Daytona, with a 22.6 average finish position that ranks 34th among current drivers.

The model is also targeting four other drivers with 2023 NASCAR Daytona odds longer than 15-1 to make a serious run for the checkered flag. These drivers include:

  • Ross Chastain (16-1 odds)
  • Bubba Wallace (18-1 odds)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (18-1 odds)
  • Brad Keselowski (18-1 odds)

Who to Avoid in the 2023 Daytona 500

Aside from Larson, the model also suggests avoiding a few other drivers in the 2023 Daytona 500, including:

  • Aric Almirola (35-1 odds)
  • Jimmie Johnson (35-1 odds)
  • Michael McDowell (35-1 odds)

Check out the full 2023 Daytona 500 odds

2023 Daytona 500 Predictions: Who to Back and Who to Avoid

Looking for the best bets for the 2023 Daytona 500? Look no further! Our model has surprising insights on the top drivers to back and avoid in this year’s race.

One unexpected pick is William Byron, who despite being an 18-1 longshot in the latest odds, is a prime target for anyone seeking a big payout. Despite accidents causing his elimination in three of his past four runs at Daytona, including both major events in 2022, Byron’s past performance suggests he could be a strong contender. In 2020, he won two Daytona events, including the Duels in February and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in August. And, during the 2022 NASCAR season, Byron recorded two wins and finished with six top-10s in his final 10 races, making him a top choice in 2023 Daytona 500 best bets.

However, another favorite, Kyle Larson, may not live up to expectations. Despite his 12-1 odds and 19 overall career wins, Larson has had difficulty finding success at Daytona, never finishing higher than third in any NASCAR event at the iconic track. With an average finish position of 22.6, which ranks 34th among current drivers, Larson is one of the Daytona 500 favorites to avoid in 2023.

Read also: Daytona 500: The Great American Race Kicks Off Speedweeks 2023


In conclusion, the 2023 Daytona 500 promises to be an exciting and unpredictable race with a number of surprising picks and predictions. The model developed by SportsLine’s Mike McClure has identified William Byron as one of the top contenders, with a red-hot start this season and a solid track record. On the other hand, Kyle Larson, despite being one of the favorites, is expected to struggle with a lackluster performance at Daytona. So, if you’re looking to place bets on this year’s Daytona 500, make sure to check out the latest predictions from SportsLine and be sure to back the top contenders and avoid the underperformers.


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