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NASCAR Pennzoil 400 Matchup & Prop Betting Picks: Value on Several Las Vegas Bets

NASCAR Pennzoil 400 Matchup & Prop Betting Picks: Value on Several Las Vegas Bets article feature image

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Bowman, driver of the #88 Llumar Chevrolet

  • Nick Giffen details his favorite matchup and prop bets for this weekend's Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas.
  • See Giffen's full betting analysis below.

Fresh off of last weekend’s Daytona 500, today’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has plenty of prop bets available across the industry to continue the excitement. Hopefully today’s race will be just as exciting, but not feature any scary incidents like we saw in the final few hundred yards at Daytona.

Because qualifying was rained out, the field will start according to the 2019 owners points standings, meaning Kyle Busch will start on pole. All we really have to go by is track history, track type history and practice, so we’ll use these stats to find the top prop bets and matchups for today’s race.

NASCAR Pennzoil 400 Las Vegas Betting Picks

Brad Keselowski +120 over Joey Logano

MGM is generously offering Keselowski as a significant dog against his teammate Logano. They have been Penske teammates since Keselowski joined the team in 2010. So let’s compare each driver’s Vegas stats since the start of the current car design in 2013:

  • 2019 average finish: Keselowski 2.5, Logano 5.0
  • Head-to-head wins in 2019: Keselowski 1, Logano 1
  • Worst finish since 2013: Keselowski 7, Logano 12
  • Average finish since 2013: Keselowski 3.2, Logano 5.9
  • Wins since 2013: Keselowski 3, Logano 1
  • Head-to-head wins since 2013: Keselowski 7, Logano 2

I should note, both drivers were incident free in all nine races in the sample size since 2013, and per my modeling, an eight-race sample size is large enough at one track. In other words, Keselowski has dominated his teammate over a large enough and relevant sample size. He shouldn’t be an underdog.

As an added bonus, Keselowski was faster over 10 and 15 consecutive laps in final practice. Take advantage of this offering if you are in Vegas, but anywhere you can  find Keselowski priced as an underdog, pull the trigger.

Aric Almirola +115 over Erik Jones

Similar to the matchup above, MGM is offering a nice price on Almirola. He owns an 80% win rate over Jones in head-to-head matchups at Las Vegas. At this track type and aerodynamic combination, Almirola has an 11.7 average finish compared to Jones’ 13.7 average finish. However, Jones did win the head-to-head by a five-to-four margin last year.

That said, practice matters as well. Let’s compare their practice ranks:

  • Practice 1, Single: Almirola 1, Jones 20
  • Practice 1, Overall: Almirola 2, Jones 14
  • Practice 1, 5 lap: Almirola 3, Jones 15
  • Practice 2, Single: Almirola 3, Jones 27
  • Practice 2, Overall: Almirola 1, Jones 17
  • Practice 2, 5 lap: Almirola 2, Jones 24
  • Practice 2, 10 lap: Almirola 10, Jones 25
  • Practice 2, 15 lap: Almirola 6, Jones 18

With practice and Las Vegas favoring Almirola, that’s more than enough to overcome a five-to-four disadvantage at all 1.5-mile high drag tracks from last year.

Alex Bowman Top-3 Finish (+900)

Here are two very basic facts about Bowman’s top-three finish rate in 2019:

  • All races: 1 in 6
  • 1.5-mile high drag tracks: 1 in 4.5

Of course, both of these are relatively small sample sizes, but they shouldn’t be ignored completely. FanDuel is offering Bowman at 9-1 odds, and we haven’t even talked about Bowman’s practice times. Here are his ranks in final practice:

  • Overall: 2nd (of 38)
  • 5 lap: 7th (of 35)
  • 10 lap: 4th (of 30)
  • 15 lap: 2nd (of 26)
  • 20 lap: 1st (of 14)

At worst, these times put him at around an eighth-place car. In all likelihood, he has a car better than that. Now, that doesn’t make him a favorite to finish in the top three, but certainly not a huge longshot. My model gives him around a 17% chance to place in the top three. To account for uncertainty in the model, I’d bet him down to +600 to keep an edge.

[Bet now at FanDuel. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

Winning Manufacturer: Chevy +275

  • Ford +120
  • Toyota +170
  • Chevrolet +275

It’s not often I bet on the Chevys to win, but they have several things going for them this weekend. First, they are listed as the longest shot among the three manufacturers at DraftKings, and longshots are great in the face of uncertainty. There’s plenty of uncertainty to go around.

How have teams and manufacturers improved or changed in the offseason? Will the young Chevy drivers continue to improve?

Second, the Toyotas looked slow in practice, and they form a small contingent of only seven drivers, with only five who realistically have any shot at winning.

Third, the Chevys looked excellent in practice. In my DFS piece, I wrote about the small drop in times for several of the Chevy drivers over the long run. That should bode well for them in a race that normally features a lot of green flag activity.

I believe the Fords should be favored, but I’d price Chevy at +225.

[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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