NASCAR Sprint Cup Betting Preview: Auto Club 400 Top Valued Favorites, Contenders & Long-Shots

David Schwab

Thursday, March 19, 2015 5:15 PM GMT

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series will wrap-up a three race swing out west this Sunday at Fontana with the running of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. The green flag for Sunday’s race is set to wave at 12:30 p.m. (PT) and the race will be broadcast nationally on FOX.

Kevin Harvick made it back-to-back Sprint Cup victories by taking the checkered flag last Sunday at Phoenix after winning the week before in Las Vegas. Jamie McMurray had a good run last Sunday by taking second and my top valued longshot at +2500 Ryan Newman almost paid off again with a second-straight third place finish.

The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win Sunday’s race based on betting odds as provided by Sportsbooks.

 

Top Valued Favorite
California native Jimmie Johnson has been opened at +600 betting odds to post his second Sprint Cup victory of the season this Sunday at Fontana after winning the second race of the season at Atlanta. The No. 48 car also posted a fifth-place finish at Daytona, but it has fell out of the top 10 in its last two races. Johnson adds some solid value to these odds with five career victories at this track in a Sprint Cup race, although he has had his issues in his last three trips around this track including a 24th-place finish in last year’s race. None the less, with an average finishing position of 6.6 here, I still like his chances.

 

Top Valued Contender
NASCAR fans have been waiting patiently for Jeff Gordon to get into the mix in his last full season racing in the Sprint Cup series, but so far the No. 24 car has been a non-factor in the first four races of the year. That could change this week as my top valued contender at +1000. This team was fairly competitive last Sunday at Phoenix with a ninth-place finish and Gordon has had some success at Fontana with three previous checkered flags over the course of his storied career. He last few races here in a Sprint Cup race have been nothing to write home about, but you cannot help but get the feeling that he is due for a good run.

Get in on the handicapping tips & picks with this weekly forum thread on NASCAR Picks

Top Valued Longshot
I have been riding Ryan Newman pretty heavily as a longshot this season and he has been extremely profitable when betting on him for a Top Three finish. I am sticking with this formula one more time in hopes that the third time will be a charm, especially in light of his attractive +3000 betting odds to win Sunday’s race. The No. 31 car has actually been one of the most consistent teams in the Sprint Cup series through the last three races and ever since a poor showing at Daytona, it has not finished outside the top 10. Newman only managed a 20th-place finish in last year’s race at Fontana, but he placed inside the top 10 in his previous four Sprint Cup races at this track.

 

Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Kevin Harvick actually comes in as the favorite to win this race at +400, but it would be a pretty incredible feat to win three in a row. Joey Logano is also off to a fast start following his win at Daytona and he has been opened as a+700 third-favorite to win this week. Brad Keselowski’s odds to get his first win of the season have been set at +800, followed by both Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at +1000 betting odds.