A couple of sportsbooks are feeling frisky, inviting action on Kyle Larson before Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the first race of the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. At opening odds of better than 3-1, these betting shops are offering nicer prices on the No. 5 than most of the market.
Barstool Sportsbook, an official NASCAR partner, is dealing +325 on Larson to win this weekend. FanDuel is even more generous, listing him a relatively fat +365 to tally his eighth victory of the Cup season.
SuperBook USA, along with BetMGM and WynnBET (NASCAR’s two other betting sponsors), are all shorter than +300 on Larson.
Here are odds on the top contenders to win Sunday’s race from the five books.
|Martin Truex Jr||+1100||+800||+750||+750||+800|
At better than +300, Larson is enticing, as he has been a shorter-priced favorite at all five races employing the 550-horsepower, high-downforce package since the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A bettor can’t be blamed for taking a shot against him, though – he has failed to reward his backers with a victory in any of those races.
Joe Gibbs Racing
The first stop for bettors looking to beat the No. 5 this weekend is probably the Gibbs garage, whose drivers occupy the next two spots on the oddsboard.
Denny Hamlin’s late-season momentum has included a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the most recent Cup race on a 1.5-mile track. His history at Texas, though, has been spotty. While he won here in March 2019 for the third time in his Cup career, his last three finishes at the track are ninth, 20th and 28th. Over the six Texas races since 2018, Hamlin has a 20.33 average finish and 81.7 driver rating, not exactly statistics that will prompt a mad rush to the betting window.
Kyle Busch, on the other hand, seems to love Texas, winning here for the fourth time last year and tallying a 6.67 average finish and 114.5 rating since 2018. He has also won 10 Xfinity and five Truck Series races here.
Busch’s two wins this season came at Kansas Speedway and Pocono Raceway, 550-horsepower tracks, and in the two most recent races on 1.5-mile tracks, he has been second (Atlanta Motor Speedway) and third (Vegas). In the 10 550-horsepower races this season, Busch has compiled a sparking 3.7 average finish.
Martin Truex Jr. tends to hang around on these 1.5-milers, finishing sixth or better in five of the seven races on such layouts this season, but he has failed to break through with a win. He has won four times this year, all at 750-horsepower tracks.
Looking for long shots
Ryan Blaney, available for double-digit odds for the diligent betting line shopper, has finished in the top six in five 550-horsepower races in a row. He won at the 1.5-mile Atlanta and at Michigan International Speedway, although we’re not sure how useful a comparison that 2-miler is for Texas.
Brad Keselowski, Blaney’s Team Penske garage-mate, has a solid 9.9 average finish with the 550-horsepower engine this season, and FanDuel’s rogue +2100 on the No. 2 Ford jumps off the page. In eighth place in the standings, Kes figures to be aggressive going for the win to secure a spot in the Championship 4.
While he has been eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs, William Byron won at Homestead-Miami Speedway and has four top fives and seven top 10s on 550-horsepower tracks this year.
Alex Bowman hasn’t been a model of consistency, but an offer close to 30-1 odds is awfully tempting for “The Showman” to rack up his fourth win of the year.
Tyler Reddick has been getting some love within some NASCAR betting circles this week. He had a few early-season clunkers, but he has five finishes of ninth or better — including a second at Homestead-Miami — on 1.5-mile tracks this season, and he finished second at Texas last July. Barstool Sports offers +400 on a top five for the No. 8 Sunday and a fair +115 for a top 10.
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.