NASCAR Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Matchup Odds, Picks: Is Paul Menard Worth a Bet?
Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aric Almirola
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is set for one of its shortest races of the year with the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) at 3 p.m. ET. The outright bets for today’s race are pretty tough to call, but there is plenty of head-to-head value.
The key statistical predictors for races at NHMS are are:
- Long-run practice speed
- Starting position
- Year-to-date performance
- Flat track history
- NHMS history
Here are two head-to-head props I like for the race. As more lines come out Sunday morning, I’ll update this article with other prop bets to take advantage of.
All odds as of 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturday.
Paul Menard -135 over Chris Buescher
Menard has won all five head-to-head matchups against Buescher at NHMS since Buescher joined the big leagues full time in 2016. If we throw out Buescher’s rookie year at the underfunded Front Row Motorsports, and just look at his time with his current team, JTG Daugherty Racing, we see he has an average finish of 22.0, while Menard has an average finish of 19.7.
Meanwhile, looking at flat track performance, Menard’s average finish at the three short, flat tracks in 2019 is 14.0 while Buescher’s is 19.7. More importantly, Menard is crushing Buescher in the more predictive measure — average green flag speed — at these races.
- ISM Raceway: Menard 16th vs. Buescher 25th
- Martinsville: Menard 17th vs. Buescher 24th
- Richmond: Menard 11th vs. Buescher 21st
Finally, Menard seems much stronger than Buescher in practice. The favored Menard outpaced Buescher over one, five, 10, and 15 consecutive laps in practice, with the gap widening as the number of laps increased.
I like Menard all the way to -150 over Buescher.
Aric Almirola +135 over Clint Bowyer
This matchup looks like a complete toss-up where the line should be set closer to -110 for each driver. That makes Almirola a solid value over his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Bowyer.
Almirola owns the superior starting position (9 vs. 16) and a small edge in driver rating at NHMS (69.8 vs. 69.6) over Bowyer for each driver’s last eight races at the track. On the flip side, Bowyer owns the superior average green flag speed rank at the short, flat tracks (6.0 to 8.7) and a small edge over Almirola in year-to-date driver rating (85.8 to 85.0).
Practice looks like a wash between the two as well, with Almirola clocking a five lap speed nearly 0.6 mph faster than Bowyer, while Bowyer owned the 10-lap advantage by 0.18 mph. However, Bowyer did not make a 15-lap run in final practice, while Almirola did, which may give a small hint that Almirola was happier with his car than Bowyer.
Either way, we’re splitting hairs here. My statistical model puts this as a virtual tie in median finish. I’d bet Almriola down to +110 to keep an edge over what appears to be an even money bet.