Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 odds, preview, and value picks

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April 9th, 2021

After a week off in observance of Easter, the NASCAR Cup Series drivers are back in action this Saturday night in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1).

The tepid race favorite is Martin Truex Jr. at +500. He took two straight races at “The Paperclip,” including a domineering victory in October of 2019 in which he led 464 laps, prior to a late collapse and 22nd-place finish here last fall.

We believe that there are three other drivers who present better value to win the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. Let’s shed some light on their credentials below.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

Sat, April 10 2021, 11:30 PM

Truex Jr, Martin


Elliott, Chase


Keselowski, Brad


Hamlin, Denny


Logano, Joey


Blaney, Ryan


Busch, Kyle


Larson, Kyle


Harvick, Kevin


Bowman, Alex


Chase Elliott (+600)

Chase Elliott had put together some respectable finishes at Martinsville, placing Top 10 in five of his last seven races prior to the November 2020 event over this course. That included a runner-up result in March of 2019.

But things finally came together for Elliott at “The Paperclip” last fall, as he took the checkered flag while leading 236 laps to secure his berth into the Championship 4. Of course, he would go on to take the Bill France Cup with a victory at Phoenix the following week.

Elliott has not had the greatest beginning to 2021, tallying just three Top 10s in the first seven races of the season, but there’s hope for improvement here. He’ll begin his day in fifth by virtue of NASCAR’s performance-based metric.

Joey Logano (+700)

Joey Logano is in search of a second straight win following his victory on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt course two weeks ago. He has a legitimate chance of pulling off the feat in the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500.

Logano has just one win in 24 starts on this oval, but he’s third among active drivers in laps led here (1,083) behind only Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. He’s placed Top 5 in three of his last five starts at Martinsville, including his October 2018 triumph.

The No. 22 Ford driver was awarded the pole position for Saturday night’s heat, which is always helpful.

Ryan Blaney (+800)

Logano’s Penske teammate, Ryan Blaney, has a solid opportunity to visit Victory Lane at Martinsville as well.

Blaney won NASCAR’s most recent race on asphalt – the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 – at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “The Paperclip” presents a significantly different challenge, but Blaney appears to be up to the task.

The No. 12 Ford driver has recorded four consecutive Top 5 finishes at the Ridgeway, VA oval, including two straight runner-up results in 2020. Blaney will roll off the grid in fourth on Saturday night.