COLUMN: Longshots and Value Bets May Be Key for Bettin’ NASCAR at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

LAS VEGAS – Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson has been the favorite to win every race, so far, this season but with 9 to 5 odds, basically just a little better than two to one, the odds don’t make him a favorable value bet. But don’t despair, there are several top drivers that oddsmakers may be missing the boat on – think Chase Briscoe at 30 to 1 or if you want to play it a little safe but possibly make a few bucks there is Joey Logano at 7 to 1.

Looking at historical data for Logano’s performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he has the highest average finish of all active drivers at 8.6. He also has led the second-most laps and has two wins. Logano is always racing for wins because he doesn’t know how to do anything else, plus it doesn’t hurt his motivation at his sponsor, Pennzoil, is also the race sponsor.

Since we are in Las Vegas and staying at the South Point Hotel and Casino, I am using the betting lines from their sportsbook this week. If you have never been to the South Point, it’s THE place where the big names in NASCAR stay during race week. If you are looking for a place to bet and it’s legal in your state, a couple of my “go to” online sportsbooks when I am not in Las Vegas are DraftKings Sportsbook and, which funds your account using Bitcoin. NASCAR also has sports betting partnerships with WynnBet, BetMGM, Fubo Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook.

Looking back at the first two weeks of the season, each of my favorite picks has had a shot to win. At Daytona, I also picked Logano and he was moving through the field in the final stage but was caught up in a crash. Although there wasn’t a lot of damage, he suffered a flat tire that forced him to be towed to pit road because the car wouldn’t move and go several laps down. Last week, Kyle Busch also had a flat tire and went several laps down but rallied to get back on the lead lap and finish 14th. I am wondering what the pre-season odds would have been for being two-for-two with my favorites falling victim to flat tires and not being able to move the car.

As I have said several times, I won’t give you a pick without backing it up. I don’t think it’s right to tell you to pick a driver and then not have any action on it myself. If I make a pick I should sweat it just like you all do. The thing about betting on NASCAR is that it is very hard to consistently pick the winner but if you are smart and make value bets, you can show a positive return if your driver takes the checkered flag.

If this is your first week to read the column, I not only pick a favorite driver to win the race, I suggest a mid-tier odds driver that has real chance to take the win. Those drivers basically range from around 15 to 1 and 35 to 1 odds. Likewise, I also pick a longshot – a high odds driver that would give a huge return if everything goes right during the race. Of course, I know some people who only pick the longshots and let it ride. I mean if you can get triple-digit odds on a driver, why not throw a few bucks down on them.

My mid-tier pick for this week is Austin Cindric, who is currently at 30 to 1 odds to win the Pennzoil 400. Cindric will start the race in third despite having little practice and having never raced here in the NASCAR Cup Series. In the Xfinity Series, Cindric’s has eight starts and an average finish of 11.6 with three Top 5s and five Top 10s. He’s led 126 laps. And after winning the season-opening Daytona 500, the No. 2 team can take chances and go for wins. He’s locked into the playoffs and that makes him dangerous to pick off stage points and go hunting for wins.

Another mid-tier sleeper might be Alex Bowman, whose race day odds are 15 to 1.

There’s one more driver that is definitely a value bet today and that is Brad Keselowski. He has shown that Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing has made dramatic improvements over the past and is taking a “checkers or wreckers” attitude. At 30 to 1, you’d be kicking yourself if you didn’t jump on this possible miss by the oddsmakers.

For my longshot pick this week, I am going with Chase Briscoe. He will roll off in fourth and is listed at 8- to 1. He is another driver with limited starts here but his performance, so far, in 2022 has him ranked fifth in points. Obviously, if you look over the odds, there are several drivers with higher odds that you could pick for a longshot bet but Briscoe has shown some speed this weekend, he is a smart racer and has a legitimate chance to be up front at the end. To that end, I also think with 200 to 1 odds and given the right circumstances betting on Harrison Burton, Daniel Hemric or Justin Haley could bring a big payday.

South Point Casino Sportsbook  
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Odds
Kyle Larson 9 to 2
Joey Logano 7 to 1
Chase Elliott 7 to 1
Ryan Blaney 8 to 1
William Byron 10 to 1
Kyle Busch 15 to 1
Alex Bowman 15 to 1
Kevin Harvick 15 to 1
Martin Truex Jr. 20 to 1
Erik Jones 20 to 1
Kurt Busch 20 to 1
Austin Cindric 30 to 1
Christopher Bell 30 to 1
Brad Keselowski 30 to 1
Daniel Suarez 50 to 1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 60 to 1
Chase Briscoe 60 to 1
Aric Almirola 80 to 1
Ross Chastain 80 to 1
Ty Dillon 100 to 1
Bubba Wallace 100 to 1
Cole Custer 100 to 1
Chris Buescher 100 to 1
Harrison Burton 200 to 1
Justin Haley 200 to 1
Daniel Hemric 200 to 1
FIELD (All Other Drivers) 50 to 1


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