By Jerry Jordan, Editor
Wow, the odds for Tyler Reddick went from being at +1200 to win earlier in the week to race day odds of +525, which makes him the betting favorite to win the Hollywood Casino 400 but is this a reality or just the fact he was fast in practice and qualifying? He doesn’t make any of my three weekly picks to bring a winning return on your wager.
No disrespect to Reddick, for whom I am a big fan, but his average start at Kansas is 14th and his average finish is 17.7, so he hasn’t exactly lit the track on fire in his six previous outings. Admittedly, he did qualify on the front row earlier this year and lead 24 laps, so he had some speed in the first outing of the NextGen car but since then, everyone has had the ability to learn and improve.
Joey Logano also moved up the odds list from an early line of +2000 to a race day line of +800. He qualified on the outside of Row 1 next to Reddick.
I do admit the temptation is there to bet on Logano or Reddick but I don’t like big odds swings based solely on a few runs. This race is 400 miles long and anything can happen but I am going with a driver who ran second here in his first outing this season and won the race last year – Kyle Larson.
Sitting at +675, Larson is among the favorites and a track like Kansas Speedway will give him a chance to get out of the rut he has been on. For several weeks, Larson has been plagued with bad luck. I am betting on Hendrick Motorsports having figured out what was wrong with his car and helping him get to the checkered flag.
The defending champion took a big hit in the points last week and slid from fourth to seventh overall. So, he and the No. 5 team will be looking for redemption at a track where they have shown past success. Larson is my pick as the favorite to win this week.
For my mid-tier value pick this week, it’s a toss-up between Denny Hamlin (+900) and Kevin Harvick but Harvick’s odds will provide a better payback and he’s had three previous wins at Kansas Speedway. In fact, Harvick has had the most quality passes at 1,151 and he has the most green flag passes aside from Kurt Busch, who is still sidelined for concussion-like symptoms resulting from a crash at Pocono Raceway. And giving a nod to my first pick this week, Harvick is behind only Larson (just over one-tenth of a second) for the fastest green flag speed at Kansas. He also has the highest average running order of eighth and the highest driver rating at 108.5 per NASCAR’s statistical records.
Harvick opened up the week at +1500 but apparently, the oddsmakers at the WynnBET Sportsbook weren’t impressed with his qualifying and practice runs because he has dropped down the list into longshot territory at +2200. Still, I am not afraid to put my money on this proven champion. Harvick rolls off the grid in 14th but I look for him to move to the Top 10 pretty quickly. After all, he has led 901 laps of the 8,664 laps he has completed at Kansas.
In the longshot position this week, I am going with Austin Dillon. Since the oddsmakers like his teammate so much, I am thinking some of that perceived speed might rub off on Dillon. The two work well together and share information, so I look for the cars to be set up fairly closely to one another. Dillon starts P11 and his odds to win are at a disrespectful +5000.
Obviously, there is no guarantee he ends up in Victory Lane but 50-to-1 odds for Dillon don’t seem right. In 18 starts, he has finished in the Top 15 half the time and in the Top 10 five times. If chaos breaks out, Dillon could find himself in a position to pounce and be another surprise winner in the NASCAR Playoffs like Erik Jones was last week at Darlington Raceway.
Remember, my suggestions are based on what I see at the track and past drivers’ performances. It’s called gambling for a reason and there is no guarantee the drivers I pick will end up in victory lane. If you can’t afford to bet, then don’t. And if you aren’t 21 years of age, you cannot legally gamble, so don’t even think about it. Should you have a problem with sports betting or other forms of gaming, you can get help at 1-800-522-4700.
Hollywood Casino 400 Odds
|Early Odds||Race Day Odds|
|Denny Hamlin||+550||Tyler Reddick||+525|
|Kyle Busch||+600||Christopher Bell||+650|
|Martin Truex Jr||+700||Kyle Larson||+675|
|Chase Elliott||+750||Ross Chastain||+675|
|Kyle Larson||+800||Joey Logano||+800|
|Christopher Bell||+1000||Martin Truex Jr||+800|
|Ross Chastain||+1200||Denny Hamlin||+900|
|Tyler Reddick||+1200||Kyle Busch||+900|
|Kevin Harvick||+1500||Alex Bowman||+1400|
|Ryan Blaney||+1500||Chase Elliott||+1400|
|Bubba Wallace Jr||+2000||William Byron||+1400|
|Joey Logano||+2000||Bubba Wallace Jr||+1900|
|William Byron||+2000||Ryan Blaney||+1900|
|Alex Bowman||+3500||Kevin Harvick||+2200|
|Daniel Suarez||+3500||Daniel Suarez||+3000|
|Ty Gibbs||+3500||Ty Gibbs||+3000|
|Austin Cindric||+5000||Austin Cindric||+4000|
|Austin Dillon||+5000||Austin Dillon||+5000|
|Chase Briscoe||+5000||Chase Briscoe||+5000|
|Erik Jones||+5000||Chris Buescher||+7000|
|Brad Keselowski||+10000||Erik Jones||+10000|
|Aric Almirola||+25000||Brad Keselowski||+12500|
|Chris Buescher||+25000||Aric Almirola||+25000|
|Michael McDowell||+25000||Michael McDowell||+25000|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||+25000||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||+35000|
|Cole Custer||+50000||Cole Custer||+50000|
|Harrison Burton||+50000||Harrison Burton||+50000|
|Justin Haley||+50000||Justin Haley||+50000|
|Noah Gragson||+50000||Noah Gragson||+50000|
|Ty Dillon||+50000||Ty Dillon||+50000|
|BJ McLeod||+100000||Landon Cassill||+100000|
|Cody Ware||+100000||Todd Gilliland||+100000|
|Corey Lajoie||+100000||BJ McLeod||+150000|
|J J Yeley||+100000||Cody Ware||+150000|
|Landon Cassill||+100000||Corey Lajoie||+150000|
|Todd Gilliland||+100000||J J Yeley||+150000|