NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series features its first road course event of the season this Sunday at Sonoma Raceway in California. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 is slated to get underway at 3 p.m. (ET) with Fox Sports 1 carrying the national broadcast.
For the second time in three weeks, I cashed in a winning ticket by going chalk with the favorite. This past Sunday at Michigan, Kyle Larson came through as a +500 favorite to win. Chase Elliott took second and Joey Logano finished third.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and long shot to win this Sunday on the road course at Sonoma based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes.
Top Valued Favorite
I decided to go with Kyle Busch this week as one of two +500 favorites to win along with Martin Truex Jr. With the 2017 Cup series season rapidly approaching the halfway point in the 36-race schedule, it is hard to believe that the No. 18 Toyota has been denied a trip to Victory Lane despite its five runs inside the top five. The road course at Sonoma could be just what Busch needs to end his winless drought after winning this event in 2015. His first career victory at this venue was back in 2008, and he is coming off a seventh-place finish in last year’s race.
Top Valued Contender
There are a few drivers in Sunday’s field who add value to their longer odds given their past experience in road course racing, but I am going with hottest driver in the field as my top valued contender. Kyle Larson’s odds to win again this week driving the No. 42 Chevrolet have ballooned up to +1200 given his lack of experience on the road course at Sonoma in just his fourth full-time season in Cup series racing. However, the simple fact that he has now finished first or second in almost half the races he has run adds some serious value to this number. His first three races at Sonoma were forgettable with last year’s 12th-place run at the top of the list, but hot is still hot and you cannot take that away from the series' top driver in the current standings with 640 total points.
Top Valued Long Shot
Picking long shots on a road course heightens the degree of difficulty just a bit and, while I might be tempted to take a real flier on Danica Patrick at +50000 betting odds given her IndyCar days, I am going with a much more realistic play on Brad Keselowski at +2200. He is one of four drivers with multiple point-race victories this season, and his No. 2 Ford is sixth in the current standings with 476 total points on the strength of eight finishes inside the top five. This happens to be the most of any driver in this week’s race. Some of this value is lost given his past results at Sonoma, but there is still enough left to pull the trigger on this play given Keselowski’s current racing form.
Odds For Other Notable Drivers
AJ Allmendinger has the next best odds on the board after the top two favorites at +650 to win Sunday’s race given his past experience on road courses. Both Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch have been listed at +700 odds to win, and Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer are next on the board at +800 betting odds. Following Larson at +1200 is Denny Hamlin at +1400 and Logano at +1600.Share Your NASCAR Betting Knowledge In Our Forum