NASCAR Betting: Sprint All-Star Race Preview

David Schwab

Friday, May 16, 2014 1:02 PM UTC

Friday, May. 16, 2014 1:02 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series will take a break from its point race schedule for the running of this year’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Saturday night’s race is slated to get underway at 6 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1.

Last week at Kansas, long-time NASCAR veteran Jeff Gordon threw his name into the Race to the Chase with his first victory of the year. Kevin Harvick ended-up second, and Kasey Kahne ran well with a third-place finish. My top value NASCAR pick for this race was Brad Keselowski at 10/1, but he faded to 13th after starting third.

The following is a look at a few of the top favorites to win this Saturday night’s All-Star Race, along with my top value pick based on odds provided by Bovada.

Jimmie Johnson has yet to win a Sprint Cup point race this season, but he is one of two drivers listed at 5/1 to win this event. The No. 48 car has been competitive with three top-five finishes to go along with three other finishes in the top 10, but current form has to be a concern in a fast race such as this given that the team has finished outside the top 20 in three of its last five races. All the value in Johnson’s lofty odds lies in the fact that he comes into this year’s All-Star Race as the two-time champion with victories in 2012 and 2013. All told, he has won this event four times over the course of his stellar career.

The second co-favorite at 5/1 is Kevin Harvick. He is one of two multiple Sprint Cup winners this season with victories at Phoenix and Darlington, which almost guarantees him a spot in this year’s Chase. The No. 4 car’s solid run last Saturday night at Kansas was the team’s fifth top-10 finish in the first 11 point races this season, and they have now placed seventh or better in three of their last four events. Harvick is no stranger to the Winner’s Circle in the annual All-Star Race with a victory in this event in 2007.

One of three third-favorites to win this year’s Sprint All-Star Race at 17/2 odds is last week’s race winner Jeff Gordon. He has been hot all season long with five finishes inside the top five, and another three inside the top 10 in 11 Sprint Cup runs around the track. The No. 24 car is currently atop the standings with 394 points, and the win at Kansas only bolsters his chances to make the Chase given that the 16-driver qualifying field is now based on victories first, followed by total points. Gordon has not won this event since 2001, but you have to like his chances on Saturday night in light of his current form.

Top Value Pick
The most consistent Sprint Cup driver this season has been Dale Earnhardt Jr. He started things off with a victory in the Daytona 500 and since that point the No. 88 car has added five more top-five finishes to accumulate 368 points in the standings. The All-Star Race is a 90 lap sprint (135 miles) and a great opportunity to wager on drivers with longer odds. Dale Jr. has been opened at 10/1 to win this year’s event, which makes him my top value pick this week. The one downside to this pick is that his only victory in this race came in 2000.

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