NASCAR Betting Guide for the Pocono 400
Picking NASCAR race winners is nearly impossible because of how much has to go right on the track to end up in victory lane. The pit stops have to be perfect, the driver has to avoid pit road penalties and accidents, and crew chiefs need to make the right adjustments to be one of the best cars at the end of a race to give the driver the chance to win.
There is some very basic recent historical data that can be a starting point for NASCAR betting strategy -- there are not a lot of drivers who can win. Only 12 drivers won a race last season, and only six won more than a single time in 2018. What that means is that, within reasonable measure, we can predict a core of drivers the win will come from and assess who has the best chance to do so versus their odds.
Below we will cover the best bets of the weekend, but numberFire always has you covered when it comes to NASCAR coverage. Check out the track preview for additional information on the history at Pocono Speedway, and the driver preview will give you some names to watch in this weekend's race.
At the Top
Kyle Busch (+300): All things considered, Busch should be the favorite heading into this race. Track position will be key at a track such as Pocono, where it will be difficult to pass, and starting in second place is not a bad way to get going on your journey in getting to the top of the leaderboard. le Busch was very hot in practice, garnering the fastest 10-lap average speed in final practice on Friday. It might not be the best payout in the world, but Kyle Busch is a very strong bet for Pocono.
Kevin Harvick (+450): Harvick is due to win a race soon, and Pocono is a great opportunity to do it. He is just behind Martin Truex Jr. in terms of recent form. He's got solid track history here and has performed relatively well at flat tracks this season. Not to mention the fact that Harvick also practiced well here on Friday. All of the factors make him a better value bet over Busch.
Denny Hamlin (+1200): Looking at guys who can give us just a bit more bang-for-your-buck value than the aforementioned drivers, Hamlin is a guy who offers much better odds. Hamlin's track history at Pocono is tops in the field when factoring in driver rating, in which he sports an astounding mark of 104. Hamlin is another driver, like Harvick, who has done well at these flat tracks this season, including a win at Texas. Hamlin should be competitive enough here to keep himself in contention for the win.
Clint Bowyer (+2000): While Bowyer does not have the same type of track history as Hamlin, he has other factors going for him heading into Pocono. One big thing is his recent form, and another is his performance at flat tracks this season. Bowyer has averaged a driver rating of 94.4 in recent weeks heading into this race while maintaining an average running position of 9.8, seventh-best in the field. The value here is great if Bowyer can somehow make it work on Sunday.
Erik Jones (+2500): Jones might be struggling of late, but a race at Pocono might be what the doctor ordered. This is one of his best tracks, with a career driver rating of 100.2 here. In four career races at Pocono, Jones has two top-five finishes and three top-10 showings. At some point, if he keeps running near the front, he is bound to find victory lane. At 25/1 odds, this might be the week to look at Jones as a serious contender for the checkered flag.
William Byron (+4000): If this package stresses anything, it's that track position means everything, especially so at a track that makes it difficult to pass when the car is not in clean air. Byron is starting on the pole yet again and has very fierce competition not that far behind him. But Pocono has proven to be a track that Byron's team (Hendrick Motorsports) has fared very well at over the years, and they can possibly crack the code on how to keep Byron in the lead for the majority of this race. A Byron win is not likely, but that is also why he is a 40/1 long shot. Watch out -- Byron might surprise us all with a win this weekend.