NASCAR Auto Club 400 at Fontana Preview and Picks

David Schwab

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:54 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018 9:54 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series comes to the end of its three-race West Coast swing Sunday at Fontana, Calif., with the running of the Auto Club 400. Race time from Auto Club Raceway is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) and televised by FOX. 

When it comes to winning streaks in any betting sport, there is hot and then there is on fire. Kevin Harvick would have to be in the latter category with last Sunday’s victory at Phoenix. He has now won his last three Cup Series events. Kyle Busch is starting to heat up with his second straight second-place run, and Chase Elliott rounded out the top three at Phoenix.

The betting odds for this Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Fontana have been posted at 5Dimes, and the following offer the best value when it comes to breaking down the numbers.

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#NASCAR: @Lowes not returning in 2019 to sponsor @TeamHendrick @JimmieJohnson

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Top Valued Favorite

I went with Harvick last Sunday for a +275 payday on his third straight victory, but I am not sure he can pull off an unprecedented fourth win in a row. The No. 18 Toyota with Busch behind the wheel has its sights set squarely on the No. 4 Ford after posting back-to-back runner-up finishes.

The main reason why I like Busch’s +450 betting odds to win on Sunday is his recent success at this venue. He has posted three career victories at Auto Club Speedway in a Cup Series event, including back-to-back checkered flags in 2013 and 2014. Going back over his last six trips around this oval, Busch has finished in the top three four times.

Top Valued Contender

For the past two seasons, I have been touting Elliott as one of the top new drivers in Cup Series racing. While some other young guns such as Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney and this year’s Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon have already made a few trips to the Winner’s Circle, I continue to maintain that Elliott has demonstrated the consistency to be the best of the bunch among NASCAR’s youth movement.

Driving the No. 9 Chevrolet, Elliott’s betting odds to get that first win this Sunday have been set at +1200, and I really like the value in that number. He has been hit or miss through the first four events mainly because of a pair of wrecks, but last week’s third-place run at Phoenix was a big step in the right direction. This will be just his third career run at Fontana in a Cup Series event, but I am also encouraged by a pair of Top 10s in his first two trips around this track.

Top Valued Long Shot

It is almost too hard to believe how quickly Jimmie Johnson has fallen down the ranks in the Cup Series standings. The seven-time champion closed as a +2250 long shot to win last week at Phoenix, and the best he could manage was a 14th-place finish after starting 17th in the field. His betting odds to dramatically turn his season around with a victory this week have been set even higher at +2800.

The No. 48 Chevrolet has yet to crack the Top 10 in its first four events, but Johnson has had some great success in his home state over the course of his illustrious career. He won the race his rookie year in the Cup Series way back in 2002 as part of six trips to Victory Lane at Fontana. His average finishing position over all those races is 7.1. Current form is a major deterrent, but there is still a ton of value in these odds at one of Johnson’s favorite tracks.

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