Pocono is ready to host a massive racing weekend, including a Cup Series doubleheader.
The “Tricky Triangle” — as the uniquely shaped 2.5-mile venue is nicknamed — is also described as a “roval.” While other tracks of similar length are called superspeedways, Pocono’s three sharp corners require a mixture of road-course maneuvering talent, along with tri-oval superspeedway power in the straightaways — which gives you the “roval” description.
Take a look at who tops BetMGM’s NASCAR racing odds for Saturday’s Pocono Organics CBD 350, and who might creep up and snatch a win away from one of the heavy favorites.
THE ODDS-ON FAVORITE
Kyle Larson (+210)
This is getting redundant, isn’t it? Racing at Pocono this weekend doesn’t change the narrative for Kyle Larson.
Larson tops the racing odds once again, then Larson wins the race — it’s been quite the trend for weeks now. Four weekends now actually, to be exact — which includes the NASCAR All-Star Race at Texas. In fact, Larson hasn’t finished lower than second in a Cup Series race since May 2 at Kansas — and he even won a stage in that race and was battling for the lead late in that race.
So being the odds-on favorite isn’t a surprise, we’ve established that. When you’ve had 11 top-five finishes in 18 starts this year (including the All-Star Race), that will come.
Larson has never won a Cup race at Pocono, but he’ll have two opportunities in a unique doubleheader setup. They’ll race Saturday and Sunday, with the race length varying only 10 laps (130 on Saturday, 140 on Sunday). Larson did win at Pocono in the Xfinity Series in 2016, and he has six top-10 finishes in 12 starts in Cup.
OTHERS: While Larson is clearly the most deserving of being atop the odds, Denny Hamlin (+700) has been the most dominant driver when it comes to Pocono. He tops the charts (along with Jeff Gordon) for all-time Cup wins at the track (six). That’s right, Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Jimmie Johnson — none performed better at Pocono than Hamlin has. Hamlin has 13 top-five finishes and 20 career top 10s at Pocono in 30 attempts.
Also? Hamlin desperately needs a win to make the rest of the season comfortable. While he leads the Cup circuit in points, Larson has closed what was once a massive gap between Hamlin and the rest of the field. It’s now only a 10-point margin and Larson could overtake Hamlin this weekend. Chase Elliott (+800) and Kyle Busch (+800) round out the top of the odds and are traditionally strong here.
THE DARK HORSE THREAT
Brad Keselowski (+1400)
While Keselowski barely fits into the top 10 in odds this week, he does have a strong history at the track. For the current drivers who’ve started 10 or more races at Pocono, Keselowski leads the pack with an average finish of 11.0.
He also has 10 top-fives and 13 top-10 finishes in 22 starts, with one win — and has won there in the Xfinity Series. Keselowski is currently sitting in 10th place in the NASCAR Cup Series standings and could use the points boost.
OTHERS: William Byron (+1000) has an average finish of 9.7 in six career starts at Pocono in the Cup Series. He’s also won at the track in the Camping World Truck Series.
THE INTRIGUING LONG SHOT
Erik Jones (+10000)
With five top-five performances at Pocono in eight career starts, Jones makes for an interesting choice here. Though his transition to the Richard Petty Motorsports team from Joe Gibbs Racing has been a bit bumpy this year, his talent and his past results at Pocono make him somebody to keep an eye on. He has averaged a finish of 11.4 at the Pennsylvania track.