NASCAR FanShield 500 Best Bets: The 2 Favorites & 1 Underdog to Bet at Phoenix on Sunday


Photo by Lyle Setter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick

Mar 08, 2020, 01:43 PM EDT
  • Nick Giffen details his favorite picks for the FanShield 500 at Phoenix, including two favorites and one underdog.
  • Because of changes in NASCAR's aerodynamic packages, evaluating the 2016-18 races is more valuable than the 2019 competition.
  • See the full betting breakdown below.

Today’s FanShield 500 is the first race at a short, flat track in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Ordinarily, that means we’d look back to the previous year to see how drivers performed, but with NASCAR reverting back to a lower downforce aerodynamic package at these tracks, racing and driver ability should match the 2016-2018 seasons better than 2019.

What does it take to win at Phoenix under these conditions? Five of the six Phoenix winners from 2016-2018 displayed these characteristics:

  • A driver rating over the last eight short, flat tracks above 95
  • A driver rating over the last 15 races overall above 99
  • A top-14 speed over 10 consecutive laps in final practice

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The lone exception is Ryan Newman, who won the 2017 spring race by staying out under a late race caution and holding off drivers who took two or four tires. In other words, if we’re going to bet on a longshot, it has to be somebody who can still hang out on the lead lap, and win with strategy.

So which drivers offer the most value for today’s race?

NASCAR Fanshield 500 at Phoenix Best Bet Picks

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