Last Sunday in a rain soaked Aaron’s 499 at Talladega, longshot David Ragan stunned the field with a victory in a wild green-white-checkered finish. David Gilliland finished a surprising second and Carl Edwards took third. Our value NASCAR pick to win this race at +1200 was Clint Bowyer, but he fell all the way to 18th.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Betting Preview- Bojangles’ Southern 500
The following is a look at a few of the favorites to watch in Saturday night’s race along with our value pick according to their current odds to win as provided by Bovada.
Kyle Busch has already claimed two checkered flags this season and he has been opened as the favorite at +500 to make it three this week. After a strong run in which it won twice in three weeks, the No.18 car has had its share of troubles in the last three point races. It is still ranked ninth in the Sprint Cup standings with 285 points on the strength of three other top-five finishes this year. Busch won this race in 2008 and finished fourth in last year’s event adding solid value to these odds.
One of two second-favorites at +600 is current point leader Jimmie Johnson. The No. 48 team has put itself in solid position to finally reclaim the Sprint Cup title after a two-year hiatus with a two victories and three other top-five finishes in the first 10 races to open-up a 41 point lead with a total of 383 points. There is even more value added to these odds given that Johnson comes into this week’s race as the defending champion. He has posted three Sprint Cup victories at Darlington and has an average finishing position here of 9.1.
The other driver at +600 to win this race is Matt Kenseth and for good reason. The No. 20 car has been tearing up the track this season by not only winning at Las Vegas and Kansas, but by leading a total of 764 laps so far after leading just 480 laps in the entire 2012 season. Some of the value in these odds is lost considering that Kenseth has never won a Sprint Cup race at Darlington, but he did finish sixth in last year’s race.
Kasey Kahne has been opened at +800 to get back to his winning ways after taking the checkered flag at Bristol in mid-March. Since then, the No. 5 car has raced well enough to hold down sixth-place in the standings with 299 points and came close to adding another victory with a second-place finish at Kansas a few weeks back. Kahne started on the pole in this race in 2011 and finished fourth. Last year he started third and finished eighth, so he does know how to run at the front of the field at this track.
Top Value Pick
Carl Edwards has regained the form that kept him in the running for the 2011 Sprint Cup title until the final race of the season. He already posted a victory this season at Phoenix and combined with four other top-five finishes, the No. 99 car is sitting in second place in the standings with 342 points. This week Edwards has been opened at +1000 to win and while he has yet to finish first at Darlington in nine previous Sprint Cup starts here, he has come close in recent years. In 2011 he ended-up second and in last year’s race he finished in seventh place.