NASCAR Odds & Picks for Las Vegas: The 12-1 Driver to Back on Sunday

NASCAR Odds & Picks for Las Vegas: The 12-1 Driver to Back on Sunday article feature image

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch

NASCAR is back in Sin City for the second race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS).

Sunday's South Point 400 (2:30 p.m. ET) marks the opening race of the third round of the playoffs. Teams that have playoff drivers will certainly put their focus on those drivers.

However, I'm looking to back a non-playoff driver on one of those teams. Let me explain why.

NASCAR Pick for Las Vegas

*Odds as of Thursday afternoon

Kyle Busch had arguably the best car at the first Las Vegas race this year. He was leading until the caution came out with two laps to go.

Alex Bowman was able to steal the win by using pit strategy to restart on the front row.

That was a tough defeat for Busch, who lost out on a win in his hometown of Las Vegas.

Busch has chance at redemption on Sunday.

The Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI Racing have been the best at 1.5-mile tracks all year. Through it all, Busch has had some incredibly bad luck.

In addition to the near-win at Vegas, Busch also:

  • Finished 3rd at Kansas
  • Finished 2nd at Charlotte despite a spin early in the race that damaged his car
  • Led the All-Star race at Texas before a tire blew
  • Ran inside the top 10 at the second Kansas race before another tire issue
  • Finished dead last at Texas after — you guessed it — another tire problem

If I created NASCAR Luck Rankings — like I do for the NFL — Busch would likely lead the list as the most unlucky driver this year at 1.5-mile tracks.

Busch is inside the top five of my FLAGS metric, which only looks at healthy car green flag laps at relevant tracks.

He should be a contender for the win on Sunday.

My model gives Busch a 7.5% chance to win, which is below the 7.7% implied odds. However, I do believe it's undervaluing Busch because of the bad luck he's had.

I haven't bet this myself, but certainly would understand if you do. He's the only driver inside the top 14 that my model shows within a half percentage point of value.

The Bet: Kyle Busch +1200 | Bet to: +1200

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