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Betting on Who Wins the 2020 NASCAR Toyota 500 – Why Harvick Has the Momentum

| May 19, 2020 1:01 am PDT
NASCAR Toyota 500

The NASCAR Cup Series is back after just a three-day turnaround with the Toyota 500 at Darlington this coming Wednesday, May 20.

Kevin Harvick’s odds to win the Toyota 500 mark him out as a slight favorite ahead of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, but there are some interesting prices to be had all around.

Harvick landed his 50th career victory by taking the checkered flag on Sunday at a strangely quiet Darlington Raceway. His victory in The Real Heroes 400 ties him with Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson — both members of the illustrious NASCAR Hall of Fame — for all-time wins. A pretty big deal.

The top NASCAR betting sites believe Wednesday’s race will be a close one, with not much to separate Harvick from the likes of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and the runner up on Sunday, Alex Bowman.

So, who should you target when betting on who wins the NASCAR Toyota 500? I’ll be hitting you with my pick ahead of the race and sharing a couple of takes on the rare midweek race. But first of all, check out the latest odds for Darlington’s second major race in the matter of a few days.

Latest 2020 NASCAR Toyota 500 Odds

I have taken the odds below from BetOnline — one of our recommended NASCAR betting sites.

Harvick comes in at +500 to win the Toyota 500, having put in a solid showing on Sunday. 

Last time out, the 44-year-old led for 159 of 293 laps at Darlington before taking his final lead following a caution that occurred on Lap 254. This was his first win of the season, as well as just his second in 24 starts at “The Track Too Tough to Tame.”

Kyle Busch (+550) will be looking for a bit more luck following a frustrating time at Darlington last Sunday. Busch’s car twice failed inspection, leading to him starting at the rear of the field, despite being primed to start fourth. The number 18 Toyota finished in 26th, which was his worst return since May 2009. 

Denny Hamlin (+600) finished fifth, which his best result at Darlington since winning here in 2017. Martin Truex Jr (+700), a winner in 2016, grabbed sixth, while Alex Bowman (+800) landed an impressive best of 2nd at the “Lady in Black.”

The big story was Kurt Busch’s (+1200) third-place finish from a starting position of 22nd. Busch was one of my value picks for Sunday’s race, where I tipped him to pull off a surprise at odds of +2200. 

Is he worth a look in for Wednesday? How about for another top-three finish? 

Odds to Finish in Top 3 at 2020 NASCAR Toyota 500

Despite a poor output at The Real Heroes 400, I’m tipping Brad Keselowski (+300) to show what he can do this time around. 

A winner on this track in 2018 and fifth in 2019, Kewselwoski could only manage 13th on Sunday. This was his second-worst showing here since 2014, and especially frustrating given he had started from pole. 

Kurt Busch (+350) has a solid record at Darlington in recent times. His third-place finish over the weekend means that he now has five top-seven finishes or better in six races. He could surprise again.

Erik Jones (+600) is a value pick worth considering, even if he could only manage 8th on Sunday. Jones won here in 2019 from a 15th place start and also earned a top-five finish in his first race at Darlington in 2017.

My Pick to Win the 2020 NASCAR Toyota 500

  • Kevin Harvick

It’s difficult to argue against Kevin Harvick being the favorite to win the Toyota 500 this Wednesday.

Following a superb win on Sunday at the Real Heroes 400 on this very track, Harvick has to be considered the hot pick. There were questions about who would come out firing on all cylinders following the lockdown, and Harvick is the guy who put his hand up.

In the first race before the break, Harvick finished runner up in Phoenix. Additionally, he has the momentum on his side, and his record at the track is not bad at all.

In his last eight races here, Harvick has only finished outside of the top five once. He now has two wins in that same timeframe.

Summing Things Up

The prospect of a midweek NASCAR Cup Series race is really something to get excited by. Especially since it will be on the same track that the last race on the calendar went down on.

Unsurprisingly, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Alex Bowman line up as the favorites to win the 2020 Toyota 500. These are considered the strongest five drivers on the track according to the oddsmakers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the winner of the race will come from this quintet. 

And that’s the beauty of betting on this sport, as you can find out by reading my colleague’s 2020 guide to betting on NASCAR

I’m looking forward to seeing how this race pans out. But I’m also keen to give you my thoughts and predictions for the other NASCAR races headed our way over the next couple of weeks.

Bookmark the NASCAR section of our blog so you don’t miss out on the latest happenings in the Cup Series and more. 

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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