NASCAR Sprint Cup Betting Preview: Kobalt 400 Favorites, Contenders & Long-Shots

David Schwab

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 8:47 PM GMT

Here's our prediction for Sunday’s NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of Kobalt 400. All the action for  is set to get underway at 12:30 p.m. 

It did not take all that long for Jimmie Johnson to post his first victory of the new Sprint Cup season with a first-place finish last Sunday at Atlanta. The defending 2014 champion Kevin Harvick remained hot by taking second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third for the second-straight week. I had Harvick as my top valued favorite in that race at +600 betting odds.

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
Given just how close I came to cashing-in on Kevin Harvick in last Sunday’s race, I am going with the defending champ as a +450 favorite to get it done with a trip to Victory Lane in this race. The No. 5 car has not skipped a beat since winning last season’s Sprint Cup title with two-straight second-place finishes in the first two point-race events this year. Draining a bit a value from these lofty odds is Harvick’s recent performance at this track. He did finish second at Las Vegas in 2010, but he has failed to crack the top five in his last four trips around this track.

 

Top Valued Contender
Carl Edwards has gotten off to a slow start this season after finishing outside the top 10 in his first two races, but I really like the value in his +1000 betting odds to break through with a victory this Sunday. The No. 99 car has a habit of running near the front of the pack in the majority of its races and while it did post two victories last season, it also added another 12 top-10 finishes to the 2014 resume. Adding even more value to these odds is a solid fifth-place run in last year’s race at Las Vegas. Over the course of his 10-year career in the Sprint Cup series, Edwards has won at Las Vegas twice (2008 and 2011) as part of an average finishing position of 9.2.

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Top Valued Longshot
Looking back at last season’s final Sprint Cup standings, I would imagine that quite a few NASCAR fans & handicappers may have already forgotten that Ryan Newman actually finished second. That is probably because the No. 31 car failed to win a point race and it only posted five finishes in the top five. Regardless of these results, this team still managed to race well enough to make a serious run at a title. This week, Newman has been opened as a +3000 longshot to win, but I like the value in these odds given his recent form at this track. Along with last season’s seventh-place finish at Las Vegas, he ended-up fifth in 2011 and fourth in 2012.

 

Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
The Oddmakers like Jimmie Johnson’s chances as a +600 second-favorite to make it back-to-back victories this Sunday and Jeff Gordon is a +700 third-favorite for this race in his final trip to Las Vegas as a full-time Sprint Cup driver. Two other drivers to watch this Sunday at +800 betting odds are Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. These two posted a one-two finish at Las Vegas in 2014 with Keselowski taking the checkered flag.