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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is set to run at Texas Motor Speedway today in a 500-mile event that is sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts. Texas is a “cookie cutter” track on the NASCAR schedule, as 1.5-mile tracks are the venues that we visit the most. The track that compares most similarly to Texas is Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which is where the series raced at just four weeks ago. Today, there are quite a few favorites starting deep in the pack, so it should be a fun race to watch with plenty of passing. Kyle Busch is the heavy favorite yet again this week, and he is going for the weekend sweep after taking the checkered flag in the Truck and Xfinity races on Friday and Saturday. Rowdy is also the defending winner of this particular race, as he started 8th in last year’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 before leading 116 of the 334 laps en route to victory lane.

Last weekend at Martinsville my favorite bets went 1-1, bringing my yearly record to 6-4. Martin Truex, Jr. didn’t end up posting a top 3 finish last week but Chris Buescher easily beat Daniel Hemric in that H2H matchup, as Buescher finished 21st and one lap down while Hemric was 27th and four laps down. I hope you cashed in on that ‘no-brainer’ pick.

My Favorite Bets for Texas

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Joey Logano Top 3 Finish (+200) – If you checked out the algorithm predictions for today’s race, you know that Joey Logano is projected to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, so of course I’m going to take the chance to triple my money with a top 3 finish out of the #22 Ford. Looking back at the Las Vegas race this year, which is the most comparable track to Texas, Logano was the one in victory lane that day, and he also had a chance to win at Atlanta before a tire issue ruined his chances. Also, for what it’s worth, Joey came home 2nd at Fontana a couple of weeks ago, which is a 2-mile oval. Here at Texas, Logano has finished 3rd or better in four of the last six races and his other results during that span have been 6th and 7th. He starts the highest of all real “contenders” today, too, so I absolutely love this bet.

Kurt Busch (+120) over Kyle Larson (-150) – You know who seems to have this package down very well? Kurt Busch. He’s finished 7th or better in four of the five races since Daytona–including top 5s in both events at 1.5-mile tracks–and even came home 12th at Martinsville last weekend, which is one of his worst tracks. You know who doesn’t have this package down yet? Kyle Larson, who had a 6th-place finish at Phoenix but hasn’t been able to muster a result better than 12th in any other race except Daytona. Yeah, the #42 Chevrolet led a bunch of laps at Atlanta in February, but that track is always the black sheep of the 1.5-milers. Kurt starts a little further back today (30th, while Larson starts 22nd), but it’s a 500-mile race and he’s got a better car than his teammate.

Chris Buescher (+145) over Daniel Hemric (-175) – There’s no reason that Daniel Hemric should be this favored in this H2H matchup. He only has one finish better than 20th all season! Now obviously the #8 Chevrolet has ran a lot better than the finishes show, but all that matters in the betting world is the final results. Today, Hemric has an edge on Buescher when it comes to starting position (7th compared to 19th), and looked better in practice as well, but let’s not forget that those speeds should be taken with a grain of salt. Buescher is a much more reliable finisher and is running better this season than he ever has. I’d take that +145 value every single week and be very profitable in the long run. For what it’s worth, Buescher finished 9th at Atlanta this year and 18th at Las Vegas.

Texas Race Day Betting Odds for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

Kyle Busch2.5/1
Brad Keselowski4/1
Joey Logano6/1
Kevin Harvick6/1
Martin Truex, Jr.8/1
Ryan Blaney10/1
Jimmie Johnson10/1
Chase Elliott13/1
Kyle Larson16/1
Denny Hamlin16/1
Clint Bowyer20/1
Kurt Busch22/1
Aric Almirola25/1
Erik Jones30/1
Austin Dillon45/1
Alex Bowman50/1
Daniel Suarez50/1
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.75/1
William Byron75/1
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.