NASCAR at Phoenix Picks: 2 Driver Matchups for Today’s Bluegreen Vacations 500

NASCAR at Phoenix Picks: 2 Driver Matchups for Today’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 article feature image
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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: A general view on a restart during the Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway.

  • NASCAR's Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway will go green today at 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC).
  • Learn about the best driver matchup bets for today's race at Phoenix.

Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin (+175), Kyle Busch (+250) and Martin Truex Jr. (+600) are the favorites to win today’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway.

If you’re not interested in getting involved in futures bets for a race so top-heavy with favorites, driver matchups are another way to find value and don’t require bettors to take one of those heavy favorites, or even try to beat them.

After analyzing practice and qualifying this weekend at Phoenix, here are two driver matchups I’m betting for the Bluegreen Vacations 500.

All odds as of Sunday at 8 a.m. ET and via the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

NASCAR at Phoenix Driver Matchup Best Bets

Clint Bowyer (-125) over Aric Almirola

In a matchup of two Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, Bowyer has clearly had the better car all weekend. Despite a slightly worse starting position — Almirola qualified 11th compared to Bowyer’s 13th — Clint was consistently the faster driver in race trim.

Bowyer’s 10-lap average in final practice was more than a tenth of a second faster than Almirola’s. In fact, Aric didn’t make any practice runs long enough to qualify for the longer lap averages, suggesting his team never quite got the balance right and opted to work on it instead of logging laps on the racetrack.

I’d bet this to -130.

Austin Dillon (-125) over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

This matchup is basically a carbon copy of the one above. Stenhouse has the slightly better starting spot — 24th vs. 28th — but Dillon was the faster car in race trim.

Austin’s five-lap average was .231 seconds better than Ricky’s and the No. 17 team never made any runs longer in practice, which could mean that Stenhouse was never happy with the handling of his car, just like Almirola.

And just like the matchup of SHR teammates, I’d bet this -130.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for any bets I add from now until the start of today’s race.