NASCAR Betting Guide: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
We've currently got a sports bettor's dream going down for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 in New Hampshire.
As a rule of thumb, it's always important to shop for the best line. In the NFL, you're not going to get massive deviations between books because markets are bet so heavily. But in NASCAR, the difference between +800 and +900 is massive.
The complicating factor is that we also have to make sure that driver can actually win. Value is great, but if the driver can't get the job done, it doesn't actually matter. You can't build a house on good lines alone.
For this week's race, we can have our cake and eat it, too. The most likely winner in my simulations comes at a massive discount at FanDuel Sportsbook relative to other shops. And we should lock that puppy in now before the market corrects.
Denny Hamlin to Win (+900)
(UPDATE: Since publication, Hamlin has shifted to +650 to win at FanDuel, which is 13.3% implied odds. That is still longer than his odds at other books and shy of his 17.1% win odds in my simulations, so I'm still on board at the new number.)
(UPDATE to the UPDATE: Hamlin's now +450, which is 18.2% implied win odds. The value is gone. Perhaps the true value is the friends we made along the way.)
At FoxBet, Denny Hamlin is the favorite to win at +450. He's +475 at DraftKings and +600 at William Hill.
I could definitely justify betting Hamlin at +600, and I can understand why he's shorter than +500 elsewhere. But getting him at +900 at FanDuel Sportsbook might be the biggest edge we've gotten all year.
As mentioned, Hamlin is the most likely winner in my simulations, getting the checkered flag 17.1% of the time. That's just a smidge higher than his implied odds at 10.0%. There's even a slight edge in betting him at +600 (14.3% implied), but if you can get him at +900, why bother?
So, betting Hamlin makes sense from a price-shopping perspective. It also makes sense if we're just trying to pick the winner.
Hamlin's average running positions in three races at short, flat tracks this year (Phoenix, Martinsville, and Richmond) have been 4th, 2nd, and 2nd. He finished on the podium in all three races and led more than half the laps twice. He just couldn't seal the deal.
We saw a similar thing last year in New Hampshire. There, Hamlin had a second-place average running position and led 92 laps but finished second. This all could lead you to believe that Hamlin lacks upside and can't get the job done, but he won 13 races from 2019 to 2020 and is in his age-40 season (one year after a driver's typical statistical peak). He's fully capable of winning.
Hamlin's projected average running position ranks third in my model among drivers on short, flat tracks since the start of last year. Of the previous top 20 marks, 4 drivers won (20.0%), and 13 of them (65.0%) finished on the podium. We should take advantage of the soft line and lock Hamlin in for this weekend.
Joey Logano to Win (+1400)
Joey Logano has a bit of the Hamlin syndrome where he has come close a bunch this year but has gone to victory lane just once. But as with Hamlin, that's likely part of the reason we're getting a number this favorable.
In the aforementioned three races at short, flat tracks, Logano's aggregate average running position (4.3) ranks second behind just Hamlin. He's also second behind Hamlin in aggregate average running position in the 750-horsepower package at non-dirt ovals (meaning it's omitting his win in Bristol). Outside of the Bristol win, he has a runner-up in Phoenix and a third-place finish in Richmond, both of which have massive similarities to New Hampshire.
This is a spot in which Logano has won before, doing so back in 2014. He hasn't won since, but he does have four top-four finishes, including a fourth-place run with a sixth-place average running position last year in this same package.
Logano does get dinged a bit for upside in my win simulations, so he's the fourth most likely winner behind Hamlin, Kyle Larson (+550), and Martin Truex Jr. (+650). But they still see him closing it out 10.8% of the time, a healthy amount higher than his implied odds at 6.7%.
In betting both Hamlin and Logano, you're getting two of the three best drivers on short, flat tracks this year (with Truex being the other) at very forgiving odds. If you don't have access to Hamlin at the crazy long number above, then Logano is a tremendous consolation prize.
Christopher Bell to Finish Top 10 (-110)
As of now, FanDuel doesn't have top-10 odds posted. Those will likely come on Friday. When they do, you should immediately check to see where Christopher Bell shakes out. FanDuel is offering Bell to win at +3100 compared to +1800 at FoxBet, meaning they're lower on him than the rest. I'd be willing to bet that Bell's top-10 odds wind up being longer than the -110 mark you can find at FoxBet.
But even if they're hip to the Bell buzz and put him at this number, I'd still bet it.
The reason Bell is worth straining for is that this track type suits him to perfection. In the Xfinity Series, Bell won 16 times. Half of those came on short, flat tracks, including a pair here in New Hampshire.
Bell has started to flash those skills in the Cup Series, too, now that he's in quality equipment. He has finished inside the top 10 in all three races at similar tracks thus far, including a fourth-place run in Richmond.
I'd love to be more aggressive with Bell and bet him in a higher-upside market. My win simulations just don't quite see value in his win or podium odds thanks to a lack of laps led and elite average running positions in this package. That's why I'm not just slamming Bell in at +3100 as a third outright for this week, and it's why I'm so interested in seeing where his top-10 odds shake out.
Unlike Hamlin's outright, this isn't a bet you should lock in immediately. Top-10 odds don't move much, and as mentioned, I think it's likely you get a better number once FanDuel posts their markets on Friday. But if it opens at -110 or longer, I'm more than happy to dive in to get myself financial exposure to a guy who should be a force on these tracks for a long time to come.
Ross Chastain Over Daniel Suarez (-120)
This is another offering over at FoxBet, and it's one that -- to me -- pairs drivers in two separate tiers. So even laying -120 doesn't push me off of Ross Chastain.
First of all, Chastain has the benefit of better track position to start. He'll roll off 20th while Suarez is 31st. That's not everything, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Second, my model just views Chastain as being a full tier ahead of Suarez. Chastain's projected average running position is 16.5 versus Suarez's mark of 19.8.
Neither guy has been great on the short, flat tracks, but Chastain has been better. Chastain has had a better finish and average running position than Suarez in all three similar races. The times Suarez has popped have largely come on the dirt and the concrete, neither of which has much overlap with New Hampshire.
Basically, my model views this as being a healthy edge for Chastain over Suarez. Chastain's an aggressive driver, which does hurt his appeal for matchup bets, but the speed edge he should possess over Suarez washes away that concern for me.