Harvick may have won this event last season, but he is still looking for his first trip to Victory Lane through the first 19 point races this year. Kurt Busch is now off the Scheid after outlasting little brother Kyle to post his first Cup Series win this year in last Saturday night’s race in Kentucky. Erik Jones rounded out the Top 3 in the Quaker State 400.
Using the posted betting odds at 5Dimes online sportsbook to win this Sunday’s race in New Hampshire, I have come up with a trio of drivers that offer the best value in the numbers.
Kevin Harvick +600
Harvick has been opened as the third-favorite on the list to win his first race of the season behind Kyle Busch (+275) and Martin Truex Jr. (+440). His place in the 16-driver playoff field remains rather secure with the third-most points (645) in the current Cup Series standings, but his winless draught has gone on too long. Current form does not even paint a bright picture with three-straight finishes outside the top 10. This is still one of the best drivers in the series that has posted a combined 17 Cup Series wins in his previous four seasons.
With current form draining the value from his odds, I am counting heavily on Harvick’s recent success at New Hampshire. Along with his victory in this event last year, he also won here in 2016. He has been able to finish fifth or better in six of his last eight point races at this track.
Joey Logano +1100
The defending Cup Series title holder keeps rolling along towards this year’s 10-race playoff to the 2019 championship. An earlier win at Las Vegas coupled with an early June win at Michigan have pretty much locked up a spot in the 16-driver playoff field. His No. 22 Ford is also at the top of the current Cup Series standings in total points with 746. Through 19 previous point races this season, he has finished 10th or better 13 times with nine Top 5 runs.
Current form aside, Logano has also had recent success at New Hampshire to add even more value to his longer odds to win. Starting with a victory in 2014, he has finished inside the Top 10 in six of his last eight trips around this oval.
Aric Almirola +2750
It has been a productive season betting longshots. Alex Bowman and Justin Haley won a Cup Series event at extremely long odds and there have been some bit hits in a number of races betting longshots to finish in the top three. Picking the right longshot in the right race is still a very low percentage bet. This week, Almirola fills that role at longer odds. He has his No. 43 Ford in 10th-place in the standings with 542 total points. That effort includes zero wins and just one finish inside the top five. However, this car remains competitive with 10 runs inside the top 10 through 19 events.
The main reason why Almirola is my top-valued longshot for Sunday was his near miss at winning last year’s event. He ended up third in that race which was his best career effort at New Hampshire.