The defending Cup Series Champ Gears Up for a Winning Run at Kansas Speedway

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:33 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 2:33 PM UTC

The final race in the second elimination round of this season’s Monster Energy Cup Series playoff is set for this Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. This year’s Hollywood Casino 400 gets underway at 2:30 p.m. on NBC with more than a few drivers trying to keep their 2018 racing title hopes alive.

<p>The <a href="" target="_blank" title="SBR Odds Board">betting odds</a> to win this Sunday’s race at Kansas have been posted on the futures board at 5Dimes and I am going with the following three drivers as far as having the best value across three different categories.</p><h2> </h2><h2><strong>Top-Valued Favorite: Martin Truex Jr. +475</strong></h2><p>The reining Cup Series Champion needs a strong showing at Kansas and some help to keep his chances to repeat alive, but he also knows that a win on Sunday is the only way to guarantee his No. 78 Toyota advances to the next round. His last three runs have been forgettable outside the top 10 after placing third at both Las Vegas and Richmond in this season’s first two playoff events. Overall, this team is in seventh place in the current Cup Series standings with 3038 total points. Truex has won four times this season with another 13 finishes in the top five.</p><p>One of those Top-5 runs came at Kansas in the first Cup Series event this season. Adding even more value to his odds to win on Sunday was that this was on the heals of a two-race sweep at this track in 2017 as a crucial part of that title run</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Top-Valued Contender: Ryan Blaney +1100</strong></h2><p>Considered to be one of the best young drivers in NASCAR in his third full-time season racing in the Cup Series, he earned his first victory in the playoff with an earlier win on the roval course at Charlotte. That victory propelled the No. 12 Ford to this elimination round, but a 11<sup>th</sup>-place run at Dover followed by a fade to 29<sup>th</sup> last Sunday at Talladega has him on the brink of elimination again. The only way Blaney can stay in competition for the 2018 racing title is with a win. To me, that actually adds value to his posted odds.</p><p>Blaney fell all the way to 37<sup>th</sup> in the first race at Kansas this season due to a wreck. While he does not have a wealth of experience racing this oval, he was right in the mix in both Cup Series events last season; finishing fourth and third.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Parity has reentered NASCAR and that should be of concern to the Big 3 &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#NASCARAmerica&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;October 16, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>Top-Valued Longshot: Clint Bowyer +2200</strong></h2><p>This pick may be more of me rooting for Bowyer to win at longer odds in the midst of one of his best seasons in a long tenure of Cup Series racing. He knows that he needs to win this race or get some help with another strong showing and last Sunday’s near miss at Talladega is definitely a step in the right direction for the No. 14 Ford. Bowyer is just one of six drivers to post multiple point-race victories this season with previous wins at Martinsville and Michigan. He has also led more laps (489) this year than his last four seasons combined.</p><p>One of the big reasons for his longer odds to win this race is a less than stellar 17.3 average finishing position at this track. His only career victory here was in this event back in 2012, but <a href="" target="_blank" title="SBR Sports Picks &amp; Predictions">Bowyer’s current form still offers quite a bit of value as a longshot to win.</a></p><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" target="_blank" title="SBR's NASCAR Betting Forum">Join SBR's NASCAR Betting Forum</a></h2><p> </p><h2><strong>Hollywood Casino- Betting Odds for Other Notable Drivers</strong></h2><p>Kevin Harvick has been opened as a +260 favorite to win after his victory earlier this season at Kansas. Kyle Larson needs a victory to advance as a +375 second-favorite with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch each listed at +880 odds to win. Joey Logano is further down the list at +1650 odds followed by Chase Elliott at even longer +1950 odds to win.</p>
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