NASCAR Cup Odds & Best Bets: 5 Drivers To Back in Phoenix

NASCAR Cup Odds & Best Bets: 5 Drivers To Back in Phoenix

One race remains to set the field for the NASCAR Cup Championship 4 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Two drivers have already locked themselves into the main event with Joey Logano’s Martinsville win earning a berth and Kevin Harvick advancing after his Texas victory last Sunday.

It leaves six drivers to battle for the final two berths in this Sunday’s trip to ISM Raceway in Phoenix. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are above the cutline based on the Playoff grid point standings, with Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer on the outside looking in coming to Phoenix.

The scenario sets up a variety of stories in Sunday’s race among those still in the Playoff picture, along with the other 30 or so drivers who simply want to win the next to last race of the season.

In fact that list includes some very heavy hitters, many of which have been strong at the one-mile desert oval over the years.

However there’s a new twist to NASCAR racing at Phoenix this Sunday, which marks the 45th event for the Cup Series. The entire track has been flip-flopped since the March NASCAR weekend.

As part of a multimillion-dollar renovation, officials decided to transfer the start-finish line from what is now the backstretch to the track’s infamous “dogleg,” a bowed out portion of the layout that has built a reputation for three and sometimes four-wide racing.

Just how much the reconfiguration will impact the competition remains to be seen. Some drivers insisting nothing will change except where the green and checkered flags wave to others who think it’s a while new ballgame.

Here are five drivers NASCAR betting fans should bet on Sunday in Phoenix.

  1. Kevin Harvick

    Harvick has nine career wins at Phoenix and is one of those drivers not expecting much from the new layout of the track. Harvick’s belief is what’s worked there before in car set-up, handling and driving line will remain the same albeit at opposite ends of the one-mile circuit.

    Harvick has not finished outside the top-10 in the last 10 Phoenix races and was victorious there in March. He has nothing to lose now that a spot in the title race is locked up, which should make Harvick all that much more dangerous come Sunday.

    Bet Harvick to win at +165 with 888Sport.

  2. Jimmie Johnson

    Historically, Johnson has a very solid Phoenix track record as well. While he trails Harvick in career wins 9-4, other Johnson stats match up well with the Stewart-Haas Racing driver.

    Johnson has the same number of top-5s (15) and top-10s (20) at the track as Harvick. Now Johnson has not been nearly as effective this year and remains in the throes of the longest winless drought in his NASCAR career dating back to May of 2017.

    But with only two races before Johnson parts company with crew chief Chad Knaus and ends the era that resulted in seven series championships, there’s an intangible around the No. 48 team in Phoenix that bears watching.

    Back Johnson to win at +6000 with 888Sport.

  3. Kyle Busch

    After winning a race in the opening round of the Playoffs, Busch has been in a bit of a funk. He finished 17th last week in Texas and was really never a part of the equation, something that’s very rare for the driver who has won seven times in 2018.

    Busch isn’t in too much danger of slipping out of the Playoff comfort zone he enjoys and it would take a catastrophic turn of events, such as an accident or mechanical issue, to not advance to Miami.

    Busch as a stellar Phoenix record in his favor with six straight top-10 finishes, which includes a pair of runner-up performances. He was second in March and optimistic he can turn the recent string of poor runs around.

    Take Busch to win at +425 with SugarHouse.

  4. Chase Elliott

    Maybe not quite “Hail Mary” time for Elliott, but pretty close. Just a few weeks ago he seemed like a lock to make it to the Championship 4 in Miami and run for a title.

    But things have not worked out in the last few outings where Elliott hasn’t been terrible but not good enough to win. He more than likely needs to score victory No. 4 of the season Sunday to keep his title hopes alive.

    He has a 6.8 average finish in five career Phoenix starts including a second and third over the last two races. Take Elliott to win at +800 with SugarHouse.

  5. Martin Truex Jr.

    He’s had two trying weeks that caused Truex to proclaim “God is testing us” after a mistake-filled ninth-place Texas finish last Sunday.

    He is the driver on the Playoff bubble coming into the final race of the round and cannot afford to make any miscues like what plagued the defending series champion in Texas. Truex rides into Phoenix with two straight top-five finishes at the track.

    Back Truex to win at +700 with 888Sport.

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