NASCAR Betting Guide for the Gander RV 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. Last week, Kevin Harvick cashed at 6-1 by holding off Denny Hamlin, who was a popular dark horse at 9-1 himself. Harvick's win gave the first victory of the year for Stewart-Haas Racing, which made them the fourth competitive team (not counting the fluke Spire Motorsports win at 100-1 in July) to win in 2019, with Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Hendrick Motorsports being the others.
Below we will cover the best bets of the weekend, but numberFire always has you covered when it comes to NASCAR. Check out the track preview for additional information on the history at this track, and the driver preview will give you some names to watch in this weekend's race.
Here's where to put smart money for the Gander RV 400:
At the Top
Kyle Busch (+250): Busch is the obvious favorite to win Sunday's race. He has won the last two races at this track and dominated both, leading more than 50 laps in each race. Adam Stevens also nailed the race-winning strategy and showed he was willing to do so, even if it meant giving up stage wins. The one thing that would make the 18-car a bad bet for Sunday? Track position. It was brutally difficult to pass at Pocono in June, and if Busch fails Sunday morning inspection, which would mean he'd start at the back, he just not have enough time to find the front. He starts seventh if he passes inspection.
Kevin Harvick (+500): Especially in this odds area, there are few rational alternatives to Busch, but Kevin Harvick is one. Harvick was actually on track in front of Busch after his final pit stop in the June event, but his crew was assessed a penalty and he ended up finishing 22nd. Harvick had five straight top-five showings at the "Tricky Triangle" before that, though he has never won at Pocono Raceway despite finishing second four times in his career. Harvick keeps knocking on the door, and he will look to continue stacking wins after finally breaking through last week. If Harvick can use his pole position to keep a track-position edge on Busch, he may be the sharp bet.
Kyle Larson (+2000): Larson has had a horrific 2019 in terms of luck, but his speed is definitely turning around. He was quick again last week at New Hampshire before another wreck. It is worth noting that at Pocono in June, Larson won both stages and led 35 laps -- even assessing himself "top two or three speed" before making a mental mistake and crashing. At 20-1 odds to win the race, Larson is tremendous value, even starting a deep 29th.
Erik Jones (+2000): Sometimes in the value area for NASCAR, just simply guaranteeing a driver will be in the mix is valuable since he could luck into a win without the fastest car. Few have been as "in the mix" as much as Jones has at Pocono in his young career. He has four top-10 finishes in five races and has led in three of those. Jones may not flash race-winning speed, but recent history tells us he has a chance to have an average running position somewhere inside the top 10. And if things were to fall his way, Jones could capture the race he needs to clinch a spot in the playoffs. He starts fourth and paced the first practice, showing ample speed in his race car.
William Byron (+6600): Byron is 66-1 in his Hendrick Chevrolet, which is surprising given that he led 25 laps here in June in the opening stage. Now, Byron never seriously contended for the win later in the race as Harvick and Busch battled for it, but if you're so inclined to throw a dart at someone in this range, Byron at least could have a car fast enough to contend. When you look at the others with similar odds -- such as Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -- none of those teams or drivers have come close to flashing the ability to lead like Byron has. The value here is tremendous, even if Byron's still a long shot. Starting in eighth, he's the best bet in this range.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.