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NASCAR Odds for Kansas: 2 Best Bet Picks for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400

NASCAR Odds for Kansas: 2 Best Bet Picks for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 article feature image
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Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliot signs autographs

Well, not many of us, except for the Action Network’s Nick Giffen, saw that coming.

Erik Jones, a non-playoff driver, won the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last weekend at Darlington. Meanwhile, a handful of championship contenders found trouble.

NASCAR now heads to Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET, USA), the second race of the Cup Series’ postseason.

Teams will run a new tire combination in Sunday’s race — one that wasn’t used when NASCAR visited Kansas back in May — so we opted to wait until Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions finished to ensure we had as much data as possible. 

So, with those now in the books, here are our two favorite bets for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas.

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NASCAR Picks for Kansas

*Odds as of Sunday morning

PJ Walsh: Chase Elliott (+200) for a Top-5 Finish

In his past 10 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas, Elliott has one win and seven top-six finishes. His worst result over that span is a 29th-place finish at this track back in May.

On the periphery, that seems bad considering it was the only race held at this track in the Next Gen car. However, that finish is a bit deceiving.

After starting 14th, Elliott drove to a third-place finish in Stage 1, then backed that up with a fifth-place finish in Stage 2.

Unfortunately for the driver of the No. 9 Chevy, Elliott blew a left rear tire while running in sixth place with 71 laps to go, confirming that this car was much faster than his 29th-place result.

In addition, I checked in with Giffen, who mentioned that his NASCAR at Kansas betting model gives Elliott a 43.7% chance to score a top-five finish, easily beating the 33.3% probability that 2-1 odds at DraftKings imply.

Nick Giffen: Chris Buescher (+2500) for Top Ford

Neither of the Roush Fenway Keselowski (RFK) cars made the playoffs and it’s highly likely they are experimenting during these playoff races.

It appears the experiment has paid off.

Buescher was the fastest Ford driver over five consecutive laps in practice. Over 10 and 15 laps, Buescher was less than 1/10 of a second slower than Blaney for top Ford honors in those metrics.

Earlier this year at Kansas, Buescher was fast in practice again, placing sixth overall in five-lap average. However, he didn’t make a qualifying lap and was relegated to a 35th-place starting position.

In the race, Buescher showed speed moving through the field. Unfortunately, he got into the wall just past the halfway mark, which caused his speed to plummet.

Those looking at his 26th-place green flag speed will be misled.

Instead, my FLAGS metric positions him as the 18th fastest, despite his lack of track position throughout the race. It’s likely he had an even faster car than that.

We’re looking at a repeat scenario and by removing the fast Toyota and Chevy drivers it helps narrow the drivers Buescher needs to beat.

DraftKings is giving us Buescher at 25-1 to finish as the top Ford driver.

My model pegs him at 6.8% to do so, well above his 3.8% implied odds.

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