NASCAR Betting Guide: Xfinity Series Cheddar's 300
We get a tremendous opportunity today in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
We get a race devoid of all Cup Series regulars. There's no Kyle Busch. There's no Brad Keselowski. It's just the best of the Xfinity Series, duking it out for superiority on the high banks of Bristol. Giddy up.
With none of the ringers in the field, things from a betting perspective are more wide open than they usually would be. The odds certainly account for that to an extent, but some drivers are going to have opportunities they wouldn't normally have because of the thinned-out field.
As such, let's dive into the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook and see if we can spot any values to win Monday night's Cheddar's 300.
Justin Allgaier (+470)
Justin Allgaier is far from a longshot at +470. Only Chase Briscoe (+320) has shorter odds in this field. But with Allgaier's blend of experience and strength on concrete, he's hard to lay off of.
This will be Allgaier's 19th start at Bristol in the Xfinity Series. His only win in that time came back in 2010, and that's too deep in his history for us to count it in his favor. However, he did contend in both races last year, leading 138 laps before crashing in the first race and then leading 131 laps in the second. Allgaier is also an ace at Dover -- the other high-banked, concrete track on the schedule -- where he has a win and five consecutive podium finishes.
Allgaier is yet to win in 2020, and he's starting back in the 10th spot. However, this is a decently long race, and he has had a top-six average running position in three of the first six races to open the season. Even at shorter odds, Allgaier is worth backing to return to victory lane.
Noah Gragson (+1200)
Allgaier's teammate, Noah Gragson, does have a win this year, claiming the checkers in the season opener in Daytona. Bristol bears no resemblance to Daytona, but Gragson could contend for a second win tonight.
Gragson's finishes at Bristol last year -- 9th and 17th -- don't leap off the page at you. But both are a bit deceptive. Gragson actually had a top-10 average running position in each of those races, meaning he very easily could have finished much better than he did. Those were also in his age-20 season, and it's reasonable to expect progression at such a young age.
Gragson's speed has followed him since that Daytona win. He has three top-fives in six races, and he has a top-five average running position in three straight. If you can post a top-five average running position, it means you're a legit contender for a win. With no Cup Series sharks in these waters, we should expect Gragson to run near the front again. Getting him at 12/1 feels fully appropriate.
Austin Cindric (+1300)
Only two drivers are ahead of Gragson in my betting model before the race. One of them is Allgaier, again justifying him at a short number. The other is Austin Cindric, who has to be breathing a sigh of relief given the absence of Busch.
Cindric was leading the field last week in Charlotte on the final lap, trying to get his first oval win in the Xfinity Series. Then Busch spoiled the party in the final turn.
CHECKERED FLAG: @KyleBusch takes the with a pass in the final turn of the #Alsco300 at @CLTMotorSpdwy!
Results: https://t.co/QhNeOcjnPY pic.twitter.com/tcweekXJw8
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) May 26, 2020
Cindric was 18/1 to win that race, and he's 13/1 to win here. That may not be low enough to capture how close Cindric has been to finally breaking through.
Last year in Bristol, Cindric had a top-six average running position in both races. He also had a third-place average running position in the fall Dover race en route to a third-place finish. He can get around these tricky tracks.
Cindric has been knocking on the door of a win the entire season, even outside of that Charlotte race with four top-fives and a top-eight average running position in each race. With Busch out of the equation and Cindric starting third, tonight may finally be the night that his upside is fully realized.
Riley Herbst (+5000)
Good equipment? Check.
Good starting spot? Check.
Experience at Bristol? Ehhhh.
Still, even with his first laps around this treacherous track coming under green-flag conditions, it may be a good time to buy into Riley Herbst.
The lone Bristol laps for Herbst in NASCAR's upper rungs came in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series back in 2018. There, Herbst finished 15th and never ran higher than 14th. There's going to be an adjustment period here.
But Herbst has still done well since the end of the COVID-19 layoff even without pre-race track time. He had a seventh-place average running position in Charlotte, another spot he had not run before the green flag. Bristol is a different beast, but it demonstrates a level of adaptability that is necessary if we're going to throw some buck-os his way.
Luckily for Herbst, the Joe Gibbs Racing equipment figures to be fast, and he gets to start the race in seventh spot. Herbst was runner-up in Fontana this year and has a top-10 average running position in four of the five non-Daytona races. As we saw yesterday in the Cup Series, crazy stuff can happen at this track, which could allow for a longshot like Herbst to come through and snag the win.