NASCAR’s first stop at Richmond International Speedway this season in its Sprint Cup series takes place this Sunday afternoon with the running of the Toyota Owners 400.
The starting time for Sunday's main event is set for 1 p.m. (ET) and the race will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Carl Edwards joined the short list of drivers with a Sprint Cup point-race victory this season with his win last Sunday at Bristol. For the second week in a row Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in second and Kurt Busch rounded-out the Top 3 in that race.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win this Sunday at Richmond based on betting odds as provided by Bovada.
Top Valued Favorite
Anytime that Kevin Harvick fades out of the Top 5 in three-straight point race events it could be the perfect time to jump back on the No. 4 car bandwagon its next time out. That is why I am going that way with my sports picks at +600 betting odds for this Sunday's race. It has been an up and down ride for this team in 2016 that featured a victory at Phoenix and a second-place finish at Fontana at the high point before its current slide. Harvick is moving in the right direction with a seventh-place finish at Bristol and he is coming to a track where he won this race in 2013 and finished second in last year's event.
Top Valued Contender
There is a reason why Brad Keselowski routinely draws longer odds and these is also a reason why there is always value in these odds when he does. This week, the No. 2 car is listed at +1000 odds to win and that is why Keselowski is this week's top-valued contender. He may not have all that many friends in the Sprint Cup series with his all or nothing approach to racing, but he does have a victory at Las Vegas on this year's resume to show for it. His recent track record at Richmond mirrors that same all or nothing mentality. He faded to 17th in last year's race, but this followed a victory in the second point race of the season here in 2014.
Top Valued Longshot
I really have no choice but to go with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at +2000 as this week's top longshot given his current racing form. The No. 88 car has been right in the mix in four of the first eight point-race events this season with a Top 5 finish in each and his back-to-back second-place runs the last two weeks adds even more value to these odds. Weighing him down in this race is an average finishing position of 13.2 at this track. However, on the plus side Dale Jr. has won at Richmond three previous times in a Sprint Cup event and he posted a respectable fifth-place run in the second race here in 2015.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Kyle Busch has been opened as a +450 favorite to win his third Sprint Cup race of the season and Denny Hamlin joins Harvick at +600 as one of two second favorites. Next on this week's list at +700 is Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth with both drivers still looking for their victory of the year. Last week's winner Carl Edwards and two-time winner this season Jimmie Johnson are listed at +800 to win before the betting odds really start to drop off. Joining Dale Jr. at +2000 is rookie Chase Elliott behind the wheel of the No. 24 car.