NASCAR Betting: First Data 500 picks and betting tips

The Monster Energy Cup Series returns to Martinsville Speedway Sunday for the First Data 500 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Seven-time series champ Jimmie Johnson has been Mr. Martinsville, collecting nine grandfather clocks at the Virginia short track. That’s what the venerable track awards the winner of the race. However, he hasn’t been terribly reliable for bettors lately, and his last win came in June 2017 at Dover.

Who is going to win the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway?

For a full-set of today’s sports betting odds, access them at USA TODAY Sports.

Virginia native Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing has racked up five grandfather clocks of his own at the Martinsville paper clip. He has led the pack for 1,536 laps, second-best on the circuit among active drivers behind Johnson (2,863).

Hamlin has 14 top-5 finishes, 20 top-10 showings and three poles with a 9.59 Average-Finish Position (AFP) in 27 Cup starts. Only four of his 27 starts have resulted in a finish of 21st or worse.

Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski has posted two wins with eight top-5 finishes and 13 top-10 runs at Martinsville while registering an 11.3 AFP. One of those checkered flags came in the STP 500 back in March in a Martinsville race which featured just four lead changes, the least amount in a race at this track since the Old Dominion 500 back in Sept. 1967 when Richard Petty raced to a win.

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JGR’s Kyle Busch has posted a 125.4 Driver Rating across the past five Martinsville races, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data. That is slightly ahead of Keselowski’s 124.3 rating. During the five-race span Busch has run 100 percent of his laps inside the Top 15, making him more consistent than anyone on the circuit in that regard. He has a 2.4 AFP during the span, too, leading all drivers.

Martinsville Speedway long-shot bets

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Daniel Suarez has posted as 16.8 AFP in his five Cup starts at Martinsville, as he has been a quick study at the short track.

Don’t sleep on Ryan Newman, either, as he has a victory, eight top-5 showings and 16 top-10 runs in 35 Cup starts with an AFP of 14.9. He has posted three poles and just two DNFs in his career at the track, so he is a long-shot to watch.

Now that you know which drivers you should consider to bet in the First Data 500 at Martsinsville, head to BetMGM and place your wagers today.

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