NASCAR Betting Guide: Toyota/Save Mart 350
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, and numberFire always has you covered when it comes to NASCAR coverage. Check out the track preview for additional information on the history at Sonoma and the driver preview will give you some names to watch in this weekend's race.
At the Top
Kevin Harvick (+350): Considering his dominance last year, it's shocking that Harvick has not won a race this season. Last year's Sonoma winner is the odds-on favorite to win Sunday though, and for good reason. Despite not winning a race yet, his driver rating over his last 5 races is still the best in the field. The odds are pretty short here, so you really need to be sure he'll win if you plan on putting big money down here.
Chase Elliot (+600): If you want to talk about great value bets with a good chance of winning, Elliot is your driver. Winner of last year's Watkins Glen race, Elliot sets up well to perform here at Sonoma as well. He's coming into this race with the third-best average finishing position and second-best driver rating of anyone in the field. He also has an average finishing position of 10th in his road racing career, paired with a 99.1 driver rating. Elliot sets up as one of the best drivers in the field, so I will gladly take him at +600 barring any horrible qualifying effort.
Kurt Busch (+1000): Busch can thrive here purely because of track and track type history. Busch has crushed road courses over his career, with an average finish of 12.6 and a driver rating of 100 on road courses. Just looking at Sonoma, he has an average finish of 11 with a driver rating of 107. Before factoring in qualifying and practice he sets up incredibly well to win this race, and I see no problem betting on the number one team to win this week.
Brad Keselowski (+1800): This is just really good value here. Getting +1800 on a driver with very strong recent form is something you have to like, even if he's not the best road racer. Keselowski and Logano are similarly well-positioned, but Keselowski gets the nod here because of slightly better history and value. He comes in with the eighth-best career road course average finish and driver rating. He's also 11th and 12th, respectively, in the field in Sonoma finish and driver rating. If he can qualify well, there is chance he can win this thing.
Daniel Suarez (+2700): You want to know who has the best average finishing position in this field on road courses? I assume you can figure this out looking at the name to the left, but it's Daniel Suarez with an average finishing position of 9.5. At some point, Suarez needs to win a race, and why not expect that of him at a track type that he seems to like? He's also 6th in recent average finishing position in the field, so he comes in hot enough. I like this risky bet quite a bit.
Ryan Newman (+9500): Putting Newman here might seem crazy, but there's reason to believe he is more likely to win this race than the likes of Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Alex Bowman, among others. The main reason why that is the case is his track history at Sonoma. With an average finish of 14th and driver rating of 85.2, he's not in the worst spot here. And at much better value than the aforementioned drivers, the payoff on this bet is high enough to make it worth taking a shot on.