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Best matchup bet for the Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway

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On Sunday the Cup Series will head to Dover Motor Speedway for its sole visit to the track in 2024. Dover is one of the harder tracks to handicap. The track is truly unique. Dover is just 1 mile in length with 24-degree banked turns and a concrete surface. Bristol is similar in surface and banking, but Dover is almost twice as long as that track. The 1.5-mile cookie cutters, Las Vegas, Kansas, Charlotte, and Texas, all have similar banking, but are asphalt and are a half mile longer. Nashville has a concrete surface but is longer and has significantly less banking.

Over the past two years, no track on the Cup Schedule has stood out as having particularly strong correlation. However, the Cup Series utilizes its intermediate package at Dover and there has been reasonable correlation to driver performance at other tracks using the intermediate package and driver performance at Dover. So, when trying to predict driver performance this weekend I’m looking first at Dover history. After that I’m looking at 2024 performance in the intermediate package.

Looking at Dover history and 2024 intermediate package performance I’ve found a matchup that I think the pricing should be flipped on.

Ryan Blaney +115 over Christopher Bell at Superbook

Bell and Blaney both have fairly strong history at Dover over their full careers. Bell has a pair of wins here in the Xfinity Series and a Top 3 finish in the Truck Series. Blaney has an Xfinity Series win, as well as four Xfinity Series Top 5s and a pair of Truck Series Top 3s. Over the past two years in the Cup Series though Blaney has had the edge.

Looking at Front Runners from Win the Race we see that in the two Gen 7 races at Dover Ryan Blaney has an average running position of 10.48. Over those same two races Christopher Bell has an average running position of 11.68. Unsurprisingly, Blaney has also been the faster car in both races. In my incident adjusted speed metric, which attempts to filter out segments of a race where a driver is slow due to issues like wrecks or mechanical issues, which can be outside of the driver’s control, Blaney was sixth in 2022 and first in 2023. Bell was 12th and sixth respectively in those races. So, at the moment, recent driver history favors Blaney in this matchup.

Looking at recent intermediate performance Blaney also has a leg up on Bell. In the three races that have used the intermediate package in 2024 Blaney rates out as the fifth best driver using Win The Race’s True Performance Rating (TPR). Bell is ninth in TPR. Blaney has had a significantly better TPR than Bell in two of the three races and was just four spots behind Bell in the third race. My incident adjusted speed metric lines up with TPR and has Blaney comfortably ahead of Bell in speed when looking at the intermediate package as a whole so far this year.

Finally, Win The Race’s Pre-Practice and Qualifying ranks have Blaney ahead of Bell for this weekend. Blaney is ranked as the 7th best driver this weekend. Bell comes in at 11th.

Ultimately other than long term driver history, where its arguable Bell has a slight edge on Blaney, every metric I use to project races favors Blaney over Bell for this weekend’s race at Dover. So Blaney should be the favorite in this matchup and getting +115 on him to beat Bell is great value. Its possible that this should actually be a tossup so I recommend taking it down to +105.

Gambling involves risk. Please gamble responsibly and never bet more than you are able to lose. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call, text or chat, the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER.

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