NASCAR Betting Guide: Toyota/Save Mart 350
This week is a great example of why you should get your bets in early.
When betting odds for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 opened this week, William Byron was +3000 to win at FanDuel Sportsbook. They were saying he would win just 3.2% of the time.
My model had him at 5.1% to win. You don't get two full percentage points of value often, and it made Byron an obvious outright bet.
Clearly, others had the same idea as Byron's outright odds quickly shortened to +1800. The implied odds of that are 5.3%, actually a hair higher than where my model has him. The difference between +3000 and +1800 is massive, so if you weren't able to snag him early, you missed the boat.
If you see a value early, snag it. We don't see a ton of situations like this, but that additive value is sick.
Still, we can find some lingering value on the board even here on Friday morning. Let's dive into where that value is now, and then we can circle back after qualifying Saturday evening to see if any more arises.
William Byron to Podium (+550)
The outright value may be gone, but we can still get it on Byron here.
My model has Byron on the podium 18.4% of the time. You'll note that's a healthy amount above his outright odds at 5.1%, but it's due to the strength of his teammates and the race's favorites, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. This gives us a cushion to bet Byron and not sweat his having to beat both juggernauts.
The reason the model loves Byron is the speed he has shown on road courses previously. Back in 2019, Byron qualified on the front row for all three road-course races. In three road-course races with qualifying last year, Byron nabbed two poles.
For a single lap, buddy can whip it.
That hasn't translated to results. Byron has never had a top-five finish on a road course. But some of that is outside of his control.
Many times, the team has prioritized stage points, choosing to leave Byron out toward the ends of stages rather than pitting him. This gets him points in the bank, but it also puts him deep in the pack, forcing him to make up ground, often leading to underwhelming finishes.
That's not an issue this week. Byron already has two wins under his belt, meaning he can afford to just race for the win rather than gunning for points. It's a luxury he hasn't been afforded in the past, and it could allow him to finally flash his skills at the end.
If you can find Byron at +2500 or longer to win, I'd prefer that over the podium. But if you're betting specifically at FanDuel and can get just +1800, then I would rather go this route and bet Byron to podium at +550.
Joey Logano to Podium (+500)
The multi-win thought process on Byron also applies to Joey Logano. He can afford to ignore points and gun for a good finish. And Logano has the skills to finish inside the top three.
In 10 road-course races since the start of 2020, Logano has finished on the podium three separate times. He struggled in the back half of the 2021 road-course schedule, but it's doubtful he suddenly forgot how to turn right.
Team Penske also had enough speed at Circuit of the Americas to inspire confidence. Both Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric finished inside the top eight and had a top-11 average running position. Logano didn't finish well, but he did qualify sixth and was in the top five in both stages.
My model has Logano on the podium 18.5% of the time versus his implied odds at 16.7%. That's enough of an edge for me to lock Logano in prior to practice.
Post-Qualifying Addition: Chris Buescher to Podium (+7500)
This appears to be an oversight. Chris Buescher's outright odds (+5500) are shorter than his podium odds. But there's appeal beyond that, too.
My sims are actually showing value on that Buescher outright after he qualified third and had speed in practice. I've got him at 2.4% to win versus 1.8% implied. So, he's undervalued without the glitch.
But my model has Buescher at 11.1% to podium versus 1.3% implied. Even if my model is over-estimating him, that's a lot of room for error.
Buescher does have a pair of top-fives in the past 10 road-course races, so he's a good road racer. After missing last week due to COVID, Buescher's unlikely to make the playoffs on points, allowing him to race for the win. Even if this error gets corrected, there's likely to be value on Buescher somewhere in the betting market.