Daytona 500 odds, picks 2019: Advanced computer model says Kyle Busch surprises

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins its year with the biggest race of its season and the 2019 Daytona 500 figures to bring all the excitement we have come to expect from The Great American Race. The 61st running of the Daytona 500 takes place on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET and the 43-car field is now set after front-row qualifying and the 2019 Gander RV Daytona Duels. Hendricks Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman are young and will start at the front, but they're both considerable long shots with Byron at 40-1 and Bowman at 30-1 in the latest 2019 Daytona 500 odds. Brad Keselowski will start in 35th, but he's still one of the betting favorites at 8-1, while Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are also going off at 8-1. Before you make your own 2019 Daytona 500 picks, be sure to check out the NASCAR predictions from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Developed by DFS pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction computer model takes factors such as track history and recent results into account.

It made some huge calls in NASCAR last year, including correctly projecting wins for Kyle Busch at Chicago and Martin Truex Jr. at Sonoma. It also nailed three of the top four finishers at Michigan, and two of the top four at last year's Daytona 500. Anybody who followed its picks finished way, way up.  

McClure, who has a mechanical engineering degree, grew up around race tracks. Big events like the Daytona 500 are in his blood. And now that the 2019 Daytona 500 lineup is taking shape, his model simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising.

One of the top Daytona 500 picks we'll give away: Kyle Busch makes a dash to the front of the pack and provides incredible value at 16-1.

Busch will start the race in 31st position after finishing a lap down in the first Gander RV Duel at Daytona on Thursday night, but he won eight times last year and has a history at Daytona that should help him quickly make up ground. Busch won the 2008 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway and has seven top-five finishes in 27 career starts at the historic venue.

In 2016, Busch finished third at the Daytona 500 and then second at the Coke Zero 400, and while he's been involved in a few wrecks the past few seasons, he'll be a serious threat if he can avoid The Big One while making his charge towards the front. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones (30-1) will be just two rows in front of Busch to start, so look for that pairing to link up early and the quicker they can get to the top of the leaderboard the better the chances both have of a strong finish as long shots.

One shocker: Keselowski, one of the Vegas favorites, makes a strong run but falls short of the checkered flag. Keselowski finished eighth in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Standings last season with three wins, and expectations are high for him heading into 2019. But he's struggled historically at Daytona International Speedway, failing to finish his last four races at this track due to accidents. And though he had a win at this track three years ago, he finished 20th in the Daytona 500 that season.

In 19 career races at Daytona, his average finish position is 17th, so there are far better values to win it all than the 8-1 premium he's commanding. 

The model is also targeting four drivers with 2019 Daytona 500 odds of 12-1 or longer to make a serious run at winning it all. Anyone who backs these long shots could hit it big. 

So who wins the 2019 Daytona 500? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Check out the latest 2019 Daytona 500 odds below and then visit SportsLine to see the full projected Daytona 500 leaderboard from the model that crushed its NASCAR picks last year.

Brad Keselowski 8-1
Kevin Harvick 8-1
Joey Logano 8-1
Clint Bowyer 10-1
Denny Hamlin 10-1
Chase Elliott 12-1
Aric Almirola 12-1
Kyle Busch 16-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 16-1
Kurt Busch 18-1
Martin Truex Jr. 18-1
Jimmie Johnson 20-1
Daniel Suarez 25-1
Paul Menard 25-1
Austin Dillon 30-1

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