By Jordan McAbee
It’s been an interesting weekend out in Sin City. The cars were on track a lot this week, including two test sessions on Thursday, a practice before qualifying on Friday, and then two more practice sessions on Saturday to get ready for the Kobalt 400 on Sunday. The reason I say it’s interesting is because it looks like there’s really only three of four drivers that have a real shot at winning. True, you never know how these races are going to play out, but going into the race there’s a major drop off after the four fastest. Be sure to check out my full top 25 Post Practice Predictions for this week’s race over at ifantasyrace.
Jimmie Johnson (+400) jumped up to the race day favorite for the Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, followed closely by Kevin Harvick (+425) and then hometown driver Kyle Busch at +600.
Race Day Betting Picks for Las Vegas
The driver odds in this post are accurate as of 10:45 am ET on March 6, 2016 and came from Bovada.
BET OF THE DAY: Matt Kenseth (+700) – There are many reasons to like Matt Kenseth in the Kobalt 400 on Sunday. First, he has a really good race car. He qualified 3rd–which has historically been a good sign for him–and the team said the car was “close” right off the truck–which has historically been a bad sign for the competition. Any time that Kenseth has speed and can devote practice time to getting the car comfortable, he tends to have a car that is capable of winning. The #20 Toyota was inside the top 5 in most ten-lap average charts this week, including ranking 2nd in Test Session #2, 4th in Practice #2 on Saturday morning, and 4th in Happy Hour as well. My pick to win this race is Matt Kenseth and I jumped all over him at 7-to-1 odds, just like I did with Jimmie Johnson last weekend. Let’s hope we get the same result.
Jimmie Johnson (+400) – Earlier in the week, you could have gotten 5.25-to-1 odds with Jimmie Johnson. Now that it’s race day, those odds are down to 4-to-1. Vegas knows what’s up. Most people in the garage are looking at the #48 Chevrolet as the car to beat on Sunday, and who can blame them? Johnson had some awesome practice sessions here on Saturday plus he just won last week in Atlanta. And to top it all off, he’s a four-time winner here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading all drivers. I really think this race is going to come down to Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, and it might take some strategy for the latter to get to victory lane. These two are definitely the class of the field.
SLEEPER PICK: Kurt Busch (+1100) – Here’s an interesting pick. Kurt Busch remains at the 11-to-1 odds that he started at earlier in the week, but I’m a lot more confident in him now that I was then. I had Kurt ranked 16th going into the race weekend and now I have him inside the top 5. That skyrocketing in ranking doesn’t happen very often. But the fact of the matter is that the #41 Chevrolet probably has the most speed in the garage, and now it’s up to the team and driver to put a whole race together–something that is definitely not their strong suit. One thing that’s on their side is that this Las Vegas race is only 400 miles. Kurt starts on the pole and showed plenty of speed on Saturday, capping it off with a 3rd-place rank on the ten-lap average chart in Happy Hour. The bad news is that, despite the fact that this is his home track, Kurt has been terrible at Las Vegas, with just one top 10 finish in his last nine starts here. But hey, that’s why he’s a sleeper pick.