NASCAR at Richmond Odds & Betting Picks: Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 Driver Matchup Prediction

NASCAR at Richmond Odds & Betting Picks: Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 Driver Matchup Prediction article feature image

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford

  • NASCAR's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway goes green at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 3, 2022.
  • According to live NASCAR odds, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott are among the favorites at Richmond.
  • Below we detail a NASCAR at Richmond driver matchup bet offering value for Sunday's Toyota Owners 400.

Practice and qualifying for Sunday’s NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Richmond was incredibly helpful for bettors.

Richmond Raceway, a 0.75-mile short, flat track, is one of the most predictable venues on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule.

Even with the Next Gen car providing a degree of uncertainty, bettors should feel relatively confident after seeing Saturday's XFINITY Series race. The ToyotaCare 250 had only three cautions — two were for the stage breaks, and one was for debris.

This extended green flag racing means that we can feel more confident that projected speed will more closely align with actual finishing position.

That gives me quite a bit of confidence with my favorite bet of the week.

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NASCAR Picks & Predictions for Richmond

*Odds as of Sunday morning 

This matchup struck my eye immediately after I ran my post-qualifying model.

Despite Bowman's win at Richmond last year, my model heavily favors Harvick in this matchup.

Bowman's win was in large part a product of a late restart, which is rare for Richmond.

In addition, Stewart-Haas Racing was struggling, while Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) was in the midst of a hot streak.

The gap has closed quite a bit between the two teams, and individual data points for Harvick and Bowman also suggest that Harvick should be heavily favored here.

Harvick has finished ahead of Bowman six times in seven Richmond matchups since Bowman joined HMS.

Additionally, Harvick has been the stronger car this weekend.

Harvick was fifth over 10 consecutive laps, while Bowman was 13th.

Harvick also made a 30-lap run, while Bowman didn't even achieve 15 consecutive laps. This discrepancy typically suggests that Harvick was happier with his car than Bowman.

In qualifying, Harvick put his car into the second round, starting seventh. Meanwhile, Bowman will start in 28th place.

Harvick's advantage extends beyond Richmond as well.

At Phoenix Raceway — the other short, flat track that NASCAR raced at earlier this year — Harvick had the third-fastest average green flag speed. Bowman, on the other hand, was only 11th in speed.

My model gives Harvick a 69% to win this matchup against Bowman.

Even if my model is a bit generous to Harvick, it far outpaces the 52.8% implied odds that Harvick will win according to FanDuel's odds.

Other books have Harvick as an even larger favorite, but I still don't think they are rating Harvick highly enough.

I've triple checked every data point here, and I just can't see Bowman running better than Harvick without a problem for Harvick, or multiple late restarts.

I'd feel comfortable betting Harvick to -175 in this matchup.

The bet: Kevin Harvick (-112) over Alex Bowman at FanDuel

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