South Point 400: NASCAR Top Bets

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South Point 400: NASCAR Top Bets
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images/AFP

The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue and we have a betting pick with analysis for the upcoming event.

NASCAR Cup Series: South Point 400

Sunday, September 27, 2020 – 7 P.M. ET at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Playoffs Update

At Bristol Motor Speedway, the Round of 16, reached its conclusion. Four drivers have been eliminated: William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, and Ryan Blaney. None of those are really all that surprising. So the best drivers remain available and in contention. The second round, the Round of 12, begins on Sunday with the South Point 400.

Race and Track Info

Sunday’s South Point 400 is so-called because, in completing 267 laps, drivers will have accumulated 400 miles. This event consists of three Stages: Stage 1 requires 80 laps, Stage 2 takes 80 laps, and Stage 3 and the race itself conclude at lap 267.

Each lap requires 1.5 miles. There is a good amount of banking throughout the track, which is important because it helps drivers reach greater speed. In the corners, there are 20 degrees of banking. On the front stretch, it’s nine degrees, as it is on the backstretch. The level of banking in this raceway is especially unique in the front- and backstretch. 

Kevin Harvick

One can’t make a NASCAR Betting Pick without mentioning Kevin Harvick, who is favored to win this race. Because of how well he’s been performing both this season and overall, we have to ask ourselves before every race whether he should be the main guy that we invest in.

If you want to throw a little money down on him to win, that may be a profitable strategy. But it may also, slowly, drain your bank account. Who’s to say that he keeps winning at the rate that he’s winning? If other factors spoke in his favor, then sure, put down extra money on him to win. But simply betting on him to win because he’s been winning a lot lately is blind and unreasonably optimistic.

So why don’t other factors speak for Harvick? Primarily, his history at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is unimpressive. Among drivers at this track since 2017, Harvick ranks 15th in average finishing position. Measured by driver career at this track, he ranks ninth in the category.

Starting Lineup

Provisional lineups for this race have been calculated. NASCAR is currently utilizing a formula in order to determine each playoff driver’s starting position, and we can make this calculation in advance.

Harvick is going to start in the pole position. However, I contend that the starting lineup for this track is a factor that you should not bother to look at. Drivers consistently prove that they don’t need to start in a strong position in order to finish well at this race. For example, in one of Harvick’s two career wins at Las Vegas, he started in 18th place.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer National Forest Foundation Ford, leads Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, during the NASCAR Cup Series. Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images/AFP

My Guy

The same logic applies to my favorite driver for Sunday’s race on the best sports betting sites, Martin Truex Jr. When Truex Jr. last won this race — two tries ago in September of 2019 — he started even further behind than Harvick did, in 24th place.

In comparing him with Harvick, especially in this track’s recent history, one sees how Truex Jr. has dominated Harvick in terms of average finishing position, driver rating, and top-five and top-10 finishes. Since 2017, Truex Jr. has won twice at this track and has produced three additional top-four finishes.

Personally, he’s also in a favorable position to bounce-back. After his last three races where he finished outside the Top 10, the following race had him finishing third or stronger.

Other Drivers 

Don’t other drivers have positive histories at this track? Yes, but here’s why I don’t like them as much. For example:

  • Brad Keselowski, shows a considerably inferior driver rating to Truex Jr.’s.
  • Joey Logano won last year’s race, which I consider a bad thing because it’s very difficult to win any race back-to-back.

Logano has never won back-to-back in Las Vegas, nor has he achieved this feat a single time this season. Even Harvick, who’s having a great year, has only done it once this season.

The Verdict 

With your NASCAR Betting Picks, avoid Harvick because of his poor driver history in Las Vegas. While we wanted to consider other possibilities, Truex Jr. emerges as the strongest one given his history at this speedway as well as his personal bounce-back spot. The offered payout for a Truex Jr. victory is really nice at the top sportsbooks.

Best Bet: Truex Jr. To Win (+550) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Truex Jr.+550
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