NASCAR Picks: Bank of America 500 Betting Preview

David Schwab

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 3:51 PM GMT

Saturday night’s race is slated to get underway at 4:30 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on ABC.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Betting Preview                

NASCAR’s Chase to this season’s Sprint Cup title returns to prime time for the running of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

Kevin Harvick revitalized his Sprint Cup title hopes with a victory last week at Kansas. Kurt Busch also stayed in the hunt with a second-place finish and Jeff Gordon, who our value NASCAR pick to win this race at +1200, made his presence felt by taking third.

The following is a look at a few of the top favorites for this Saturday night’s race along with our top value pick based on odds provided by Sportsbook.

Favorites 

The Chase reaches the halfway point with the running of the Bank of America 500, so it is time for the favorites to get serious about making that final push towards the title. The driver at the top of that list is the current Sprint Cup point leader Matt Kenseth. His lead in the standings is down to just three points, but as one of two favorites to win this week at + 400, he is no stranger to victory lane with seven previous Sprint Cup victories this season. Adding even more value to these odds is the fact that the No. 20 car has already won the first two races of this year’s 10-race playoff. Kenseth won this race in 2011, but he only managed a 14th-place finish last year and a 15th-place finish in the first race at this track this year.

The other favorite to win on Saturday night at +400 is Kyle Busch. He was rolling right along in this year’s Chase with second place finishes at Chicago and New Hampshire, but his title hopes took a serious hit when a wreck brought an early end of the day in last week’s race at Kansas. The No. 18 car is currently in fifth place in the standings with 2148 total points and 35 points out of the lead. This team has posted four previous point race victories this season, but engine problems in its first visit to Charlotte this year resulted in a disappointing 38th-place finish. This followed three-straight top five’s at this track including a fifth-place finish in last year’s race. Busch is still looking for his first Sprint Cup victory at this venue. 

The driver in hot pursuit of Kenseth in this Chase is Jimmie Johnson, who is trying to nail down his sixth career Sprint Cup title. He has been opened as a +500 second-favorite to notch his sixth point race victory of the season. The No. 48 team has been on a tear through the first four races of the playoffs with a victory at Dover and three other finishes of sixth or better. Johnson finished a distant 22nd in the first race this season at Charlotte, but he has won at this track six previous times along with five additional top-five finishes. 

Top Value Pick 

Kevin Harvick’s win last week in the Hollywood Casino 400 vaulted the No. 29 car into third place in the standings with 2158 points. This team is now just 25 points back and looking to close the gap even tighter with its fourth point-race victory of the year this Saturday night. We like their chances so much we have made Harvick our value pick of the week at +1000 on the NASCAR betting odds boards. He will be looking for the season sweep at Charlotte after taking the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600 earlier this season. He finished 16th in this race last season, but placed eighth or better in four previous trips around this track.