NASCAR Food City 500 at Bristol Preview and Picks

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:35 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2018 6:35 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series makes its first stop of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee this week for the running of Sunday’s Food City 500 as the eighth race on the schedule. Race time on FOX is set for 2 p.m. ET.

Kyle Busch took the checkered flag last Sunday in Fort Worth to post his first Cup Series victory this season, followed by three-time winner Kevin Harvick in second place. Jamie McMurray turned in his best run of the year with a third-place finish in that race.

The betting odds for this Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol are on the board at 5Dimes, and the following three drivers offer the best value in each of their respective categories.

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Top Valued Favorite: Kyle Busch +400

I cashed in on Busch’s +450 odds to win last week’s race, and the way he is racing right now almost dictates another play on him this week. The No. 18 Toyota has been in contention to win its last five point races with a Top 3 finish in all five. Busch led for 128 laps in a second-place finish at Phoenix and led for 116 laps in last Sunday’s win as part of his 349 total laps led in seven events. This stellar performance has Busch at the top of the Cup Series standings with a total of 316 points.

The real value in his odds are six previous victories at Bristol, including one in the second race here last season. From 2009-2011, Busch won four times in a span of five races at this track in a Cup Series event.

Top Valued Contender: Jimmie Johnson +1650

The seven-time Cup Series champion Johnson continues to go off at long odds following one of the slowest starts in his storied NASCAR career. It is hard to believe that Johnson’s best finish this season behind the wheel of the famed No. 48 Chevrolet was ninth at Fontana to bury this team in a tie for 20th in the current point standings. The thought that Johnson could actually miss the 10-race playoff to the 2018 racing title never crossed my mind, but it is probably going to take a victory somewhere along the line to seal a spot in the 16-driver field.

Even with current form weighing heavily against a dramatic turnaround from this dismal start, I still believe that there is quite a bit of value in Johnson’s odds to get that win Sunday as the defending champion of this event. He has been hit or miss at Bristol in recent years, but that win was part of five finishes of seventh or better in his last seven trips around this track.

Top Valued Long Shot: Clint Bowyer +2250

Bowyer started his Cup Series racing career in 2006 when more than a few of the drivers in this Sunday’s field were still in grade school. This season he was able to turn back the clock a bit a few weeks ago with a victory at Martinsville. The No. 14 Ford has been in the mix a few times in the first seven point races with a third-place run at Atlanta and a six-place finish in Phoenix. He posted his fourth run this season inside the top 10 by taking ninth place last Sunday in Texas.

There is a reason why Bowyer’s odds are as long as they are to win Sunday’s race at Bristol, but the value is still there if you are looking to take a flyer on a long shot. Along with current form, he adds some recent success at this track with a second-place finish in this event last season.

NASCAR Food City 500 Win Betpoints
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