We have a double-header at Pocono Raceway this weekend with the Pocono Organics 325 coming up first on Saturday afternoon (hopefully… rain again). Now, the races at “The Tricky Triangle” aren’t nearly as unpredictable as the races at Talladega, where we were last week, but there are some unknowns heading into this first event. Pocono is an extremely difficult track to nail the setup on, and doing so with zero track time before the green flag makes it that much harder.
The bets listed below are ones that I have already placed via the DraftKings Sportsbook, with the odds posted.
My Top Bets for the Pocono Organics 325
Chris Buescher (+100) over Christopher Bell – It’s not very often that I scroll through the available bets and think… “wow, that doesn’t make sense.” Well, that’s the case this weekend. As I mentioned earlier, Pocono is a tough track for the crew chiefs to set up, and it’s almost equally as difficult for the drivers to actually race. In Fantasy NASCAR, there’s typically a rule: don’t pick the rookies at Pocono, especially their first race. There are exceptions, obviously, but that’s the general rule. Anyway, as far as this matchup, I love hammering Buescher here. He has a Ford, which has the advantage on horsepower over Christopher Bell’s Toyota, plus this is a “good” track for Buescher. He’s disappointed in some races this year, but the tracks where he’s supposed to be good at, he’s ran well. At Pocono, Buescher has a win (thanks to weather) and in three of the last four races he’s finished between 14th and 17th. Bell ran 5th here in the Xfinity Series last year, but I’d argue that’s a bit worse than normal for him last season, as his Toyota was typically top 3.
Brad Keselowski Top 5 Finish (+135) – Yeah, give me all of this one, too. I’m heavily favoring the Fords this week, Penske Racing is emerging as the top organization right now, and Brad Keselowski has top 5 finishes in seven of his last nine Pocono starts. Tell me what’s not to love here, because I’m not finding anything. Momentum-wise, Brad has four top 5s in the last eight Cup Series races overall, and that includes his two wins on the year as well. Strategy comes into play a lot here at Pocono and really that’s the only thing that concerns me with this bet, as the #2 team likes to get more aggressive than others. Still, take strategy out of the play and this is a great bet.
Ryan Blaney To Win (+1000) – Ford, Penske, momentum. Check, check, check. I’m actually surprised Ryan Blaney only came down to 10-to-1 to win once he drew the outside pole for Saturday’s race. Here’s the thing: this #12 team is running the best right now, I don’t care what you say. Blaney has finished 4th or better in six of the last seven Cup Series races overall with the only exception being Bristol, where he wrecked while running 2nd. Here at Pocono, he’s a previous winner and has finished 12th or better in all but one of his eight career starts here. That’s worth a 10-to-1 bet in my book.
Aric Almirola Top 10 Finish (+175) – Again, Ford… I’m living or dying by the blue ovals this weekend. Almirola drew the top spot in qualifying this weekend, which is an obvious advantage (but not a huge one). I don’t think he’ll lead many laps to start out–if any–but I do think Aric has a pretty good shot at a top 10 finish. He was always awful here at Pocono until he joined Stewart-Haas Racing (his first 11 starts all ended in results of 18th or worse) but over the last two years Almirola has posted finishes of 12th, 10th, 25th, and 7th. He also has a pretty good pit stall for Saturday’s race after finishing 3rd at Talladega last weekend.
Other bets added to my card:
- Ryan Blaney Top 5 Finish (+165) … See notes above on Blaney