NASCAR at Las Vegas Odds, Picks & Predictions: The 22-1 Driver To Bet for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro, leads a pack of cars
- Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will start at 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX).
- According to the latest NASCAR odds, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are the co-favorites at +600 to win today's race at Las Vegas.
- Using tire combination data from similar race tracks, PJ Walsh details a 22-1 driver worth betting for Pennzoil 400.
Boy, did I whiff last weekend at Homestead.
I was a little nervous that a lack of good data was going to make the race a difficult one to handicap, and as it turns out, I was correct.
Here is what I wrote ahead of the Dixie Vodka 400:
“This is the first race of the season at an intermediate track and NASCAR Cup Series teams work hard in the offseason on these programs, so while last year’s results do matter — it is all we have to analyze — it’s still a bit of a guessing game regarding which teams will bring the fastest cars to the track this afternoon.
As a result, I’m taking a conservative approach to betting today’s race, especially with futures.”
Of course, this didn’t mean I held off completely, but instead risked less than normal and gravitated largely toward the mid-tier drivers as opposed to getting heavy on a favorite or two.
While Tyler Reddick finished second (#TheBrand) and Kyle Larson crossed the finish line in fourth, none of the four drivers I bet ever truly showed race-winning speed, except for maybe Reddick in the closing laps.
Bottom line: I don’t feel great about my bets for last week even though two did finish in the top four.
What does this mean? Well, I’m even less confident this week than last.
While Homestead-Miami Speedway (the site of last week’s race) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (the site of this week’s race) are both 1.5-mile tracks, they’re extremely different.
In fact, they’re so different that we can’t take all that much from Homestead to lean on at Vegas.
As a result, I’m going to take another conservative betting approach at 1.5-milers until we start banking more data at intermediate tracks.
For the record, I started by taking Chase Elliott at 11-1 on Thursday, so the bet below is with the No. 9 Chevy already locked onto my card.
NASCAR at Las Vegas Pick
*Odds as of Sunday at 7 a.m. ET
Alex Bowman (22-1) To Win
The Hendrick teams were really fast at Homestead, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean I blindly want to bet them, their speed at Las Vegas and similar racetracks last fall does indicate they could challenge for the win again.
The NASCAR Cup Series cars will run the same tire combination that was used at Las Vegas, Kansas and Texas last fall, which is noteworthy because all three of those tracks are also 1.5 miles in length.
Over those three races, Alex Bowman finished in the top five in each one while posting the third-best driver rating and running the fourth-most fast laps.
Again, the lack of data at our disposal means this bet could flame out spectacularly, but based on Bowman’s results at Las Vegas and on this tire combination at similar tracks toward the end of last season, I believe there’s enough value in his 22-1 price tag.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@PJWalsh24) for any additional bets I make for today’s Pennzoil 400.
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