NASCAR Cup 2018 Betting Tips: 5 Drivers To Back at Kansas

Date IconLast Updated: Sep 28th, 2022
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NASCAR Cup 2018 Betting Tips: 5 Drivers To Back at Kansas

The NASCAR Playoff battle heads to the last race of the second round and Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Four drivers will be eliminated from the championship picture after this weekend leaving just eight to vie for the title.

While last week’s race at Talladega created a less than exhilarating scene due in part to several drivers doing their best to protect their Playoff position and not risk dropping in the standings, there will be no time for such strategy in Kansas for many.

There are a number of drivers who were favorites going into the Playoffs either below the cut line or just ahead in the safety zone. Names such as Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer are among those that have much to gain or a lot to lose in Kansas.

The 1.5-mile track will host its second Cup race of the year; Kevin Harvick dominated in the Mother’s Day weekend visit. But history has shown since Kansas secured a second race in the Playoffs the two dates create much different racing and scenarios.

The championship implications play a part in that dissimilarity, as does track conditions. Simply put, the Kansas track surface under the lights in May is not the same as what drivers will encounter in Sunday’s anticipated cool conditions under the October sun.

Drivers – and NASCAR betting fans -- who can adapt will be those who succeed.

Here are five drivers worth betting on at Kansas:

  1. Kevin Harvick

    He didn’t just win at Kansas in May, he dominated. Harvick led 79 laps on his way to at the time was his fifth win of 2018, and he did it with a bold late-race move.

    He has won at Kansas twice in the last five races and has finishes of 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 8th and 1st during that span. Harvick has a series-best average finish of 4.8 at Kansas dating back to the 2013 season.

    Harvick also has some wiggle room in the Playoff picture and does not have to worry about taking too big a risk. If the race comes down to fuel mileage, expect Harvick’s team to gamble and when they do things usually work out to the good.

    Bet Harvick to win at +275 with 888Sport.

  2. Martin Truex Jr.

    The defending series champion has fallen on some hard times in recent weeks, including a miserable 23rd place Talladega finish a week ago in which Truex Jr. was never a factor in the outcome.

    But based on his past Kansas history that should change on Sunday.

    Truex has a pair of wins and a second-place finish in the last three Kansas outings, and if not for some bad luck and mechanical issues in the two prior races might have even better number.

    His team has excelled on intermediate tracks like the 1.5-mile Kansas layout and there might be even a little more incentive for the No. 78 team Sunday considering Truex Jr. is only 18 points to the good in the Playoff race.

    Back Truex to win at +450 with 888Sport.

  3. Kyle Busch

    There was a time when Kyle Busch would shudder at the thought of Kansas when it rolled around on the schedule. Although he’d won several preliminary division races at the track Busch could not breakthrough in the Cup Series. It changed in 2013.

    Since a third-place finish that year Busch has never finished outside the top 10 at Kansas a streak that includes a victory in 2016. He was 10th in May but said afterward his team learned something about the car to make it better at the October race.

    Take Busch to win at +650 with SugarHouse.

  4. Kyle Larson

    Overall Larson’s Kansas numbers are not by any means impressive. However this is one of those cases where the final results aren’t totally indicative of the performance.

    Mechanical issues, crashes and bad luck have taken Larson from contention more often than not in recent outings and derailed a chance to win or at least finish near the front of the field.

    He did bring home a fourth-place finish in May and was able to keep the challenges at a minimum. Throw in the Playoff standings and Larson’s need to get above the cutline and the driver of the No. 42 could be a solid bet on Sunday.

    Bet Larson to win at +350 with SugarHouse.

  5. Denny Hamlin

    Hamlin may be the best choice of the drivers no longer remaining in the Playoffs. He has had two straight Kansas top-five finishes, and since he was eliminated from championship contention a couple weeks ago, Hamlin’s No. 11 team has come to life.

    Maybe it’s the relief of no longer having Playoff pressure or just better prepared cars, but Hamlin has the feel of a driver with something to prove and that could be beneficial in Kansas.

    Bet Hamlin to win at +2000 with 888Sport.

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