It’s been an incredible start to the NASCAR Cup Series season so far. We’ve had three different winners over the first three races, and FOX may have used the tagline “the best season ever” one season too soon. The racing and unpredictability so far this season have been something we haven’t seen in some time.
Starting off the season with a 31/1 winner in Austin Cindric, the 4/1 favorite Kyle Larson won at Auto Club and then a 24/1 Alex Bowman (picked by Fantasy Racing Online’s Jordan McAbee) took the victory last weekend in Vegas. Betting-wise, it so far seems picking a more favored driver and then sprinkling in a long shot or two might be the best strategy for picking race winners.
Cody’s Betting Card for Phoenix Raceway
#JordanJinx: Christopher Bell to Win (+3000)
Was last week the almost breaking of the #JordanJinx for this season? Or the very definition of it? We’ll leave that up to you. Kyle Larson was there at the end beating and banging with Alex Bowman but was unable to snag the win from his teammate, coming up with a second place finish.
This week Christoper Bell was too juicy at 30/1 for Jordan to pass up. And for good reason: Bell has proven he can handle the short flat tracks, dominating them in the Xfinity series a few years ago. He also has two top-10 finishes at Phoenix last year and Joe Gibbs Racing showed us last week that the Toyotas might not be as far behind as we thought.
Cody’s Best Bet: Aric Almirola over Alex Bowman (-110)
Aric Almirola is the short flat track Mr. Consistency. He’s proven over the years this is one of his favorite styles of track, with a win last year at New Hampshire and a 6th place here at Phoenix in the fall. Almirola is the only driver to finish top-10 in every race this season, giving flashbacks to his nine straight top 10s in 2020.
Alex Bowman is an Arizona native and last week’s winner so that has him slightly inflated coming into this weekend. Almirola has won this head-to-head matchup at Phoenix Raceway eight. times in a row. Everyone remembers Bowman filling in for an injured Dale Earnhardt, Jr., starting from the pole, and having a dominating race in 2016, finishing in the 6th position and helping vault Bowman into that #88 ride upon Jr’s retirement. However, that is still his best finish here and he hasn’t seen a top-10 at this track since.
Rest Of Cody’s Card
Winner of Group 3 Christopher Bell (+285)
Heading over to WynnBet for this one, group 3 matches up Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, and Christopher Bell. Remember the #JordanJinx is on Bell, but like Jordan, I also like Bell a lot this week. I’ve made the case against Bowman already, and Brad Keselowski hasn’t impressed much this season so far, as he’s spun the car out in all three races. He is a seasoned veteran, but seems to be struggling with this new car and new team. Tyler Reddick is the one who scares me the most out of this group because of what we’ve seen from his so far this season, however, he hasn’t finished better than 19th in four career starts here at Phoenix in this Richard Childress Racing #8 Chevrolet. So even if Bell can’t win because of the Jinx, this group bet is a great place to jump on the Bell train!
To Win: Kyle Busch (+800)
Busch is no stranger to victory lane here at Phoenix Raceway with three career NASCAR Cup Series victories here for the two-time champion of the sport. In the last couple of races here, he didn’t perform as well but prior to that Rowdy had finishes in the top-3 in five. consecutive races. He appeared to be cruising to victory last week in a backup car after destroying his primary in practice, and trust me I was already counting that 20/1 ticket. But a late caution triggered by former teammate Erik Jones turned into a strategy game and, as Kyle says, allowed Bowman to “back into another win” and Busch had to settle for 4th. Give me a pissed off Kyle Busch in strong Gibbs equipment here at Phoenix.
Can’t Pass Up This One: Kevin Harvick Top-10 (-165)
This one is juiced up a little bit at -165, but you only pay juice if you lose. And if you made this bet the last 17 NASCAR Cup Series races here at Phoenix, you would have cashed it every single time. We talked about this extensively on the NASCAR Gambling Podcast, 17 straight top 10s at a single track has only been done twice before and both of those drivers made it to 18. 7-time champions Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr both accomplished this at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Expect Harvick to match these legends and score another top-10 this weekend. 20/1 to win is worth a sprinkle while you are at it.