NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series will head to Watkins Glen International for its second event this season on a road course. This Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 is slated to get underway at 11 a.m. (PT) and the race will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network.
Matt Kenseth was shutout of Victory Lane in 2014, but he has now posted two point-race wins this season after taking the checkered flag at Pocono last week. Brad Keselowski raced his way to second place and Jeff Gordon rounded-out last Sunday’s Top 3.
Top Valued Favorite
Both Busch brothers are listed as +600 second-favorites to win this Sunday, but I am going with the younger of the two with a play on Kyle Busch as my top favorite. He is coming off a tear for the ages that started with a victory on the road course at Sonoma. Since then, the No. 18 car has posted three more point-race victories to tie Jimmie Johnson for the most this season at four. The real value in Kyle’s odds is his past performance at Watkins Glen. He stumbled to 40th in last year’s race, but prior to that he has won here two times to go along with six other Top 10 finishes in a span of eight races.
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Top Valued Contender
Given this week’s road course you can get longer odds on quite a few of the top Sprint Cup drivers this season, but I am going to trade current form for past racing experience this week with Carl Edwards as my top contender to win at +1200 betting odds. The No. 99 car has only made his way into the Top 5 of a point race twice this season, but one of those runs was a victory at Charlotte. Adding the real value to these odds is the fact that Edwards has always raced well on road courses, especially at Watkins Glen. While he has never won a Sprint Cup race here, his average finishing position is 8.4, which includes five Top 5 finishes in his last nine events, so he is a reasonable sports pick.
Top Valued Longshot
Going with the theme picking drivers with experience in Indy-style racing, I am taking a real flyer this week with Danica Patrick as my top longshot. She is listed at +10000 odds to win her first ever Sprint Cup race, but her past experience on this type of course gives her a fighting chance even at such long odds. The No. 10 car has had some very limited success this season with just two finishes inside the Top 10 through the first 21 point races, but this may be the team’s best opportunity to stun the field all year long. This will only be Danica’s third career run at Watkins Glen and she has yet to crack the Top 20 in her first two runs.
Betting Odds for Other Notable Drivers
The betting odds are all over the board this week with last year’s champion at Watkins Glen, AJ Allmendinger coming in as a +450 favorite to successfully defend his title. Following the Busch brothers at +600 is a trio of drivers at +800 that include Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick. Joey Logano’s odds to win are set at +1000 and Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Tony Stewart are all listed at +1500.