Before betting on this Sunday’s NASCAR race, read this report. The opening round of NASCAR’s Chase to this season’s Sprint Cup title ends with a running of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.
The third of ten total Chase events is slated to get underway at 11 p.m. (PT) and the race will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Joey Logano punched his ticket for a trip to next round of the playoffs with a victory last week at New Hampshire. Kyle Larson is not in the Chase, but he finished in the top three for the second week in a row by taking second and Kevin Harvick helped himself in the Chase standings by finishing third. My value NASCAR pick for last week’s race was Matt Kenseth 12/1 but he slipped all the way to 21st.
The following is a look at a few of the top favorites to win Sunday’s race along with my top value pick based on odds provided by Bovada.
It has been awhile since six-time Sprint Cup winner Jimmie Johnson has been in my top three list of favorites, but he has been opened as a 4/1 favorite to make his presence in this season’s run for a title known to the rest of the contenders. The No. 48 car is currently in fourth-place in the Sprint Cup standings with 2080 points so it remains in good shape to advance, but a win on Sunday would seal the deal. Johnson adds some tremendous value to these odds given the fact that he has won the last two Sprint Cup races at Dover and he has a total of nine career victories at the Monster Mile.
Brad Keselowski won the first race in this year’s Chase at Chicago so he is automatically moving on to the next round. The 2012 Sprint Cup Champion obviously has bigger and better things on his mind as a 5/1 second-favorite to win this Sunday. The No. 2 car remains atop the current standings with 2097 points and this team still has the most number of point race victories this season at five. Keselowski has led a total of 1,418 laps this year and when it comes to his recent performance at Dover he is coming off a second-place finish in the first race here this season. He also won this race in his drive to a Sprint Cup title in 2012.
The third-favorite to automatically qualify for the next round with a victory on Sunday is Kevin Harvick at 11/2. He obviously came painfully close last week in New Hampshire and all told, the No. 4 car has two point race wins this season and another eight top-five finishes. This team is holding down the third spot in the standings with 2090 points. Harvick is another driver that has been consistently at the front of the pack with 1,369 laps led this season. Some of the value in his odds is lost due to his track record at Dover. He has never won a Sprint Cup race here and he slipped to 17th at the Monster Mile in the first race this season. His average finishing position at Dover is just 15.3.
Top Value Pick
The pressure is on quite a few drivers in this category for Sunday’s race given that Chase field shrinks to 12 after this event. This kind of motivation has made Denny Hamlin my top value NASCAR pick to win this week at 16/1 betting odds. He is currently in 13th-place in the standings with 2049 points after a slow start to the Chase and the only thing that can guarantee the No. 11 car a spot in the next round is a flat-out victory in this race. Hamlin came close to winning here this season with a fifth-place finish in the first race, but he is still searching for his first Sprint Cup victory at this track.