NASCAR Auto Club 400 Betting Picks: 2 Driver Matchups Offering Strong Value at Fontana

NASCAR Auto Club 400 Betting Picks: 2 Driver Matchups Offering Strong Value at Fontana article feature image
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Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Coatings Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway

  • Looking for matchup plays for Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Fontana? PJ Walsh has two that he thinks offer strong value ahead of the afternoon race.
  • Walsh identifies the matchups between Chris Buescher and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as well as Tyler Reddick and Ross Chastain as his favorite plays, but who should you prefer?
  • See Walsh's full betting analysis below.

With practice and qualifying now in the books, sportsbooks have reopened odds for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 in Fontana, Calif.

Practice is important at tracks like Auto Club Speedway for bettors, as the worn out surface and extreme tire wear makes speeds — especially on long runs — a solid indicator of how cars will perform on raceday.

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After looking at historical performance at Auto Club and similar tracks, as well as this weekend’s on-track activity, here are three driver matchups I’m betting for Sunday’s race.

NASCAR Auto Club 400 Betting Picks

Chris Buescher (-125) over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

While both drivers qualified next two each other — Stenhouse will start 10th and Buescher 11th — their cars were anything but similar in practice.

Buescher posted the 12th-fastest five-lap and the 11th-fastest 10-lap average in final practice while Stenhouse ranked just 21st and 22nd, respectively.

With Buescher appearing to have a significantly better car in race trim, that’s the side of this matchup I’m taking.

Tyler Reddick (-106) over Ross Chastain

Apparently the market is penalizing Reddick for being a rookie, because every other stat favors him against Chastain.

Reddick will start eight spots better and was considerably faster in practice, running the eight-fastest 10-lap average compared to Chastain’s 26th.

I understand the trepidation of backing a rookie, but Reddick is the two-time defending XFINITY Series champion and should be favored in this matchup.

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