As part of a three-race West Coast swing, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series pulls into Phoenix International Raceway this week in preparation for the running of this season’s Good Sam 500.
The green flag for this Sunday’s main event is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) and the race will be broadcast nationally on FOX. rad Keselowski scored a key early season victory in a point race with his first-place run at Las Vegas this past Sunday. Two of the top favorites to win that race paid-off in a Top 3 bet with Joey Logano taking second and Jimmie Johnson placing third.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win Sunday’s race at Phoenix based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes.
Top Valued Favorite
Jimmie Johnson started the 2016 Sprint Cup season with a disappointing 16th-place finish at Daytona, but he promptly got the No. 48 car back in gear with a victory the following week at Atlanta. Watching him run around the oval at Las Vegas last Sunday in another strong run has swayed me to jump all over his +700 betting odds to win this race. The other plus in this pick is a strong track record at Phoenix over the course of his storied NASCAR career. Johnson has four Sprint Cup victories on his resume here as part of an average finishing position of 7.7.
Top Valued Contender
I have gotten caught taking the bait on Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the past as one of my personal NASCAR favorites, but I think he brings some solid value into this event at +1200 odds. The No. 88 car went for an all or nothing move at Daytona and it resulted in a wreck. Dale Jr. came back strong with a second-place finish at Atlanta before fading to eighth at Las Vegas. The main reason I am high on him this week as my top contender is a victory at Phoenix in the second Sprint Cup event here in 2015. If you go back over his last six runs around this track, he has finished fifth or better in four of those races.
Top Valued Longshot
I have gone way out on a limb with my picks in the longshot category this season and I am not about to stop now with Austin Dillon at +2000 odds as this week’s sports pick. It is only a matter of time before one of these young guns shocks the field and the No. 3 car has been moving in the right direction to get it done. After cracking the Top 10 at Daytona with a ninth-place finish, this team moved into the Top 5 last week at Las Vegas by finishing fifth. Limited experience at any of these tracks will always work against young drivers and while Dillon’s past record at Phoenix in four previous races has been poor, his current form has has been good.
Racing Odds for other Notable Drivers
Kevin Harvick has been opened as a +300 favorite this week as the defending champion in this event. Joining Johnson at +700 is Kurt Busch, followed by his brother Kyle and Joey Logano at +800 betting odds to win this week. Moving down the list, last week’s winner Brad Keselowski has +900 odds to win again along with Matt Kenseth. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin round-out the top group at +1000 betting odds.