NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series will be in northeast Pennsylvania this week for the running of the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway. Sunday’s race is slated to start at 10 a.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX Sports 1.
I went with Jimmie Johnson as my top valued favorite over Kevin Harvick for last Sunday’s race at Dover and it paid off. Both closed at +350 betting odds, but Johnson edged-out Harvick to post his fourth victory of the season. Kyle Larson rounded-out the top three.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win this Sunday race based on the betting odds compiled by Sportsbook Review.
Top Valued Favorite
I am going to stretch the odds past Harvick and Johnson this week with a play on Dale Earnhardt Jr. as my top valued favorite at +800 betting odds to continue his current winning streak at this track. His racing form this season in the No. 88 car remains strong with a victory at Talladega along with another six top-five finishes in the first 13 point races. This has the team sitting in fifth place in the current Sprint Cup standings with a total of 432 points. Dale Jr. comes into this week’s race with back-to-back victories at Pocono in his 2014 campaign. He has now finished inside the top 10 in seven of his last eight trips around this track in a Sprint Cup race.
Top Valued Contender
Once Jeff Gordon announced that this would be his last full-time season in the Sprint Cup series, I expected big things from the No. 24 car. This team was coming off four victories in 2014 and a sixth-place finish in the final standings. So far it has been a rough go of things with no victories and just two top-five finishes, but that could all change this week. I am going with Gordon as my top valued contender at +1200 to end this drought with a win on Sunday. He has always raced well at Pocono with six career victories in a Sprint Cup race and his average finishing position here is inside the top 10 at 9.9. He posted back-to-back finishes of eighth and sixth in the two point races at this track last season.
Top Valued Longshot
Anyone who regularly follows my NASCAR picks for SBR already knows what a big Matt Kenseth fan I am, so when I can get +2000 odds on any race he runs I will most likely jump all over that bet. The No. 20 car snapped an extended winless drought that dated back to the 2013 season with a win in late-April at Bristol. Since that point the results have been mixed, but the team did take fourth at Charlotte two weeks ago. Pocono is definitely not one of Kenseth’s favorite tracks so it is easy to understand the longer odds. The last time he finished inside the top 10 was a seventh-place finish in this race in 2012.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Kevin Harvick has been named the favorite for Sunday’s race at +400 betting odds followed closely by Jimmie Johnson as a +500 second favorite. The third driver on this week’s list is Kurt Busch at +700 to round-out the favorites. Brad Keselowski’s odds to post a win on Sunday have been set at +1000 along with Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano to head-up this week’s list of top contenders.