NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series returns to the track following a week off with its first prime time race of the season. This Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 from Texas Motor Speedway is slated to get underway at 4:30 (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Before the break, Denny Hamlin posted his first Sprint Cup victory of the season with a win at Martinsville. Brad Keselowki stayed hot with a second-place finish after winning at Fontana and Joey Logano placed third. Kevin Harvick was my top valued favorite for that race at +450, but he faded to eighth in the final standings.
Top Valued Favorite
Harvick is once again the favorite to win this week at +400, but I am going to stretch the value in the betting odds with Jimmie Johnson as my top favorite at +600. He won the second race of the year at Atlanta, but it has been an up and down ride for the No. 48 car ever since with just one top-10 finish in its last four starts. The main reason I like Johnson this week is his recent performance at this track. After finishing just 25th in this race last year he went on to win the second race at Texas later that season. Going back to the 2012 season, he has taken the checkered flag in three of his last five races here.
Top Valued Contender
Matt Kenseth’s winless streak goes back to the 2013 season, but he is moving in the right direction to end this drought with a fourth-place his last time out at Martinsville. The No. 20 car also placed fifth at Atlanta this season and it was ninth at Las Vegas. Kenseth comes into this week’s race at +1000 to get that win and I believe there is some solid value in those betting odds. He won this race in 2011 and if you go all the way back to 2007, he has placed in top five at this track in 10 of 16 races. His average finishing position at Fort Worth over the course of his entire career is a solid 8.9
Top Valued Longshot
Going down the list of drivers in search of the best value for a longshot, I decided to take a flyer on Kyle Larson at +2000 betting odds to win Saturday night’s race. As one of the up and coming young guns in the Sprint Cup series he has shown some solid form so far with an eighth-place finish at Las Vegas and a 10-place finish the following week at Phoenix. This will be just his fourth Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, but the No. 42 car was competitive in both races last year by taking fifth in this event and seventh in the second race of the season at this track. Larson missed his last race due to medical reasons, but he has been cleared to race this week.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Kurt Busch comes into this race at +600 odds to win followed by a group of five drivers at +1000 betting odds that include Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. Joey Logano won this race last season and he has also been listed at +1000 to successfully defend that title. Denny Hamlin will look to make it two Sprint Cup victories in a row at +1200 along with Martin Truex Jr. to round-out the top 10 drivers on Bovada's list.