NASCAR at Texas Odds, Pick: An Early Matchup Bet for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500

NASCAR at Texas Odds, Pick: An Early Matchup Bet for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 article feature image

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron

  • The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits Texas Motor Speedway for the 2019 AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
  • Learn about one driver matchup offering betting value for Sunday's race.

After securing his seventh win of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season at Martinsville, Martin Truex Jr. locked himself into the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.

Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are currently above the playoff cut line heading into Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, with Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott on the outside looking in.

While most of the focus this weekend will be on playoff drivers, I like a driver matchup at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook between two drivers already eliminated from NASCAR’s postseason.

William Byron (-110) over Kurt Busch

Head-to-head driver matchups are graded solely on which driver finishes ahead of the other. So we’re not necessarily looking for race winners, but situations in which one driver will outperform the other.

To do this, I looked at stats from the two most recent races run at 1.5-mile racetracks: Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 15 and Kansas Speedway two races ago.

While the MENCS does run at plenty of similar racetracks, the last event at a 1.5-miler prior to Las Vegas was back on July 13, and so much changes in this sport over the course of the season that I chose to instead focus on more recent races that better reflect the equipment and setups teams will bring to Texas.

Here’s how Byron and Busch shake out over those two races in a few key statistical categories:

And even though the MENCS last visited Texas back in March, it’s still worth taking a look at how drivers performed there in order to confirm what we’ve seen in recent races at 1.5-mile tracks.

Here’s how Byron and Busch performed at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas on March 31.

These two drivers were closer together last go-round at Texas, but Byron still held the edge. In fact, only one driver (Kyle Busch) had a better average running position than Byron, while Kurt Busch’s 13.0 ranked just 14th in the field.

Byron has a big edge over Busch at recent 1.5-mile races, and was still faster at Texas in March, yet current odds have at -110 on both sides.

If you’re looking for an early value play, Byron should get a look in this driver matchup.

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