NASCAR Betting Guide for the AAA Texas 500
Picking NASCAR race winners is nearly impossible because of how much has to go right on the track to end up in victory lane. The pit stops have to be perfect, the driver has to avoid pit road penalties and accidents, and crew chiefs need to make the right adjustments to be one of the best cars at the end of a race to give the driver the chance to win.
There is some very basic recent historical data that can be a starting point for NASCAR betting strategy: there are not a lot of drivers who can win. Only 13 drivers have won a race this season, and 7 of them have won more than once. In short, there is a very small pool of drivers to put into a portfolio realistically, but the underdogs can always breakthrough on small money tickets.
Below we will cover the best bets of the weekend, but numberFire always has you covered when it comes to NASCAR. Check out the track preview for additional information on the history at this track, and the driver preview will give you some names to watch in this weekend's race.
At the Top
Kevin Harvick (+700) - It's hard not to like the pole-sitter at a track where it is difficult to pass with a potential trip to Homestead on the line. First off, Harvick has been one of the hotter drivers in the Cup series in the last five races, with an average driver rating of 100.3 in that span. Of note, this does include Talladega. He practiced well here, which makes me confident that he will maintain the lead for a good portion of the race. We also can't forget the strong track history that Harvick possess at Texas, with a driver rating of 95.9 here since 2005. That clip trails only Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Chase Elliott. There is little doubt that Harvick should be considered the favorite to win on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (+700) - When he's not doing spot-on impressions of Joey Logano, Hamlin seems to spend his time dominating 1.5-mile tracks such as Texas, where he won back in March. Speaking of Hamlin's dominance this season, he is currently the second hottest driver in the last five races, with a driver rating of 104.3 in that time, trailing only Martin Truex Jr. And on 1.5-mile tracks this season, Hamlin has a driver rating of 101.2, behind only Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Starting in third, I would safely put Hamlin as my second most likely driver to win the race.
Brad Keselowski (+1200) - Oddly enough, I would consider Keselowski a more likely winner here than teammate Joey Logano (from a pure statistical perspective), even with the latter still in the playoff chase. For example, Keselowski has actually run better in the past five races than Logano has, 93.1 to 85.1 in terms of driver rating. Brad has also run slightly better at 1.5-mile tracks this season, and Keselowski was showing a lot of speed in final practice, as well. All of these things put together tell me that there is at least a chance of Keselowski coming out of this race with the win, and he's worth a dice roll at +1200 odds.
Ryan Blaney (+1200) - It seems rather offensive to have a playoff driver come into a race with the same odds to win as a non-playoff driver. Luckily for Blaney, though, he is on the same team as Keselowski and Logano, so teams may be kind enough to share notes with one another. Blaney comes into this race with some momentum, as he has the fifth-best driver rating in his last five races (99.7). Also, he has been able to hold his own at the 1.5-mile tracks this season, holding a driver rating of 94.4 at these races. My concern here is that he has been average relative to the field in his career at Texas, but that is why we have +1200 odds on him to win. He is certainly a long shot, but it's not impossible to say the least.
William Byron (+2500) - If you are a fan of the long shot bet, Byron is the ideal betting candidate for you. If Byron were still in the playoff chase, his odds would most likely be in the +700 to +1000 range, because statistically, he is set up well for Texas. Byron is coming into this race with the third-highest driver rating of anyone in the field (102.9). He has done well in his three career races at Texas, with a driver rating of 85.6, and he has an 88.1 driver rating at 1.5-mile tracks this season. The big negative, however, is his 18th-place starting position, which will make for a large uphill climb to the front, particularly at a track that isn't kind to passing. Nonetheless, Byron has enough going for him this week to be worth a dart throw.