2021 Daytona 500 odds, drivers, predictions: Surprising NASCAR picks from same model that called Hamlin’s win

The 2021 Daytona 500 will usher in a new season for the NASCAR Cup Series, and Chase Elliott will hope to start his title defense by adding another trophy to his already-impressive case. Elliott’s father, NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, was a two-time Daytona 500 winner, while his son is coming off a second-place finish in his last start at Daytona International Speedway. Will Elliott be among the top 2021 Daytona 500 contenders when the green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday?

Elliott is listed at 10-1 in the latest 2021 Daytona 500 odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Meanwhile, back-to-back defending Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin is the 8-1 favorite in the 2021 NASCAR at Daytona odds, with Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski all at 10-1. Before you scour the 2021 Daytona 500 starting lineup and make your NASCAR at Daytona predictions for the Great American Race, be sure to see the latest 2021 Daytona 500 picks from SportsLine’s proven projection model

Developed by daily Fantasy pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction computer model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking into account factors such as track history and recent results.

The model began the 2020 season paying out big by picking Denny Hamlin to win his second consecutive Daytona 500 at 10-1. The model also called Kevin Harvick’s win at Atlanta and nailed a whopping nine top-10 finishers in that race. McClure then used the model to lock in a 10-1 bet on Hamlin for his win at Miami. 

At The Brickyard, the model called Harvick’s fourth victory of the season. Then during the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, the model nailed its picks in back-to-back races, calling Denny Hamlin to win at 17-2 at Talladega and Chase Elliott to win at 7-2 at the Charlotte Roval. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, his model simulated the 2021 NASCAR at Daytona race 10,000 times. Head to SportsLine to see the complete projected leaderboard for the 2021 Daytona 500.

Top 2021 Daytona 500 predictions

One surprise: the model is high on Kyle Busch, even though he’s a 15-1 long shot in the latest NASCAR at Daytona odds 2021 from William Hill. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion didn’t have a strong title defense, but he captured his first and only win of the season at the 2020 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. An offseason crew change has already yielded results.

Busch kept within striking distance of Elliott and Blaney at Tuesday’s 2021 Busch Clash and slipped past both after they became tangled up on the last lap to earn the win. Busch led 14 laps at the 2020 Daytona 500 before engine failure took him out, but he’s had three top-five finishes at the Daytona 500 and would certainly love to add a Daytona 500 win to a Hall of Fame resume.

And a massive shocker: Kevin Harvick, one of the Vegas favorites at 12-1, stumbles big-time and barely cracks the top 10. There are far better values in this loaded 2021 Daytona 500 lineup. Harvick won a career-high nine races in 2020 and spent a large portion of the season at the top of the NASCAR Cup Series standings.

However, he faltered late, finishing outside the top 10 in four of his last six starts and failing to make the Championship Four cutoff. Harvick is a two-time winner at Daytona, but his track record at the iconic superspeedway has been poor. He has just one top 10 in his last nine starts at Daytona International Speedway and has finished 20th or worse in seven of those races.

How to make 2021 NASCAR at Daytona picks

The model is also targeting three other drivers with NASCAR at Daytona odds of 15-1 or longer to make a serious run at winning it all. Anyone who backs these drivers could hit it big. You can see all the NASCAR picks over at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2021 Daytona 500? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Check out the latest 2021 Daytona 500 odds below and then visit SportsLine now to see the full projected 2021 Daytona 500 leaderboard, all from the model that nailed Hamlin’s win last season

2021 Daytona 500 odds 

Denny Hamlin 8-1
Chase Elliott 10-1
Joey Logano 10-1
Brad Keselowski 10-1
Ryan Blaney 10-1
Kevin Harvick 12-1
Kyle Busch 15-1
William Byron 18-1
Aric Almirola 18-1
Martin Truex Jr. 18-1
Kyle Larson 18-1
Alex Bowman 18-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 20-1
Austin Dillon 25-1
Bubba Wallace 25-1
Ross Chastain 30-1
Matt DiBenedetto 30-1
Cole Custer 40-1
Chase Briscoe 40-1
Tyler Reddick 40-1
Christopher Bell 40-1
Chris Buescher 50-1
Austin Cindric 50-1
Erik Jones 50-1
Michael McDowell 75-1
Ryan Newman 75-1
Jamie McMurray 100-1
Ryan Preece 100-1
Ty Dillon 100-1
Daniel Suarez 125-1
David Ragan 150-1
Noah Gragson 150-1
Anthony Alfredo 150-1
Corey Lajoie 150-1
Kaz Grala 250-1
BJ McLeod 750-1
Timmy Hill 750-1
Chad Finchum 750-1
Josh Bilicki 750-1
Cody Ware 1000-1
Quin Houff 1000-1

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