It’s doubleheader weekend at Pocono so that means there are two races to bet on and likely two drivers that will get hit with the dreaded #JordanJinx. There was a stretch there where the jinx wasn’t too damning, but over the last two weeks it’s hit drivers hard, including Martin Truex, Jr. at Nashville last week. For Saturday’s race at Pocono, Kyle Larson is on the pole and is also the heavy favorite (once again) to win the race according to Vegas odds. A lot can happen at Pocono, though, with all of the strategies playing out, so we’ll have to see what that #5 team plans to do on race day.
Pocono Saturday Race Day Betting Card
Denny Hamlin to Win (+800) – It just feels right this weekend. With the launch of the brand new Stacking Dennys podcast, plus the fact that Pocono is one of Hamlin’s best tracks, getting him at 8-to-1 odds is a very solid value–especially when my algorithm predicts the #11 Toyota will be in victory lane on Sunday. This weekend, especially Saturday’s race, will be a very good test of whether something really is wrong with Joe Gibbs Racing right now, as they have been incredible over the recent years at Pocono raceway. Hamlin has finished 1st, 2nd, and 1st in the last three races here, and although he still has zero wins in 2021, you have to think he has a good chance to break the drought this weekend–if he can overcome the #JordanJinx.
Parlay of the Weekend
William Byron Top 5 Finish at Pocono Saturday PLUS Martin Truex, Jr. To Finish Top 4 in Championship (+532) – I’ve already hammered Martin Truex, Jr. for the championship win, as well as solo bets for him to finish in the top 4, so why not do a little parlay this weekend? Byron is +130 for a top 5 finish on Saturday and Truex is +175 to make the Phoenix race in the Playoffs. Byron has been good here at Pocono already–four top 10s in the last five races, and a worst finish of 14th–and now he’s running better than he ever has. He also starts 2nd on Saturday at a track where track position is important, and having track position gives you plenty of flexibility to make different strategy moves.
Rest of the Card
William Byron Top 5 Finish (+130) – See notes above. If I’m betting it in a parlay, I’m also betting it by itself.
Ross Chastain Top 10 Finish (+225) – Another shameless plug for the Stacking Dennys podcast here. RotoDoc and I talked extensively about Ross Chastain and his underdog ability this weekend at Pocono, with it not only being a great track for him in his racing career, but also the fact that this #42 team is really clicking off good finishes right now. Additionally, Matt Kenseth finished 11th and 12th here at Pocono in this same car last season, and even came home 2nd at Indianapolis, which is (well, now “was”) the most similar track to “The Tricky Triangle” on the schedule.
Christopher Bell Top 3 Finish (+1100) – Just a #SaltBae sprinkle here with this bet, nothing major. Joe Gibbs Racing has been so good here at Pocono recently, that it’s hard to not like Christopher Bell this weekend. Even Erik Jones was able to be a consistent top 5 contender here at Pocono in this #20 Toyota, and wound up inside the top 3 in three of the last four races at this track (with the exception being the first race last year, which he wrecked out of). As far as Bell goes, he finished 4th in the first race here last season while with Leavine Family Racing, and also came home 12th at Indianapolis last July (despite starting 36th and 35th in those races, respectively). He’ll start 9th here at Pocono on Sunday.
Joey Logano over Brad Keselowski (+100) – Just kind of trusting my algorithm here for an even-money bet on an underdog in this H2H matchup. The algorithm has Logano predicted to finish 6th and Keselowski predicted to finish 10th on Saturday, and even though Kez has a better recent track record than Joey here at Pocono, it seems as though the #2 Ford is struggling more than the other Fords in the Penske camp right now. Is that because BK is on his way out the door and they’re giving him junk equipment? Maybe. RotoDoc and I talked about that on this week’s episode of Stacking Dennys. Keselowski has finishes of 11th, 9th, and 8th here at Pocono lately while Logano has ended up 24th, 36th, and 13th. However, the #22 Ford has finished inside the top 3 in five of the last eight Stages here, and has better track position to start the race on Saturday as well (4th compared to 18th).