NASCAR Picks: Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

David Schwab

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 5:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013 5:42 PM UTC

Sunday’s race is set to get underway at 11 a.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. Let's review the betting odds and some top prospects for our picks.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Betting Preview- Geico 400

The 10-race Chase for this season’s Sprint Cup title is officially underway as NASCAR rolls into Chicagoland Speedway this week for the running of the Geico 400

In a very controversial finish in Richmond last week, Carl Edwards came away with his second point race victory of the season with Kurt Busch taking second and Ryan Newman finishing third. Our value pick for that race was Kevin Harvick at +1200 but he could only manage an 11th-place finish after starting 17th.

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


Jimmie Johnson held the top spot in the Sprint Cup standings for the better part of this season, but four straight finishes near the back of the field has him in second place for the start of the Chase. It is hard to know what exactly has gone wrong with the No. 48 team over the past four weeks, but this current form drains a bit of the value out of its +450 betting odds to win this race. Johnson has never won a Sprint Cup race at this track but he did finish second in last year’s race. 

The second-favorite to win on Sunday at +600 is the current point leader Matt Kenseth. Driving the No. 20 car, he leads the field with five Sprint Cup point-race victories this season and he is ranked first in the series in total laps led with 1149. The value in Kenseth’s odds gets drained a bit with four straight finishes outside the top 10 in this race. His best finish at Chicago was second in 2007 and his average finishing position at this track is 12.8. 

Kyle Busch is back in the Chase after a one-year hiatus after placing third in the standings with four victories and seven additional top-five finishes. He has been opened as one of two third-favorites to win this race at +700. There is no doubt that the No. 18 team comes into this year’s Sprint Cup playoffs in excellent form, but past performance in the Chase is working against its chances to bring home the title. As far as this race, Busch did finish fourth last year and won here in 2008, but his average finish at this track is just 13.4.

The other driver listed at +700 to take the early lead in the Chase with a win on Sunday is Kasey Kahne. He made the field of 12 as a wildcard on the strength of two previous point race victories at Bristol and Pocono. He also raced the No. 5 car to another six top-five finishes this season. Adding even more value to these odds is Kahne’s third-place finish in this race last season. This matched a third-place finish in 2009 as his best Sprint Cup effort at this track. 

Top Value Pick 

Past history has shown us that favorites tend to win Chase races as the cream normally rises to the top this time of year. Brad Keselowski won this race last season on his way to the title but since he is not in the Chase this year we are turning to an up and coming driver Joey Logano as our value pick for Sunday at +1500. He has been in the mix all season long with one win and a total of eight Top Five’s that helped the No. 22 car start the Chase in sixth-place in the standings. Logano has only ran in four previous Sprint Cup races at Chicago, but he showed promise last season with a seventh-place finish in this race.

Joey Logano +1500 at bet 365
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