After an exciting race at Auto Club Speedway last week, we shift our focus to the bright lights of Las Vegas where everyone wants to be a winner! This will be the first 1.5-mile (cookie cutter) track of the NextGen car’s era. Does anyone know what to expect from these cars, tires, pit crews and tracks yet? Probably not! And that’s what is making this kind of racing so exciting!
The Toyota teams were less than impressive last week, while the Chevys appeared to be the class of the field. Reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson ended up in victory lane but didn’t appear to be the best car on the day. Last year’s winners here at Las Vegas were Kyle Larson in the spring and Denny Hamlin in the fall playoff race.
Cody’s Betting Card for Las Vegas Motor Speedway
#JordanJinx: Kyle Larson to Win (+550)
The #JordanJinx was in full effect on my guy Ryan Blaney last week. Jordan’s first bet of the weekend was Blaney (+1400) and Blaney appeared to have a very fast car, mixing it up with the leaders, but pit stop after pit stop Blaney kept falling behind, and after a caution in the waning laps he fell to a lackluster 18th-place on the final lap. This week the series defending Champion and defending race winner was too juicy at +550 and the jinx landed on Larson. So proceed with caution!
Cody’s Best Bet: Daniel Hemric over Greg Biffle (-170)
Courtesy of Ceasars Sportsbook, this matchup is puzzling to me. While neither of these drivers are running full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series this season, Daniel Hemric scored a 9th-place finish in last week’s Wise Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Hemric is racing for the established Kaulig Racing team in a car that is competing full-time between Hemric, Noah Gragson, and AJ Almendinger, and also fielding the full-time #31 ride for Justin Haley. Greg Biffle is a 52-year-old former full-time competitor and 19-time Cup Series winner. He’s a champion in the lower two NASCAR series, however, Biffle is racing part-time for the NY Racing team, a team that has only competed in 18 Cup series events over 10 years. While Biffle carries an elite name, this matchup seems very lopsided from a competitive standpoint and that makes this my best bet of the weekend.
Rest Of Cody’s Card
Ryan Blaney to Win (+1100)
This bet seems like incredible value. Ryan Blaney has started the season showing us he’s got a fast car and solid team. Despite an 18th-place finish last week at Auto Club Speedway, Blaney had a much better car than that. The team struggled on pit stops (reportedly due to a setup issue causing trouble with changing the rear tires) but Paul Wolfe is an experienced Championship winning crew chief and should be able to resolve that issue so it doesn’t repeat itself. Blaney has two straight 5th place finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Penske always brings cars that compete, scoring wins here in 3 of the last 4 seasons.
Fun One: Alex Bowman Best Finish Group C
Barstool Sportsbook has Group C consisting of Martin Truex, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, and Alex Bowman. As mentioned above, the Toyotas struggled last week. Truex finished 13th but wasn’t up front throughout the race. I’ve talked extensively about fading Kevin Harvick on the NASCAR Gambling Podcast (Click here to listen) and while Erik Jones looked strong at Auto Club in that iconic Richard Petty #43, we’re going to need to see more before we buy in to him too much. That leaves Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driver Alex Bowman at + odds. Take him to be the best finisher for Group C.
William Byron over Martin Truex, Jr. (-120)
The case has already been made against Toyota and Martin Truex, Jr. and William Byron had arguably the best car or a top 3 car for sure last week. Unfortunately, when Tyler Reddick blew a tire, Byron was unable to avoid him, ending his day. Byron has shown to be fast, though, and has done very well at higher tire wear tracks, winning last year at Homestead among some other strong performances. Ride with the Hendrick cars again this week here