Sprint Cup Betting Preview: Kobalt 400 Top Contenders & Pretenders

David Schwab

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7:31 PM GMT

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series heads to Sin City this week for the first of three-straight point race events out on the West Coast. Sunday’s running of this year’s Kobalt 400.

My fast start to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup series continued last Sunday with my top favorite Jimmie Johnson (+700) edging out my top contender Dale Earnhardt Jr. (+1800) for the checkered flag at Atlanta. Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kyle Busch posted his second-straight third-place finish to start the new season.

The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win Sunday’s race at Las Vegas based on betting odds as provided by Bet365.

 

Top Valued Favorite
I am going chalk this week with Kevin Harvick at +500 betting odds as my top-valued favorite. The No. 4 car appears to be due for a break-out week after leading last week’s race for 131 laps before fading to sixth. This followed a fourth-place run in this year’s Daytona 500. It was hard to go wrong with Harvick all last season if you are betting on a Top 3 finish after posting three victories and another 13 second-place runs in 2015. I also like the fact that he comes into this event as the defending champion.

 

Top Valued Contender
Another driver that could be due for a winning run at Las Vegas is Martin Truex Jr. at +1200 betting odds. I think there is some solid value as my top contender given the No. 78 car’s fast start this season. It lost a photo-finish for the checkered flag at Daytona and last Sunday this team raced well enough to lead 34 laps before ending-up seventh. Truex Jr. only made his way to Victory Lane once last season, but he did race his way into the final four Championship Round of the 2015 Chase. Also adding value to these odds is his second-place finish to Harvick in this event last year at Las Vegas.

 

Top Valued Longshot
The pickings are slim in the longshot category this week, but that is not going to stop me from taking a flyer on rookie Chase Elliott at +2500. He made an early name for himself this season by winning the Pole for the Daytona 500, but things did not work out that well in the actual race after falling all the way to 37th with early car trouble. This past Sunday, the No. 24 car started 24th and worked its way into the Top 10 with an eighth-place finish. While the chances are slim he makes it all the way to Victory Lane this Sunday, I do think Elliott will make some noise in this race.

 

Racing Odds for other Notable Drivers
Both Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch come into this race as +600 second favorites and either driver offers value at those odds. The next two drivers on the list at +800 betting odds are Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth. Moving down the list a bit, you find Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski paired together at +1000 before Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch join Truex Jr. at +1200 odds to win.