NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series stays out west this week for the running of the Campingworld.com 500 at Phoenix International Speedway. All the action for Sunday’s race is set to get underway at 12:30 p.m. (PT)
I went with Kevin Harvick as my top-valued favorite at +450 odds in last Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas and he came through with his first win of the new season. Martin Truex Jr. finished second and Ryan Newman, who was my top valued longshot for that race at +3000 odds, ended-up third.
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
Harvick is a +300 betting odds favorite this Sunday as this event’s defending champion, but I think it is Dale Earnhardt Jr’s turn to take the checkered flag this week as a +800 third-favorite. The No. 88 car has been in position to win in the first three point races this season with two third-place finishes and a fourth-place finish in last week’s race. This team is currently in second-place in the Sprint Cup standings with 125 total points. Dale Jr. adds even more value to these odds after finishing second in this race last season. He went onto finish eighth in the second race of the season at Phoenix last year to break a string of three straight top-five finishes at this track.
Top Valued Contender
Any time I can get longer odds on Matt Kenseth I usually jump at the chance given that he is always a threat to win any race he runs. That is the case this week at +1200 odds to win at Phoenix. So far this season, the No. 20 car bounced-back from a disappointing 35th-place finish at Daytona to end-up fifth and ninth in its next two Sprint Cup races. This team was shutout of Victory Lane in 2014 and still managed to place seventh in the final standings. You would have to believe that there is plenty of motivation to return to the form that posted seven victories in 2013. Kenseth did come close to getting a win at this track in the second race of the season last year by taking third.
Top Valued Longshot
I came close to cashing-in on Ryan Newman last week and I like his chances again in this race as a +2500 longshot. The No. 31 car has a knack for staying on the lead lap in most of the races it runs as was the case in last week’s strong finish, but the main reason I am going with Newman again is his past performance at this track. He finished seventh in last year’s event and going back to 2010 when he won this race, he has posted seven top-10 finishes in his last 10 Sprint Cup races here. Five of those runs ended-up in the top five.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
The second-favorite to win on Sunday is Brad Keselowski at +700. He finished third in this race last season and the No. 2 car has two top-10 finishes to its credit this year. The trio of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano have been listed at +800 odds to win. Johnson took the checkered flag at Atlanta in the second point race of the season after Logano made his way to the Winner’s Circle in this year’s Daytona 500. Last season all three of these drivers placed sixth or better in this race.