NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 Betting Odds, Picks: Clint Bowyer Worth a Wager?

Jun 23, 2019 12:50 PM EDT
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Photo credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Martin Truex Jr.

  • The Toyota/Save Mart 350 gets underway at 3 p.m ET on Sunday (FS1).
  • Martin Truex Jr. is the betting favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (+350 odds), followed by Kyle Busch (+450).

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) heads to Sonoma Raceway for the first road course race of the 2019 season. In an added twist, this will be the first time since 1997 that the series races on the full 2.52-mile layout, which includes the “Carousel” section, instead of the 1.99 mile layout used the past two decades.

Sonoma is a very technical road course, much slower than its longtime counterpart on the Cup schedule, Watkins Glen.

An important note: Do not overvalue overall road course performance when betting this race. All of my top performing statistical models show that overall road course performance is not a significant predictive factor.

Instead, track history at Sonoma far outweighs performance across all the road courses (including the Charlotte Roval which was run for the first time in last year’s playoffs). Other top factors in my models include both short and long-run speed in practice, and year-to-date performance across all races.

One other major factor that is not predictive of finishing position or winning: starting position. Since 2005, eight of the 14 winners have started 10th or worse, including two drivers winning despite starting in the 30s.

On the flip side, only two drivers have won from the front row (both starting second), and only four drivers starting inside the top five have won. If books overreact to qualifying, this is an opportunity to jump on some value from elite drivers staring mid-pack, or fade subpar Sonoma drivers starting toward the front.

With that in mind, let’s look at the top futures bets for Sunday’s race, including some very surprising odds for the driver who sits atop my model.

All odds as of 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.

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