NASCAR’s fourth race in this year’s Chase to a Sprint Cup title takes the series to Kansas Speedway for the running of the Hollywood Casino 400 .The next round of the Chase is set to get underway this Sunday at 11 p.m. (PT) and the race will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Veteran NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon moved one step closer to his first Sprint Cup title since 2001 with his victory last week at Dover. Brad Keselowski kept the pressure on as well by taking second and Jimmy Johnson ended-up third. My value pick for last week’s race was Denny Hamlin at 16/1 but he finished 12th after starting third.
The following is a look at a few of the top favorites to win Sunday’s race along with my top value NASCAR pick based on odds provided by Bovada.
Bovada’s riding the hot hand by opening Jeff Gordon as a 4/1 favorite to win again this week. The No. 24 car has a total of four checkered flags this season in a Sprint Cup point race as well as an additional seven top-five finishes. The team finished second at Chicago three weeks ago in the opening event of this year’s Chase before slipping to 26th at New Hampshire. Gordon comes into this race with a win earlier this season at Kansas and he finished third in last year’s race at this track.
The second-favorite on Bovada’s betting odds to win this week is Kevin Harvick at 9/2. He is still looking for his first win in this year’s Chase and the last time he crossed the finish line first in a Sprint Cup event was at Darlington all the way back in mid-April. The No. 4 car has led a total of 1,592 laps this season and it has already posted a fifth-place finish at Chicago and a third-place finish at New Hampshire in this year’s Chase. Harvick started on the pole in the first race at this track this year and finished second and he adds even more value to his odds as this race’s defending champion from 2013.
The driver with the most Sprint Cup victories this season (5) has been opened as an 11/2 third favorite to add to that total this week. Brad Keselowski drew first blood in this year’s Chase with a victory at Chicago. The No. 2 car finished seventh at New Hampshire before posting the second-place finish this past Sunday. All told, this team has placed in the top five in 13 of 29 Sprint Cup point races this year. Keselowski does lose a bit of value in his odds with back-to-back finishes outside the top 10 in his last two trips around this track, but won here in 2011 in the first race at Kansas that season.
Top Value Free NASCAR Picks
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will get a fresh start in the second round of this year’s playoffs after placing no better than ninth in the first three races in this year’s Chase. He knows that the only way to keep his Sprint Cup title hopes alive is with a win. The No. 88 car has been opened at 10/1 betting odds to notch that checkered flag this week and given how this team is bound to make some noise sooner or later in the Chase, I am going with Junior as my top value pick for Sunday. Earnhardt Jr. finished eighth in last year’s race and he made his way to fifth in the first Sprint Cup race here this season.