NASCAR Betting Guide: South Point 400

Michael McDowell is having a career year with 12 top-10 finishes thus far. Can he notch another one in Las Vegas at the South Point 400?

For most of the year, we've been working with low information on 1.5-mile tracks.

Prior to the playoffs, the NASCAR Cup Series had run just three points-paying races on 1.5-mile tracks all season. Two of those were in May, so figuring out who would be fast a couple weeks ago in Kansas was tough.

This week is a different story. We're now up to five races on this track type entering Las Vegas, two of which have come in the past five races. We should have a good idea of who will compete.

Sportsbooks have that information this week, too, and it leads to an overall lack of big value on the board. There are a few spots I think we can attack, though.

As of now, I'm showing at least a percentage point of value on just one driver in the entire field to win the race. For that reason, I'm going to keep things light there to start and hope we can add more bets after qualifying Saturday.

The top-10 market is a bit more fruitful, so we'll peg some bets there, as well. Which spots are showing value based on FanDuel Sportsbook's odds for the South Point 400 in Las Vegas? Let's check it out.

Joey Logano to Win (+1500)

(UPDATE: Logano has since shortened to +1000 to win. My model has him at 8.9% to win post-qualifying, so I'm finally below market on Logano. Praise be.)

I acknowledge my model is typically too high on Joey Logano. If you're skeptical of him, I'm also showing a bit of value on William Byron (8.5% for me versus 7.7% implied at +1200). But I think +1500 is a good number on Logano.

My model has Logano's win odds at 7.8%. That's lower than Byron's, but we get a longer number, as well. With Logano's implied odds at 6.3%, we get 1.5 percentage points of value here, most of any driver in the field.

Prior to Texas, I probably wouldn't have bet Logano even at +1500. But in that one, Logano had one of the fastest cars in practice, qualified second, and finished runner-up, as well. Logano's two best average running positions on 1.5-mile tracks have come during the playoffs.

In the first Vegas race, Logano had good speed in practice and qualified sixth. He wasn't as strong during the race, but there's a decent shot Logano's win odds shorten on Saturday.

It's true that Fords have lagged at tracks like this throughout the year, but it does seem like they're starting to figure things out. With this outright number assuming the struggles continue, I'm fine plunging in on Logano now.

Erik Jones to Finish Top 10 (+300)

(UPDATE: Jones has since shortened to +210 to finish top 10. After qualifying, though, my model is up to 40.9% on him, higher than the new implied odds of 32.3%. You can still bet him even if you didn't get him at the longer number.)

Similar to Logano, Erik Jones is someone my model typically loves. But with the results he's had, I find no reason to doubt the numbers.

The Cup Series has run eight races on bigger non-drafting tracks. Jones has finished top-10 in half of those, including at Texas a few weeks ago. The bigger, faster tracks have been his bread and butter, but that's an indication of speed. His team clearly has it.

The model, quite frankly, doesn't care about the finishes. It's moreso looking into underlying numbers to determine how strong his car was. And with that, it puts his top-10 odds at 34.0%, up from 25.0% implied at +300.

I do think there's leeway to be more aggressive with Jones, too. I've got him at 2.1% to win, so there's value over his outright even at a shortened number of +6500 (he opened at +11000). I'm showing value on his podium odds, too. But if you just want the most robust value, it's in this market.

Michael McDowell to Finish Top 10 (+600)

(UPDATE: McDowell is still +600 to finish top-10, so no CLV here. Sad face. But he's at 26.6% for me after qualifying, so I'm still willing to bet him despite it.)

As discussed with Jones, my model doesn't really care about finishes. So it doesn't know that Michael McDowell has set a new career high with 12 top-10s this year. Even just based on other numbers, it thinks he's undervalued again this week.

I've got McDowell at 26.5% to finish top 10, up big time from 14.3% implied. It's in large part thanks to the consistency McDowell has had, putting himself in position to take advantage of late-race chaos.

Across the aforementioned eight races at bigger non-drafting tracks, McDowell has two top-10s, and he was 11th in Texas a few weeks ago. He qualified fifth for that race, showing there are decent odds this number shortens more on Saturday. The speed in this car is better than perception.

McDowell keeps producing, but books are hesitant to adjust the number. I'm fine continuing to plug him in until he gets the respect he has earned.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Ross Chastain to Win (+850)

The theme of Saturday was largely disappointing speed for the Toyotas, vacating a lot of win equity at the top. Some of that went to guys like Logano and Ryan Blaney, but a lot also went to Ross Chastain. He's a value at +850 right now.

Chastain was second behind Blaney in both single-lap speed and five-lap average. He didn't qualify as well, but he basically never does. He'll still start 11th, so he's certainly not buried.

The first Vegas race was Chastain's coming-out party. He led 83 laps and had a fourth-place average running position. He also had speed at other 1.5-mile tracks and has had a top-10 average running position in all five races on this track type for the season.

My model has Chastain at 15.1% to win, so he's a value even at his shortest odds of +650. But with FanDuel offering the best price, you've got even more wiggle room for the model to be off.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Erik Jones to Win (+6500)

As mentioned earlier, I had value on Jones to win the race earlier in the week. But he somehow didn't shorten despite putting up sick speed in practice, so I'm happily taking the plunge now.

Jones ranked third (behind Blaney and Chastain) in both single-lap speed and five-lap average. He qualified 22nd, but you can typically make passes on this track type. As a result, my model has Jones' win odds up to 3.2% now, 1.7 percentage points above implied.

Jones has shown speed all year, even beyond his win in Darlington. This number is super forgiving, and with confirmation that speed carried over to this weekend, I can't not take the plunge.