NASCAR Props Challenge Picks for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: A general view of a restart during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- NASCAR's Props Challenge game asks fans to answer 10 prop-betting questions each week, with weekly winners eligible for prizes.
- PJ Walsh offers his Props Challenge picks and analysis for Sunday's South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
After a 26-race regular season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) playoffs get underway this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
While 16 drivers are now eligible to run for the hardware, seven-time MENCS champion Jimmie Johnson finds himself on the outside looking in for the first time in his career.
To make this week’s NASCAR Props Challenge picks, I’ll rely heavily on betting odds to project expected driver performance, as well as race trends from the March MENCS race at Las Vegas.
1. Which playoff driver earns the higher finish: Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney?
Larson is currently 12-1 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas to win Sunday’s race, while Blaney is 20-1. Let’s lean on Vegas here and take Kyle.
2. Kyle Busch has four top fives in his last seven starts at his home track. Does he earn another top five on Sunday?
Busch is currently the favorite to win with +450 odds, but expecting a top-five finish in a field with so many fast racecars is too rich for my blood.
3. Which team will have the highest finishing driver: Joe Gibbs Racing or Team Penske?
This is really close, but with Busch the favorite and all four Joe Gibbs cars listed with odds of 12 or better, I have to go JGR.
Pick: Joe Gibbs Racing
4. Ford drivers have won the last three Las Vegas races. Does that streak continue: Yes or No?
While Ford drivers Brad Keselowski (5-1), Kevin Harvick (6-1) and Joey Logano (6-1) are among the favorite to win this race, they’re the only Fords listed among Westgate’s top 10 in terms of betting odds.
5. O/U 1.5 non-playoff drivers finish in the top 10?
Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson are the two non-playoff drivers who should reasonably contend for top 10s. While I believe one can find his way there, I don’t expect to see both running in the top 10 when the checkered flag waves.
6. Only six active drivers have won at Las Vegas. Will we see a first-time winner on Sunday night?
Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson are the six active drivers who have already won in Vegas.
Other than Johnson (40-1), the other five have odds of 8-1 or better to win on Sunday.
7. O/U 16.5 lead changes?
The MENCS race at Vegas in March, which was run with the new aero package, finished with 19 lead changes. The sample is small, but it’s frankly all we have with this package.
8. Which Joe Gibbs Racing driver will finish higher: Denny Hamlin or Martin Truex Jr.?
Both drivers are listed at 8-1 to win the race, so this is incredibly close. Truex had the slightly better performance at this racetrack in March, so I’ll give him the slightest of leans.
9. The race winner will have O/U 7.5 pit stops?
Logano won with only five pit stops back in March, including two stops taking just two tires.
10. O/U 20.5 lead-lap finishers?
Eighteen drivers finished on the lead lap at Las Vegas earlier this season, so just like question No. 7, the sample is minuscule, but we don’t have much of a choice but to lean on those results.