NASCAR Cup Series Picks: Federated Auto Parts 400

Kyle Busch Looks To Shake Off A Slow Playoff Start This Saturday Night At Richmond

Martin Truex Jr. got his title run off to a fast start with last Sunday night’s victory at Las Vegas.

This was also a boon to my betting bankroll as a +800 top-valued favorite. Kevin Harvick took second and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top three drivers.

When it comes to the posted betting odds at 5Dimes online sportsbook to win at Richmond this Saturday night, these three drivers would be my top-valued plays among the favorites, contenders and longshots on the board.

Kyle Busch +330

Coming off a disappointing 19th-place finish in his home town of Las Vegas, you have to love Busch’s chances to bounce back with a winning effort this week as the top favorite to win.

He is also favored to win this year’s racing title but it will probably take a few wins along the way to advance through all the elimination rounds to the championship race.

With last week’s effort, he now finds himself in fourth place in the updated Cup Series standings with a total of 2063 points. He is also second to Truex Jr. in Cup Series wins this season with four. These are all motivating factors for a much better effort in this prime-time race.

What really adds value to Busch’s odds as my top-valued favorite is a 7.0 average finishing position at Richmond over the course of his Cup Series career. This has been aided by back-to-back victories at this track in 2018 before sliding to eighth in the first event here this season.

Chase Elliott +1750

Elliott remained competitive enough last weekend to take fourth at Las Vegas. This was a positive step in the right direction following some inconsistent racing in his previous four point races.

His overall 2018 racing resume includes previous victories at Talladega and Watkins Glen as part of nine Top 5 finishes this season. The No. 9 Chevrolet racing team is sixth in the current standings with 2057 total points.

He is safely in position to advance to the next elimination round at this time, but a win on Saturday night would seal the deal.

This will be Elliott’s ninth career start at Richmond in his Cup Series career. His average finishing position at this track is 12.8. However, he was second and fourth in last year’s two events ahead of a slide to 15th in the first race this year.

Aric Almirola +4400

A driver with long odds to win catches my attention for one reason or the other. The goal is to equate the best possible value with the high number on the board.

Driving the No. 43 Ford, Almirola has done nothing to really distinguish himself from the other drivers with long odds to win. Yet the simple fact that he is 12th in the current standings with just one finish inside the Top 5 this season speaks to a high level of consistency.

He did not do himself any favors with last week’s 13-place finish in the opening playoff race. This just dials up the pressure for a much better effort this Saturday night when it comes to moving on to the next playoff round.

Forgettable is a good way to describe Almirola’s past efforts at this week’s track with an average finishing position of 16.0 racing in his eighth Cup Series season. One of his best efforts here is an encouraging fifth-place finish in this event last season.