NASCAR Betting Guide: Toyota Owners 400
Across the entirety of the field for this week's Toyota Owners 400, only two drivers are showing value for me in the outright NASCAR betting markets at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Those two guys are Joey Logano (+1600) and Ryan Blaney (+1600). That's all well and good.
The only problem? Logano struggled mightily at Phoenix -- the lone short, flat track on the schedule thus far, similar to Richmond -- and Blaney is historically booty at Richmond.
It ain't great.
As a result, I'm going to hold off on outrights this week. Practice should give us a good idea of who is fast and could contend for a win. Even with those drivers' odds shortening, it's a worthwhile tradeoff in my eyes.
Lucky for us, there's a healthy amount of value in the top-10 market, and you don't have to twist yourself into knots to justify it.
As with most short, flat tracks, Richmond is a place where you generally know who will compete. The studs rise to the top here more than a lot of places. It means the top-10 odds for the true contenders will be higher here than most other spots.
I think that was under-accounted for in FanDuel's opening odds. Sure, you're having to pay a lot of juice to get there, but value is value, baby. And I'm down to take it.
Let's dig into some drivers whose top 10 odds aren't as short as they should be. Then if outrights or anything else open up later in the week, we can circle back and add more then.
Kyle Larson to Finish Top 10 (-250)
The implied odds at -250 are 71.4%. That's a big number.
But my model has Kyle Larson in the top 10 74.0% of the time. We want to hunt these gaps, and we find one with the dominant car from Phoenix.
In that race, Larson led 201 of 317 laps and had a 1st-place average running position. He didn't win, but he showed how much speed he has.
That has typically translated to Richmond, too. Richmond is one of the places Larson won at even before joining Hendrick Motorsports. Since that win in 2017, Larson has been top-10 in 6 of 9 races. That's just 66.7%, but when you add in his form from Phoenix, you get a big number.
I don't blame you if you don't want to dabble in these big numbers. But I'm fine taking value where I see it, and I see it with Larson.
Kevin Harvick to Finish Top 10 (-250)
It's the same song with Kevin Harvick: this number just isn't short enough.
My model has Harvick's top-10 odds at 74.4%, just a smidge ahead of Larson's. He is the guy who appeared in line to beat Larson at Phoenix before a late-race caution tilted things toward William Byron instead.
Harvick has the Richmond form, as well. In 17 races at Richmond with Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick has a 76.5% top-10 rate. Some of that came when he was in better form, but he finished first and second in the two races here last year, and as mentioned, he was a threat to win in Phoenix.
With both Larson and Harvick, we get drivers who were fast in Phoenix and have good history here. I'm fine laying a big number for that.
Denny Hamlin to Finish Top 10 (-180)
You could just copy and paste the thoughts on Harvick and Larson here. Except the edge on Denny Hamlin's top-10 mark is even bigger.
I've got Hamlin up at 73.6% to finish in the top 10. The implied odds here are 64.3%. That's a very healthy edge to run with.
Across the past 14 Richmond races, Hamlin has the same number of wins (two) as he does finishes outside the top 10. That's an 85.7% top-10 rate. The home-track narrative is in full effect for Hamlin.
Hamlin finished 23rd at Phoenix, but that wasn't due to speed. He had a sixth-place average running position before a late-race restart caught him in another do-si-do with his best friend, Ross Chastain. He had plenty of speed there to justify backing him at -180.
Joey Logano to Finish Top 10 (-140)
I can't quite talk myself into the Logano outright. But a top-10? You bet your bottom.
Cranking out a top-10 doesn't require everything to be perfect to cash like you have with an outright. That's why Logano's issues in Phoenix are less worrisome here.
The odd thing about Phoenix is that Logano did have speed in practice. It just didn't carry over into the race. It's possible he had some sort of issue that led to the lack of speed.
Even with things being close to a nightmare there, Logano still rallied to finish 11th. The top-10 market gives us wiggle room to cash even if we mis-read a driver's strength. That's the hope here with Logano.
My model still loves Logano due to his runs on short, flat tracks last year, including what he did in Richmond. He led 222 laps in the fall race, leading to his 15th top-10 finish in 19 Richmond races with Team Penske. We're getting a forgiving number here due to Logano's struggles in Phoenix, so I'm fine betting it despite the concerns. It's worth noting that you can get Logano as long as -112 at other books, so make sure to shop for the best number before betting it.