NASCAR Picks: Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol

David Schwab

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:27 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 7:27 PM GMT

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series returns to prime time this Saturday night with the running of the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The race is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ABC.

Joey Logano stunned the field last Sunday with his victory at Michigan as a +2500 longshot. Kevin Harvick finished second while Kurt Busch ended-up a surprising third. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was our top value racing pick to win last week at +1000, but a blown tire ended his day with a 36th-place finish.

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

Kyle Busch has already won three times this season with the latest victory coming just two weeks ago at Watkins Glen. He has been opened as one of two favorites at +500 to add a fourth checkered flag to the No. 18 car’s 2013 resume this Saturday night. The team has also posted seven additional top-five finishes this season to help hold down fifth place in the current Sprint Cup standings with 706 points. Busch has raced well at Bristol over the years with five career Sprint Cup titles. He finished sixth in last year’s race and second in the first race here this season. His average finishing position at this track is 9.8.

The other NASCAR odds co-favorite at +500 to win this week is current Sprint Cup point leader Jimmie Johnson. His lead in the standings is down to just 41 points after engine problems left the No. 48 car in 40th place in last week’s race. This followed four victories and five other top-five finishes in the previous 22 point races so his current form remains high. Johnson finished 22nd in the first race at Bristol this season, but he did take second in this race last season and has only finished outside the top 10 twice in his last nine Sprint Cup races at this track.

One of three third-favorites to win this race at +800 is Kasey Kahne. He is currently on the outside looking in for the Chase in 11th place in the Sprint Cup standings, but two previous victories this season have the No. 5 car in excellent position for a wildcard spot in the upcoming 10-race playoff for this year’s Sprint Cup title. What adds some tremendous value to these odds is the fact that Kahne has already led 466 laps this season, which is his best effort since 2006 and comes into Bristol fresh off a victory in the first race here this year.

Another driver listed at +800 to win this week is Matt Kenseth. He has been quiet lately with three-straight finishes of 15th or higher, but still has the No. 20 car sitting in sixth place in the standings with four previous checkered flags and a total of 11 top-10 finishes. Kenseth’s first trip to Bristol this year did not go so well with a 35th-place finish as a result of a wreck, but he has finished in the top-10 in six of his previous seven Sprint Cup races at this track. His last win in this race was in 2006.

Top Value Pick

There are quite of few top-10 drivers with longer odds this week, but we are going with the one in second place in the standings as our top value betting pick to win this race. Clint Bowyer has remained under the radar all season long and while he has yet to win a point race, he has managed to race the No. 15 car to within 41 points of the lead on the strength of eight top-five finishes. He has never won a Sprint Cup race at Bristol, but Bowyer adds some solid value to his +1000 odds to win this week with three-straight top-10 finishes at this track including a fifth-place finish in the first race here this season.

NASCAR Pick: Clint Bowyer at 12/1 odds at Bovada

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