NASCAR Cup Series: Top Values for Saturday Night’s KC Masterpiece 400


Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend the NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway for its second Saturday night race of the season.

Kansas is a typical 1.5-mile oval, where long-run speed, year-to-date performance, starting position and 1.5-mile quality pass percentage are the main factors in my machine learning model. I’ll also use the RotoViz Driver Sim Scores to gauge race-winning upside.


As always, make sure you shop around for the best lines.

Kevin Harvick: +250 (Parlay)

Harvick (pictured) is racing better than anyone right now, and every statistic points to his domination this weekend. For starters, Harvick’s average finish at 1.5-mile tracks is 1.3 in 2018, and he’s won four of the nine non-restrictor plate races this year. Harvick also had a car capable of dominating at the 2-mile track at Auto Club Speedway before getting involved in a crash with Kyle Larson. However, that was his only 1.5- to 2-mile oval start this year outside the top three.

This weekend he starts on the pole, so he won’t have to battle his way through the field. The RotoViz model easily gives him the highest average finish, and the Sim Scores show that seven of his 20 most comparable drivers won their races. Harvick is a great bet to parlay with your favorite prop bet to extend the odds to a more palatable price.

Kurt Busch: +2150

Busch flies under the radar at most races, and this one should be no exception. The elder Busch brother has the fourth-best average running position at 1.5- to 2-mile ovals this year to go along with the fourth-most laps led. Busch projects to have the fifth-best median finish and third-best ceiling per the Sim Scores and the fourth-highest finishing position per the RotoViz model, but he shares the eighth-shortest odds to win with teammates Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer. His in-race stats easily dwarf Almirola’s and Bowyer’s at the large ovals this year even though he had slower 10-lap practice times than Bowyer in three of four large oval races.

Joey Logano: +2250

Logano’s price is excellent compared to his performance this year at large ovals. Logano has finished seventh or better at all four large oval races in 2018 and is a two-time winner at Kansas. His practice times weren’t off the charts, but his seventh-place 10- and 15-lap times in the only practice session suggest that he has a shot at taking the lead at some point during the race. One of his 16 most comparable drivers went on to win, making him a good bet at his price.

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