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NASCAR at Las Vegas betting preview: Is it time for a favorite to win?

Nick Bromberg
·3 min read
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Pennzoil 400

3 p.m. ET (Fox)

A favorite is going to win a NASCAR Cup Series race very soon. Maybe even this weekend.

None of the winning drivers in the first three races of the 2021 season had odds better than +2500. That's a NASCAR rarity. And it's bound to change.

Sunday's race at Las Vegas features five drivers with odds lower than +1000. Unsurprisingly, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano are among that group of five. Truex and Logano have each won two of the last seven races at Las Vegas. Logano's two victories have come in each of the last two spring races at the track.

Here's what you need to know if you're going to bet on Sunday's Cup Series race. If you think the underdog trend will continue, don't worry, we've got a couple of picks for you.

Odds via BetMGM.

HOMESTEAD, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Bass Pro Toyota Camry, during the Dixie Vodka 400 on February 28, 2021 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Bass Pro Toyota Camry, during the Dixie Vodka 400 on February 28, 2021, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The favorites

Martin Truex Jr., +600

Kevin Harvick, +650

Brad Keselowski, +650

Joey Logano, +650

Denny Hamlin, +900

The only driver in this group without a win at Las Vegas is Hamlin. Everyone else has at least two Cup wins at Vegas. Keselowski leads the group with three wins. He's won in 2014, 2016 and 2018 in Las Vegas. He also finished second to Logano in the 2019 spring race and was seventh in the 2020 spring race.

Harvick won at Vegas in 2015 and 2018 and has finished in the top 10 in each of the first three races this season. The only other driver who has started the season with top 10s in every race? Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.

Click here for the full list of odds.

Good mid-tier value

Christopher Bell, +5000

Chris Buescher, +12500

Bell won at the Daytona road course and struggled at Homestead. That's why his odds are so high here. He's worth a flier if you want to look beyond William Byron and his Hendrick teammate Alex Bowman. They both have tantalizing odds at +2500.

Buescher could go in the long-shot category. But it's worth keeping an eye on him this weekend after he led 57 laps at Homestead. It's not often that you get such long odds on a driver who was legitimately running at the front of the field the week before at a track with similar characteristics.

Don't bet these drivers

Matt DiBenedetto, +3000

Erik Jones, +12500

DiBenedetto is struggling at the moment. He has just 14 points through four races and hasn't finished better than 28th so far this season. He was second at Las Vegas in the 2020 spring race but it's hard to see that happening again a the moment. Wait to see if DiBenedetto turns his season around before betting on him to win.

Jones is also in the midst of a bad start. He's finished outside the top 25 in two of the first three races of the season and Richard Petty Motorsports hasn't been regularly competitive at 1.5-mile tracks recently.

Looking for a long shot?

Ross Chastain, +15000

Chastain has finished 39th and 17th since he was seventh in the Daytona 500. But he's by far the best bet for a flier. His teammate, Kurt Busch, won the Las Vegas fall race a year ago and Chastain has — by far — the best equipment of any of the long shots. He's probably not going to win, but he's also the only driver with long odds who has a team capable of winning without it being a total upset.

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