This Sunday afternoon NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season for the second race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase to the 2015 Sprint Cup title.
This year’s AAA Texas 500 is set to get underway at 2 p.m. (ET) and the race will be broadcast nationally on NBC. Veteran NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is getting hot at the right time of the year with a big win last week at Martinsville that locked-up one of four spots in this year championship race at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 22. Jamie McMurray ended-up second in that race and Denny Hamlin finished third.
Top Valued Favorite
It took a deliberate wreck to keep Joey Logano out of the Winners’ Circle for the fourth-straight race in the Chase after the No. 22 car swept all three races in the Contender Round. He has been opened as a +500 second-favorite for sports picks to get back to his winning ways at Fort Worth and I like his chances to get it done. The No. 22 car has dominated the Chase over the past four weeks and even though it finished 37th at Martinsville, this team led that race for 207 laps. Adding even more value is a victory at this track in 2014 and a fourth-place finish in the first race here this season.
Top Valued Contender
Moving down the list in search of value at longer odds, I decided to go with Martin Truex Jr. at +1200 to win on Sunday. He is currently in third place in the Sprint Cup standings following a sixth-place finish in last Sunday’s race. The No. 78 car has now placed eighth or better in four of the last six races in this year’s Chase. Truex Jr. has only guided his team to one point-race victory on the year at Pocono in early June, but other than Logano, he has been the most consistent driver during the first two rounds of the playoffs. He did manage to work his way into the Top 10 in the first race at Texas this year and his best finish here was second in the early race in 2013.
Top Valued Longshot
It may have taken Jeff Gordon 33 races to win his first point race of the season, but at this point of the season it could pay to ride a hot hand especially when it is a +2500 longshot to win. In his final season racing fulltime in the Sprint Cup series, the No. 24 team has suddenly found its form with a third-place finish at Talladega before last Sunday’s win. It was only a matter of time before one of NASCAR’s all-time greats made his mark in the Swan Song of his storied career and last week’s win could be the start of a fantastic finish to another Sprint Cup title. Gordon finished seventh in the first race at Fort Worth this season and second in the early race in 2014.
Betting Odds for Other Notable Drivers
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick comes into Sunday’s race at Texas as a +450 favorite to win and clinch his spot in this season’s championship race. After Logano as the second-favorite is the trio of Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch at +600 betting odds to win. Along with Truex Jr. at +1200 are Chase driver’s Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch.