Nascar Betting OddsThose checking out March Madness odds looking for an upset aren’t likely to find one at the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 on Sunday, as three drivers have combined to win 10 of the last 12 races at Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in the Sprint Cup series, and the paper-clip track has always been tough to handle. Will anyone break through and challenge the top three on Sunday?

NASCAR odds – Sunday, March 28, 1:00 PM ET

Jimmie Johnson has won a race at Martinsville each year since 2004, except for 2005, and it’s no surprise that the No.48 driver and winner of this race last year is favored at +275, especially after finally getting a win at Bristol last week. Johnson has six wins overall at Martinsville, and his 5.1 average finish in 16 races here is the best among active drivers. If you’re going to best Johnson at Martinsville though, this would be the best time, as only two of his wins here has come in the spring race.

In terms of March Madness favorites, Jeff Gordon circa 2006 would have been North Carolina, a perennial powerhouse who is usually near the front. You can’t compare Gordon to the Tar Heels, who missed the dance this year, as he is still competitive, but the driver who is listed at +600 hasn’t won here since sweeping the 2005 races for his sixth and seventh win here. You could argue that Gordon, who brought Johnson to owner Rick Hendrick and even co-owns the No.48 car that Johnson drives, taught his protégé too much and it’s now being used against him. But if you’re looking to pick Gordon at a track, it’s Martinsville, where he finished in the top five both times last year, and his seven wins here is the best among active drivers.

Denny Hamlin has joined Johnson and Gordon as the biggest threats here, as he led 296 laps in last year’s spring race before falling just behind Johnson, and he made good on his guarantee to win the fall race by leading 206 laps to get revenge on the No.48. Hamlin, who is also rated at +600, desperately needs something to happen this week as he is 19th in the standings, and he hasn’t finished higher than 17th this season.

A ticket at Martinsville is always worth the price per head, as it’s now the most physical track on the circuit, and you often have to literally move someone out of the way to make a pass. Hamlin may push the issue because of his early-season struggles, which leaves Johnson and Gordon. Johnson has been in the right place at the right time this season, but Gordon is hungry and hasn’t won since the first Texas race last year. He’s great Martinsville, both qualifying and during the race, and this is the place to take him. Go with Jeff Gordon, who won’t disappoint March Madness betting players like Kansas did.


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