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NASCAR Picks: Motorsports Odds, Best Bets to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for the NASCAR Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum, which starts on February 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

It’s time to embrace the gimmicks. NASCAR is running an exhibition race in Los Angeles on a fabricated short track inside a football field. That’s some gimmick. Also, there will be heat races, a DJ during cautions and Ice Cube will preform a concert between the heat races and the main event.


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Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum 2022 Winner

Alex Bowman (+1800)

This is a made up track and made up race format. Anything can happen, so taking drivers with longer odds makes a lot of sense. Fitting a racetrack into a football stadium is nothing new (e.g. The Madhouse at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC). The tight squeeze makes for a certain brand of racing, and calling it racing is being kind. The phrase “old school racing” fits for the purposes here. Technique and finesse matter, but more often than not, drivers are going to get dumped or moved out of the way at the LA Coliseum race track. Not to mention, this is an exhibition, to dump or be dumped doesn’t matter all that much. NASCAR executives have openly stated that they are in the entertainment business. So here we are, racing in LA in a football stadium at track designed to be mimic a demolition derby.

Let’s pretend this race isn’t a mess or it’s a dumpster but not a dumpster fire. There is aggression but not absolute pandemonium. This isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. Due to NASCAR’s struggles during the Next Gen car tests and supply chain parts issues, most teams have very few cars to begin the season. They do not want to destroy one of their few cars in a pointless race. If that’s the case, then Bowman offers great odds. He was one of the best high horsepower, low downforce drivers last season with wins at the short, flat tracks in Richmond and Martinsville. He won both of those races by being aggressive late. He beat Denny Hamlin at Richmond by pushing his car to the edge on the final restart and taking the lead in the nonpreferred groove. At Martinsville, he dumped Hamlin. Bowman has shown that he will get his hands just dirty enough to win.

“Featured Matchup” Brad Keselowski vs. Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick (-115)

Speaking of dirty, Harvick is ruthless. He does not back down and he gives more than he gets. The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team is hungry and Harvick would love to win at a short track in his home state. Rumors and theories swirled all last season that SHR was devoting more of their resources to the development of the Next Gen car. It’s possible that Harvick’s poor 2021 season was due to neglect. Why put time and resources into the Gen 6 car in 2021 when all the parts and discoveries would be thrown out heading into 2022?

While there may be some uncertainties surrounding Harvick and SHR, there are many more at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing (RFK). However, there is one certainty. This is Brad Keselowski in a Roush car not a Penske car, and it’s definitely not Brad Keselowski in his prime driving for Penske. This is a mistake by the DraftKings Sportsbook. Keselowski is in Ryan Newman's old ride. Imagine getting a heads up bet on Ryan Newman vs. Kevin Harvick. For all intents and purposes, that’s what this is.


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“Featured Matchup” Chase Elliott vs. Kyle Larson

Kyle Larson (-105)

This matchup has all of the storylines. The Hendrick veteran vs. the Hendrick new kid on the block. The 2020 Champ vs. the 2021 Champ. The asphalt racer vs. the dirt racer. The son of a former NASCAR Champion vs. the kid that learned racing on a computer game bought by his dad. The Georgia boy vs. the Japanese American. Unfortunately, the fun story lines are just that — stories. Larson won 11 races last season. Everyone always wondered what “Yung Money” would do in top notch equipment. After one season, he checked every single box. Season two is going to be brutal for his competition, and the next decade is going to be a nightmare. Elliott is a great driver, but Larson is the greatest racecar driver of the 21st Century. He wins in any vehicle on any track. This Sunday, the new car and new track are nothing new for Larson.

“Featured Matchup” Kyle Busch vs. Joey Logano

Joey Logano (-115)

During an interview this week, Logano discussed the possibility that the Clash might earn massive TV ratings and winning in front of a large audience was a big deal for him and his sponsor. When he was asked what he was willing to do in order to win the exhibition race n LA, he said he wouldn’t dump someone, but he would bump and run for the win. What is the difference? It should be no surprise that in Logano’s mind there is a difference — he’s notorious for dooring drivers. He quailed for the 2019 Championship race by slamming Martin Truex into the wall on the final turn at Martinsville. While Busch has a rowdy reputation as well, he’s matured and calmed down a lot over the last couple of years. Logano doesn’t seem to have any chill and he’s gunning for the win.

“Featured Matchup” Ryan Blaney vs. William Byron

William Byron (-105)

This is a matchup between two up-and-coming flat, short trackers. Ryan Blaney has led over 100 laps at Martinsville twice and has nearly won at the flat, short track several times (two second-place finishes, a third, fourth and fifth). Byron finished second at Martinsville in 2019 and earned two top-5 finishes at The Paperclip last season. LA Memorial Coliseum race track is not a paperclip, but it’s close enough. With their Martinsville stats being close to even, the edge goes to Byron based on continuity. The Busch Light Clash will be Blaney’s first race with crew chief Jonathan Hassler. There is bound to be some growing pains and communication issues. It will be difficult to replace Todd Gordon. He was considered to be one of the best crew chiefs in NASCAR, and has the 2018 Championship trophy to prove it.

Driver Props: Alex Bowman vs. Kurt Busch

Alex Bowman (-115)

This is another mistake. Bowman vs. Busch in 2021 would have been an easy bet on Bowman. Last season, Bowman was one of the best drivers in the high horsepower, low downforce package. Outside of Darlington and Nashville, which are not short tracks by any stretch of the imagination, Kurt Busch had a Real Rating of .60 (my own statistical creation that weighs a driver’s average position along with the amount of laps led and laps driven inside the top 5, top 10, top 20, top 25 and top 30) and Bowman had a Real Rating of .72.

That margin is a significant difference, but there is more in favor of Bowman. Chip Ganassi Racing closed down at the end of last season, and Busch had to accept a ride at 23XI Racing (twenty-three eleven or the Jordan-Hamlin team). This team struggled with one car last season in their first year of operation, and now they have added a second car. Top tier teams struggle when they expand. It is unlikely that Busch does anything this season, let alone in his first race with a team that is running its first race. It would not be a shock to see Kurt Busch fail to qualify for the main event. It almost feels like cheating taking these bets, but we’ll take it. The NASCAR Best Bets were on a heater last season, and this is a great way to start 2022.

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All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.


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