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NASCAR at Auto Club Odds, Picks: The Featured Matchup to Bet for Sunday’s Wise Power 400

NASCAR at Auto Club Odds, Picks: The Featured Matchup to Bet for Sunday’s Wise Power 400 article feature image
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Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet

Sunday’s Wise Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway is a difficult one to handicap.

First off, this will be the first race for the Next Gen car on a high-speed oval, so there’s no real way to know what the racing will look like or which drivers will be fast until teams hit the track Saturday for practice and qualifying.

In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASCAR did not visit Auto Club Speedway in 2021, meaning Sunday’s Wise Power 400 will be the first race on this worn-out, 2-mile track in two years.

As a result, I’m taking a conservative approach and keeping my card very light until we see Saturday’s on-track action.

With this in mind, I don’t have much interest in three of this week’s featured NASCAR driver matchups, though one has caught my eye as a potential value-betting opportunity.

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NASCAR at Auto Club Betting Pick

*Odds as of Wednesday morning and via BetMGM

I don’t necessarily dislike William Byron this weekend, but I like his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman more and therefore believe the driver of the No. 48 Chevy should be favored in this matchup.

Byron has three career Cup Series starts at Auto Club and has finished 15th in all three of those races.

Bowman, on the other hand, was a slow starter at Auto Club as well, but it finally came together in the most recent Cup Series races at this track back in 2020.

In that race, Bowman led the most laps and ran the most fast laps en route to a dominant victory.

Again, I don’t believe that the gap between these drivers is huge, but Bowman should be a short favorite over Byron instead of the other way around, providing enough value to warrant a wager with the underdog.

The Bet: Alex Bowman (+100) to finish ahead of William Byron

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