Duels at Daytona: Daytona Picks, Betting Odds, Picks & Race Preview

Joey Logano's a three-time Duels winner, and favored to take Duel 1 this evening. Can the former Cup Series champ make his mark again? Find out with our Duels at Daytona odds and NASCAR betting picks.

Feb 15, 2024 • 11:49 ET • 4 min read
Joey Logano NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Before Sunday's Daytona 500, NASCAR's best take to the track tonight to determine the starting grid, with the Duels at Daytona.

Of course, sportsbooks aren't passing up the chance to let bettors dive into NASCAR Cup Series odds, and have outrights listed for both of this evening's Duels races.

We break down the odds for each field below, with your best betting picks for this February 15 qualifying event. 

Betting on Sunday's big race as well? Be sure to check out our Daytona 500 odds for the latest analysis.

Odds to win 2024 Duels at Daytona (Duel 1)

Driver BetRivers
Joey Logano +650
Kyle Larson +750
Chase Elliott +750
Chris Buescher +800
Austin Dillon +1,100
Ross Chastain +1,300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +1,400
Martin Truex Jr. +1,400
Ty Gibbs +1,400
Alex Bowman +1,500
Erik Jones +1,600

Odds to win 2024 Duels at Daytona (Duel 2)

Driver BetRivers
Kyle Busch +650
Brad Keselowski +750
William Byron +800
Ryan Blaney +800
Denny Hamlin +900
Bubba Wallace +1,000
Austin Cindric +1,100
Michael McDowell +1,100
Christopher Bell +1,200
AJ Allmendinger +2,000
Chase Briscoe +2,000

Odds as of February 15, 2024.

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Duels at Daytona expert picks and predictions

Odds listed below courtesy of BetRivers Sportsbook, February 15, 2024.

Duels at Daytona favorites


Kyle Larson (+750)

He’s never won a superspeedway race but does have eight Top-8 finishes in his last 10 Duel tries and rolls off second. He’ll also have drafting help with three of his teammates in this race to go along with eight Chevrolet drivers starting in the Top 13. 

Chase Elliott (+750)

Has two Duel wins and scored a Top-8 finish in seven of his last eight tries. He also has a great starting spot in third. Like Larson, he has plenty of drafting help from teammates and Chevy drivers. 


Brad Keselowski (+750)

He has just four Top-10 finishes in his last 10 Duels, however, three of those four have occurred in the last four years including a win in 2022 and third place run last year. Keselowski starts 12th. 

Ryan Blaney (+800)

He won a Duel in 2018 and has scored seven Top-6 results in nine Duels starts including a third place finish the last two years. He’ll roll off from ninth. 

Duels at Daytona sleepers


Martin Truex Jr (+1,400)

While he’s never won a points-paying race at Daytona, Talladega or Atlanta, Truex does have four Top-8 finishes in his last five Duel tries. He also has plenty of Toyota’s to draft with in this race, with five in total counting himself.


Austin Cindric  (+1,100)

His last two Duels finishes are first and second respectively. He starts on the front row in a race that has 12 Fords among the 21 starters.

Christopher Bell (+1,200)

His last three Duel finishes have been second, fifth, and second, respectively. My only pause is that Toyota didn’t lead a single lap in these races a year ago and he starts from 16th. The plus is that he has three other Toyotas for drafting help starting around him.

Noah Gragson (+3,000)

A strong speedway racer is taking over the car that’s won two Duels in three years. Gragson starts eighth, next to his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Chase Briscoe.

Duels at Daytona fades


Joey Logano (+600)

Being on the pole for this 60-lap race scares me. The risk of tearing up Logano’s car and foregoing his pole position on Sunday may not be worth it. Also, with only four Fords in the entire race, they could be at a massive drafting disadvantage. 


Michael McDowell (+1,100)

Ninth in 2021, second in 2022 and fifth a year ago. However, he has a front row starting spot, so long as he can keep his car clean on Thursday night. Being from a smaller team in the garage, is mixing it up worth the risk?

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Daytona International Speedway track analysis

Why this is nothing like the Daytona 500

Daytona International Speedway is a fast 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway that differs from all but two other tracks on the schedule — Talladega and Atlanta. These three tracks produce six of the 36 points-paying races over the course of a season and look entirely different than the other 32 events.

That’s because they use a tapered spacer on the engines to restrict speeds and by the design of the aerodynamic package used on these two tracks, it forms a pack to race in. Basically, these cars are flat-out pedal to the metal without using the brake, and all are pretty much going the same speed. Drafting is key here, and that on its own is an art itself. 
However, the Duels are entirely different from the Daytona 500 in the sense that there’s half the field in each race. The energy levels built up inside of the draft are less since there are fewer cars.

What makes this race key is that there have been changes to the cars this offseason. Ford and Toyota each will debut new car configurations. Chevrolet remained the same.
Toyota is hopeful this can help their dreaded performances lately on these types of tracks. In the Ford camp, they’ve been the best, so does this change hurt?

These speedway races nowadays are manufacturer-dependent, with Fords working with Fords, Chevys with Chevys, and so on. The Duels are different because you may not have many drafting partners compared to having a full compliment of them on Sunday.

Also, 38 drivers already know that they’ll race on Sunday, so they don’t want to tear up their equipment, especially the pole-winners. The pole starter for both races clinched the front row on Sunday. They usually take it easy in the Duels to secure their starting spot and not risk a crash. It’s the reason why the last 35 Duels have produced just one victorious pole-winner.

Drivers tend to take care of each other more on Thursday night compared to Sunday. Also, the pair of races Thursday night are 140 laps shorter than Sunday’s Great American Race. That’s led to quick races. 15 of the last 16 Duels have run to completion in less than one hour. The longest Duel since 2009 lasted 1-hour, 8-minutes and 25-minutes.

As a result of that, track position is key. Tires aren’t a factor since the races are at night, which means pit stops aren’t an issue so long as no one is speeding.

24 of the last 30 Duels have been won from Row 2 or further back, including Joey Logano from third last year in Duel 1. Furthermore, 11 of the last 13 Duels have been won from the third starting spot on back as well.

That’s why these races will look aesthetically similar in nature to the Daytona 500, but are also mostly tamer in nature too. 

  • The last Duel winner to win the Daytona 500 was Matt Kenseth in 2012. He’s the only one to do so in the last 18 years.

  • Blue ovals are the favorites: Fords went 1-3-4-5-6-8-9 in Duel 1 last year (led 26 of 60 laps) and 1-2-3-4 in Duel 1 in 2022. For the second Duel, Fords went 1-2-4-7 a year ago (led 50 of 60 laps) and 1-2-3 in 2022. They’ve led a combined 65% (156-for-240) laps led the last two years and taken 14 of the 20 potential Top 5 finishing positions.

Previous Duels at Daytona winners

Year Duel 1 Winner Duel 2 Winner
2023 Joey Logano Aric Almirola
2022 Brad Keselowski Chris Buescher
2021 Aric Almirola Austin Dillon
2020 Joey Logano William Byron
2019 Kevin Harvick Joey Logano
2018 Ryan Blaney Chase Elliott
2017 Chase Elliott Denny Hamlin
2016 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kyle Busch
2015 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jimmie Johnson
2014 Matt Kenseth Denny Hamlin

How to make Duels at Daytona picks

NASCAR betting is a nuanced process that can take any number of factors into account, and spans several different types of bets. Fortunately, our How to Bet NASCAR guide walks you through the basics, including how to read odds, different markets that are available, and what to consider when making your bets. 

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