Alright, we’re on to Homestead-Miami Speedway now as we finally get to an intermediate track and away from the “special” venues of superspeedways and road courses. Thus far on the year, the Best Bets are 5-5 for a total of -0.67 units. It’s a great week to turn those numbers positive, though, and put some cash in our pockets. So without further ado let’s get into the Best Bets for the Homestead-Miami race on Sunday!
My Favorite Bets for Homestead
2u on Christopher Bell Top 10 Finish (+105) – Early on in the year is a great time to take advantage of relative uncertainty that sportsbooks have. This particularly applies to drivers on new teams, as we all really don’t know 100% what to expect from them this year. One of those drivers, and one of the first guys that popped up as “undervalued” by books this week (in my head, anyway) was last week’s winner, Christopher Bell. Last season, Bell was in a quasi-Joe Gibbs Racing ride with Leavine Family Racing, and he showed promise at quite a few intermediate tracks–including an 8th-place finish right here at Homestead (despite starting 36th). This time around, CBell will start from up in 3rd, and I could honestly see him challenging for a top 5 finish, and possibly even another win. Erik Jones was able to average the 10th-best average running position on the high-wear tracks in this #20 Toyota last year, and Bell is now paired with crew chief Adam Stevens, who never finished worse than 6th at Homestead while he was with Kyle Busch for six years. For what it’s worth, my algorithm has Bell projected to finish 10th on Sunday. I also don’t mind throwing a couple small bets on him to finish top 5 (+350) and even win (+2800) but my official Best Bet with Christopher Bell on Sunday is to get a top 10 finish at +105 odds.
2u on Alex Bowman Top 10 Finish (+120) – NOTE: This bet was added on Friday afternoon, and not part of the original post. I was on the fence with this bet all week, but never pulled the trigger to make it a Best Bet on initial posting. But after filming my DraftKings video on Friday, I just can’t stop gravitating toward Bowman in the fantasy world and betting world. Alex Bowman had so much speed on the intermediate tracks last season, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t be just as fast this year. His average running position on “high-wear” tracks in 2020 was 5th-best, and on “low-wear” tracks he was 3rd-best. Here at Homestead, Bowman was a top 10 car until a late pit stop doomed him, and he finished 9th here back in 2019. Bowman starts 13th on Sunday and is a great betting value at +120 for a top 10 finish. I’m even going to put a smaller bet on him at +400 to get a top 5.
1u on Ryan Blaney Top 5 Finish (+235) – Data from the Daytona 500 and the Daytona Road Course races doesn’t really translate at all to speed at Homestead-Miami Speedway, so this week we’re kind of relying pretty heavily on 2020 data. And Ryan Blaney had the most speed on intermediate tracks last season. On the “low-wear” venues, Blaney had the best average running position (6.2) by a good margin, as well as the 3rd-best average finish (7.7). On “high-wear” tracks, his averages we really brought down by the three Darlington races–which is not a great track for him at all–but Blaney was a contender to win here at Homestead as well as at Auto Club Speedway, while also finishing 4th at Atlanta. There’s no reason that Young Ryan Blaney can’t contend for another top 5 finish here this weekend.
0.5u on Chase Elliott Top 3 Finish (+175) – In Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400, I have no doubt that Chase Elliott’s #9 Chevrolet will be fast enough to contend for the win. However, I do have concern about Chase’s restarting ability, because unless he somehow worked on that in the offseason, it’s a serious downfall at a track where getting a good start is key. The good news for Elliott fans is that he’s really good late in a run here at Homestead–he actually has the best speed of all drivers late in a run at this track–and a big reason for that is because he’s very good at managing his tires. Chase finished 2nd here at Homestead last season.