“Between Bets” is an article series revealing our staff’s best wagers across the NFL, NASCAR and PGA Tour. This week’s offering features our favorite Daytona 500 bet for the 2023 edition of The Great American Race. This head-to-head matchup keys in on two of the sports youngsters. Noah Gragson now mans the No. 42 Wendy’s Chevrolet Camero, a part of Legacy Motor Club, while Harrison Burton returns to the No. 21 Dex Imaging Ford Mustang under Wood Brothers Racing.
(Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)
Daytona 500 Matchup: Noah Gragson (-115) vs. Harrison Burton (-115)
While I am excited to see Gragson make his full-time Cup Series debut, this is more of a play to fade Burton. The second-year driver had the worst average finish on superspeedways last season for any full-time driver. His best finish in his five career superspeedway races (two starts at Daytona and three at Talladega) is 19th.
Meanwhile, in Gragson’s four superspeedway starts, he has three top-20 finishes and an impressive fifth-place finish at Daytona in the fall.
Top-10 finish rates for drivers with 6 or fewer Daytona starts:
• Austin Cindric | 67%
• Ryan Preece | 50% ????
• Noah Gragson | 50%
• Justin Haley | 40%
• Chase Briscoe | 25%
• Cody Ware | 25%
• Christopher Bell | 0% ????
• Harrison Burton | 0%
• Todd Gilliland | 0%
— Seth Woolcock (@Between_SethFF) February 15, 2023
Keep in mind that Gragson’s part-time showings in the Cup Series last season came in sub-par equipment, Beard Motorsports’ No. 62 Camero. He is now in middle-tier equipment with Jimmie Johnson’s newly-acquired Legacy Motor Club, formerly Richard Petty Motorsports. This move should help Grgason establish himself as one of the premiere young superspeedway drivers in the sport, starting with the Daytona 500.