NASCAR Odds & Picks for Las Vegas: How to Bet Daniel Suarez vs. Kevin Harvick
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez
The last 1.5-mile race of the year takes place today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the South Point 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eight drivers remain in the playoffs, but that's not stopping the other teams and drivers from pushing as hard as possible.
I am showing solid value on one matchup between two of those eliminated drivers.
Let's take a look.
NASCAR Pick for Las Vegas
*Odds as of Sunday morning
Daniel Suarez and Kevin Harvick are both eliminated from the playoffs.
Harvick didn't make it past the first round. Suarez missed the cut via a heartbreaker last week in the Round 2 finale.
These two square off in a head-to-head on FanDuel, with Suarez receiving a +102 price in this matchup.
However, my model favors Suarez for a number of reasons.
First, Suarez has been far more dominant at these tracks, leading 5.2% of the laps he's run at standard 1.5-mile tracks, plus the 2-mile track at Michigan. Harvick lags behind at 3.1% in the stat.
Turning to fastest laps, Suarez leads 5.2% to 1.4%.
Next, Suarez has also had worse luck. He's had problems in every race in this sample, except the Kansas playoff race and at Texas. Harvick, meanwhile, has only had two issues.
If we adjust for this using my FLAGS metric, Suarez actually stands well above Harvick, ranking eighth to Harvick's 14th.
Finally, Suarez was clearly superior in practice.
If people just look at the 10-lap average, they'll think Harvick was faster, but that's misleading.
Suarez initially ran a nine-lap run, then made a 16-lap run on the same set of worn tires to total 25 laps in Group A. That means Suarez's 10-lap time actually came on those tires' 10th through 19th laps, instead of laps one to 10.
Harvick, on the other hand, was in Group B and made one continuous 19-lap run. Therefore, his tires were nine laps fresher than Suarez's for his 10-lap time. Vegas is starting to produce tire wear and lap time falloff, so that's an important difference.
The track also quickened up every session all the way through qualifying, so Harvick was running during better conditions.
Suarez is the favorite in this matchup by my model. That means getting plus-money is nice value.
Bet him down to -105.
The Bet: Daniel Suarez +102 | Bet to: -105