Kyle Busch Gets Nod over Hot Harvick in All-Star Race

David Schwab

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 7:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 16, 2018 7:46 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series begins its annual two-week stay at Charlotte Motor Speedway around the Memorial Day holiday with the 2018 All-Star Race on Saturday night.

NASCAR: Cup Series 2018 All-Star Race Preview & Picks

Kevin Harvick enters Saturday’s main event as the hottest Cup Series driver after posting his fifth point-race victory of the season last weekend at Kansas. Martin Truex Jr. finished second in that race, and Joey Logano rounded out the top three.

Using the betting odds at 5Dimes sportsbook to win Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte (8 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1), the following three drivers offer the best value on the board for your auto racing picks.

Top-Valued Favorite: Kyle Busch +550

Harvick and Busch are +550 favorites to win, but my lean is toward the No. 18 Toyota on Saturday night. Busch is second to Harvick in total checkered flags this season with three and his team remains at the top of the current Cup Series standings with 503 total points. He has finished outside the top 10 in only three events this season.

Each of these drivers have separated themselves from the field through the first third of the season, but the better value in the betting odds lies with Busch for this exhibition event as the defending All-Star Race champion. Harvick has failed to crack the top five in his last two All-Star runs.

Top-Valued Contender: Denny Hamlin +1400

Hamlin has very quietly moved the No. 11 Toyota team into seventh place in the standings with 380 total points. He recently placed third at Richmond before last Saturday night’s solid fifth-place run at Kansas. Through the first 12 point races of the season, he has posted seven top-10 runs with five of those finishes inside the top-five drivers in the final running order. His total laps led are 226, including 111 in the first race at Martinsville this year.

Hamlin adds even more value to his odds with a victory in this event on 2015 as part of five-straight runs inside the top 10 in the All-Star Race. This is part of nine top-10 runs in this race over his 12-year racing career at NASCAR’s highest level.

Top-Valued Longshot: Jimmie Johnson +2200

In a ‘what have you done for me lately’ world, seven-time Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson has completely faded from NASCAR’s spotlight amid one of the worst starts in his storied career. The No. 48 Chevrolet has just one finish inside the top five this season, but he has still raced well enough to hold down the 12th position in the standings with a total of 286 points. His lone top-five run this season was a third-place finish at Bristol.

The main reason I love the value in his longer odds for Saturday night is four previous career victories in this event. His last All-Star Race victory came in 2013 and he is coming off a third-place finish in this event in 2017.

Betting Odds for Other Notable Drivers

Following Harvick and Busch at the top of 5Dimes’ odds to win are a trio of drivers at +800 including Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski. Joey Logano’s odds to win are set at +900, with Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch at +1200. Rounding out the top 10 is Clint Bowyer matching Hamlin’s +1400 odds to win.

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How 'bout we do one last give away in celebration of our 10th anniversary? We have four tickets for the @MonsterEnergy #NASCAR All-Star Race in Charlotte. Who wants them? Retweet & you'll be automatically entered. Winner selected Saturday, May 12 at 11a ET.#SHRacing10Yrs

— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) May 11, 2018

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