NASCAR Betting Guide: Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225
Most of the focus this weekend in NASCAR will be on the Cup Series. It's for good reason as it's the first time they've had a double-header at a track on consecutive days.
But they're not the only ones in action. The ARCA Menards Series is running Friday with the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Saturday and the Xfinity Series Sunday. Five races in three days is pure bliss.
Over at FanDuel Sportsbook, you can bet on both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series in addition to a bunch of markets for Cup. If you want to get your sweat on, you've got abundant routes for doing so.
Here, we're going to focus on Sunday's Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225. It's just 90 laps, which is basically a sprint, even at a 2.5-mile track. Make one mistake, and your day is pretty much toast.
Who stands out based on the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook? Let's check it out.
Noah Gragson (+470)
One of the implications of this being a short race is that it makes starting position more important. With fewer laps, there's less time for drivers who got a poor draw to work their way through the field.
That's not a concern for Noah Gragson, who drew the pole.
Gragson ranks second in my model behind only Austin Cindric (+420), but Cindric is starting back in ninth. That's not a huge gap, but it does give Gragson the shot at clean air from the jump, which is always a plus.
Gragson has been on a tear this season, winning two races and netting seven top-fives in 11 races. He has had a top-five average running position in seven straight non-drafting tracks, a streak that spans back to before the COVID-19 layoff. Gragson is the second-highest finisher from last year's Pocono race who is also in this week's field, so even at +470, he's worth your money.
Daniel Hemric (+1400)
Both in the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series, Pocono has always seemed like a plus track for Daniel Hemric. With the speed he has shown in 2020, that bodes well for him at 14/1.
Hemric was driving for Richard Childress Racing in the Cup Series last year, and it was largely a rough time, leading to his dismissal. But some of Hemric's higher points came in Pocono as he finished 13th and 7th, one of only two top-10s the entire year.
His success there wasn't a surprise with what he had done previously in the Xfinity Series. Hemric has raced twice at this level and has a pair of top-10 runs, including a third-place finish in 2018. Now, he's back to give it another shot.
Hemric's running a partial schedule, but he has a top-eight average running position in six of eight races, including a fourth-place mark in Fontana. Fontana's the only other race at a large, non-drafting track this year. Hemric will roll off eighth, which is high enough for us to pull the trigger at this number.
Justin Haley (+2000)
Justin Haley is the most recent winner in the Xfinity Series after having snagged the checkered flag last week in Talladega. Talladega and Pocono are super different, so that doesn't really move the needle on Haley, but there are other boxes he checks.
Outside of the win in Talladega, Haley has three other top-fives this year. The first came in Fontana, which, again, is the most similar track we've had on the schedule thus far. Haley has since added top-fives in Phoenix and Atlanta. The speed discrepancy between Phoenix and Pocono is gigantic, but both are flat tracks, meaning there is at least a whiff of overlap. Haley has had a top-10 average running position in all but two races this year, and he was 11th in those two exceptions.
Within my model, there is a tier of six drivers all localized at the top before there is a decent dropoff. Haley is the final driver before that dip, but he's also the one with easily the longest odds (Hemric is second longest at 14/1). If you want to bet a driver with longer odds who has a realistic shot at a win, Haley's probably the best outlet for doing so.