NASCAR Betting Guide: Buschy McBusch Race 400
Through the first three races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, Hendrick Motorsports has been the team to beat.
The four-driver team has combined to lead a whopping 61.9% of the total laps run. Kyle Larson (+600 to win at FanDuel Sportsbook) and William Byron (+1600) are the only drivers to lead more than 75 laps across those races, and Larson alone has been out front 43.9% of the circuits.
Thanks to that dominance, they've won two of the three races and were a late Ryan Blaney (+800) pass from sweeping all three. Those three races are the best indicators of what we should expect on Sunday, and they all point to Hendrick dominating.
We should fill out our betslips accordingly.
Even with Hendrick mopping up, you can still find some pretty lenient numbers on members of their organization. If you're going to go all-in somewhere, it should be with them. Let's check out the optimal way to take advantage based on the current odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Kyle Larson to Win (+600)
Before discussing this one, it should be noted: you need to price shop on Larson. You can get him at +700 at FoxBet. If you have access to any book where you can get Larson longer than this number, go do it.
But even if your only options are giving you Larson at +600, he's still a value.
Larson leads both my model and my win simulations entering the race. He's at 16.4% win odds, a healthy chunk higher than the 14.3% implied odds at +600. He gets there largely based on his performance in the three races at 1.5-mile tracks where he has a win and three top-five average running positions.
You might be concerned that Larson is starting 32nd as it means he'll have to work his way through traffic. That's not a big issue at a track where passing is so easy. He started outside the top 20 in three straight Kansas races across 2018 and 2019. He led more than 100 laps in one of them and got a top-10 finish in each. Now, he's in much, much better equipment.
Kansas' top track comp is Homestead, a place Larson has historically dominated. Now that he's got an elite team around him, we should be willing to bet him at short numbers. Make sure you do your due diligence in hunting for the best number, but if +600 is the best you've got, Larson's still the guy to back.
William Byron to Win (+1600)
Technically, Alex Bowman has better win odds in my simulation than Byron, and Bowman's outright is longer (+1800). I'm going to go a tiny bit against the sims, though, and go with Byron as the second outright.
The reasoning there is twofold. First, Byron starts on the outside pole, meaning he has easy access to clean air. Traffic isn't a big deterrent for Larson, but we should still count clean air as a plus for Byron.
Second, Byron has been crazy fast in the three races at 1.5-mile tracks. He dusted the field for his second career win in Homestead and has had a top-seven average running position in all three races. Byron's making a superstar turn in his age-23 season.
Even though Bowman has the better win odds in my simulations, they still show value on Byron. He's at 6.1% there versus 5.9% implied. Personally, I'd take the over on 6.1% in an attempt to be in on Byron before his explosion becomes more accepted.
Alex Bowman to Finish Top 10 (-150)
It's not fun to lay -150 for a prop, but Kansas is a relatively low-volatility race. And the sims show value on Bowman here.
Before accounting for volatility and upside, Bowman ranks fourth in my model. He gets knocked down in the win sims because he hasn't flashed much dominance, but his overall strength is very noteworthy.
Bowman gets that high ranking due to both good form and good history at Kansas. He has had a top-11 average running position in all three races at 1.5-mile tracks this year. He hasn't had an average running position worse than 11th at a 1.5-mile track since the first Kansas race last year, a stretch of six straight races.
That run at Kansas wasn't too shabby, either. His average running position was 12th, and he finished eighth. Bowman has five top-10s here in the past seven races, including nearly what would have been his first career win back in 2019. He'll have to work his way forward from 25th, but there is good value on Bowman at this number.
Austin Cindric to Finish Top-10 (+850)
Finally, our first non-Hendrick bet. I'm not actively seeking out Team Penske here given their forte has been in the 750-horsepower package, but this number undersells the speed Austin Cindric should have on Sunday.
Cindric's first three Cup Series starts won't dazzle you. His best finish is 15th, and that came on a superspeedway. There's no overlap between that and this, so we can truly throw it out. His best non-drafting finish is 22nd in Atlanta, the one 1.5-mile track he has run thus far.
Cindric certainly has the talent to get the job done, though. Three of his six wins in the Xfinity Series last year came on 1.5-mile tracks, and he was on the podium four other times. It's not his best track type, but he has shown he can take advantage when he has speed under the hood.
My model has a conservative view of Cindric due to the rough first three starts. But even with that, it still has him finishing top 10 11.1% of the time, better than his implied odds at 10.5%. It's decently rare to find an edge on a number this long in the top-10 market, so I'm good taking the plunge on Cindric here and seeing if he can capitalize on the equipment at his disposal.