Sometimes it pays to stretch the odds betting on a driver a bit further down the NASCAR’s futures list to win and sometimes it makes all the sense in the world to simply bet the favorite as a top-valued pick.
Following a jumbled finishing order at Daytona last Sunday with Justin Haley in first place and William Byron in second as huge longshots, it is time to get back to basics by going chalk on 5Dimes betting odds to win this week’s race.
Martin Truex Jr. +380
Truex has more than proven that he knows the way to Victory Lane with four previous Cup Series wins this year. He is tied with Kyle Busch in that department and fifth in the current standings with 597 total points. The No. 19 Toyota has been the model of consistency this season with 11th runs inside the top 10 through the first 18 point races on the schedule. Since winning at Richmond earlier in the season, this team has placed inside the top three drivers in half of its previous 10 events.
The main reason why I am going chalk with Truex as the favorite to win this Saturday night, is a pair of victories in the last two Cup Series event at Kentucky Speedway. With that kind of momentum on his side, the No. 19 Toyota has the inside track to a third-straight trip to the Winner’s Circle.
Chase Elliott +1100
Last Sunday’s run at Daytona ended early in one of many wrecks, but I am looking for the No. 9 Chevrolet to get back on track this Saturday night in Kentucky. Following a victory at Talladega, Elliott went on to finish inside the top five in each of his next four races. Things have spun in the opposite direction lately with four-straight finishes outside the top 10. Despite the recent issues, Elliott has his team in seventh place in the current standings with a total of 585 points. He has always been one of my favorite Cup Series young guns in his fourth season racing at NASCAR’s highest level.
This will be his fourth trip around Kentucky Speedway in a Cup Series event with mixed results in the first three races. The highlight was a run inside the Top 3 in third place in 2017. He faded to 13th in this event last season.
Ryan Blaney +2200
Blaney is another young gun that routinely grabs my attention at longer odds. He is still looking to cross the finish line first this season, but he has had his chances driving the No. 12 Ford with five Top 5 runs. Last Sunday’s effort also ended in a wreck that dropped him to 36th in final running order. This ended a streak of three-straight Top 10 runs, including a third-place finish on the road course at Sonoma. Blaney’s complete racing resume this season has been strong enough to hold down 11th place in the current standings with 508 total points, but he knows that the only guarantee for making the 16-driver playoff is a win in one of the remaining eight regular-season events.
This is Blaney’s fourth full-time season in the Cup Series so his past experience at Kentucky is rather limited. There is some betting value in the fact that he is moving in the right direction with a second-place finish at this track last season after taking 10th in this event in 2017.