Joe Gibbs Racing Kyle Busch Martin Truex Jr. Denny Hamlin
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NASCAR betting: Odds indicate Joe Gibbs Racing is team to beat at Richmond

We’ve been writing in this space about a school of thought that many Cup Series Playoffs tracks are well-suited for Joe Gibbs Racing. Based on the betting odds for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders, Richmond Raceway fits that bill.

JGR drivers occupy the top three spots on most oddsboards, with Martin Truex Jr. commanding the most respect at prices ranging from +400 to +450. Denny Hamlin is the second betting choice at +500 to +550, as he looks to guide the No. 11 Toyota to its second straight trip to Victory Lane, and Kyle Busch is next, priced in the +600 to +700 range.

RELATED: NASCAR BetCenter | Odds for Saturday night at Richmond

Truex’s past Richmond performances justify his favorite status. In the six races at this three-quarter mile Virginia track since 2018, Truex has two wins, a total of five top-five finishes, a stellar 125.8 rating and has led 28.3 percent of laps. While Truex’s fifth-place finish in the spring race at Richmond didn’t reward bettors who played him at +400, he ran near the front all afternoon, leading 107 laps and finishing second in both stages.

Hamlin’s car, though, was the most dominant that Sunday in April, as he led 207 laps, won both stages, and finished second in his home state. Additionally, our friend Jim Sannes at numberFire compiled some data that makes Hamlin look pretty strong Saturday night:

Busch’s record at Richmond, meanwhile, rivals that of Truex: Two wins in the six races since 2018, no finishes outside of the top 10, a 111.6 rating and has led 20 percent of the laps run. He’s stellar on short tracks in general, boasting a 6.26 average finish and 108.1 rating in the 19 races on these layouts since 2018, both tops in Cup, per DriverAverages.com.

The No. 18 has been mired in inconsistency this season, however, crashing out of the two most recent Cup events, something bettors looking to take a shot at his relatively attractive odds must consider.

Odds shopping, value hunting

The oddsboard at the market-making SuperBook USA in Las Vegas may offer some hints on where to find value Saturday night in Richmond. 

This chart shows odds to win, for drivers priced at less than 100/1, at four betting shops around the country (as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 9) – NASCAR’s three official betting partners (WynnBET, Barstool Sportsbook and BetMGM), plus the SuperBook. (* indicates a driver not in the playoffs)

Driver Wynn Barstool BetMGM SuperBook
Martin Truex Jr. +450 +450 +400 +450
Denny Hamlin +500 +500 +550 +500
Kyle Larson +500 +800 +700 +1200
Kyle Busch +650 +700 +600 +700
Joey Logano +700 +800 +800 +600
Brad Keselowski +900 +1000 +1000 +800
Kevin Harvick +1100 +1200 +1200 +1000
Chase Elliott +1200 +1100 +1000 +1400
William Byron +1500 +1600 +2000 +1400
Christopher Bell +1600 +1800 +1800 +1400
Alex Bowman +1800 +1800 +1800 +2000
Ryan Blaney +2000 +2000 +2500 +2000
Aric Almirola +3300 +3500 +5000 +2500
Kurt Busch +4000 +4000 +3300 +5000
Austin Dillon* +6000 +5000 +5000 +5000
Ross Chastain* +6600 +5000 +5000 +6000
Matt DiBenedetto* +6600 +8000 +8000 +6000
Tyler Reddick +6600 +6600 +6600 +6000

Plenty of public bettors will be enticed by the +800 on Kyle Larson or +1200 on Chase Elliott. Hendrick Motorsports, particularly the No. 5, has been the superior garage much of the season, and the opportunity to play these guys at such long odds doesn’t come around often. But the SuperBook’s +1200 and +1400 on Larson and Elliott, respectively, suggest NASCAR gamblers should keep looking.

That brings us to a pair of Team Penske drivers. 

Joey Logano is priced as the +600 third betting at the SuperBook and can be had for +800 elsewhere. Logano has an excellent short-track record – his 7.79 average finish and 107.6 rating since 2018 are both second to Busch – and he was a threat throughout the spring race at Richmond, leading 49 laps and finishing third for the race and in both stages.

At +1000 at BetMGM, Brad Keselowski is also worth a look. Kes has three short-track wins and has led 1,295 laps (second to Truex’s 1,505) on these ovals since 2018, and his Richmond-specific stats are also among the best.

And let’s come full circle back to JGR and the longest shot from that garage. Christopher Bell hasn’t been running well of late, finishing 20th, 32nd, 13th and 36th over the last four Cup races. But short, flat tracks seem to be his thing. This season, he’s finished ninth at Phoenix, seventh at Martinsville, fourth here at Richmond and second at Loudon, and the SuperBook certainly respects him with a +1400 price.

If you believe in Bell but not quite to the extent that you give him a realistic chance to win Saturday night, remember NASCAR betting goes beyond the outright market, and you can find some nice plus-money options on the No. 20. Barstool offers +500 odds (bet $100 to win $500) on Bell to finish in the top three, and BetMGM has +240 on a top-five.

Marcus DiNitto is a writer and editor living in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been covering sports for nearly two-and-a-half decades and sports betting for more than 10 years. His first NASCAR betting experience was in 1995 at North Wilkesboro Speedway, where he went 0-for-3 on his matchup picks. Read his articles and follow him on Twitter; do not bet his picks.