The NASCAR Cup Series will travel back to California this week to take the green flag on their “West Coast Swing.” The Cup Series will compete in three races out west (Auto Club, Las Vegas and Phoenix) before they return in late March. The next three races are going to be tough to predict because no one really knows how the Gen-7 car will perform at these tracks. The good news is that there is some good value for betting early in the week since there is so much uncertainty with this race. I want to get in some bets before the cars practice and qualify Saturday. The odds will change a lot once the odds-makers see which teams have the speed.
DraftKings Odds for Wise Power 400
* The odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook. The odds could change between the time of this article and the time you place your bet.
** The first number is the amount of money based on the second number (the amount of the wager). So if you bet $1 on Kyle Larson, you will win $4.
Here are my “Best Bets” for the Wise Power 400…
KYLE BUSCH (8-1): The race could easily turn into “The Kyle Larson Show” but I will put my money on Kyle Busch. Auto Club Speedway has been his playground for years. He has seven finishes in the top-three in the last nine races at Auto Club Speedway. That includes three trips to Victory Lane. The Cup Series may have a new car this week, but Rowdy has shown he can drive any car to Victory Lane at this track.
WILLIAM BYRON (12-1): There is a lot to like about Byron this week. The most similar track to Auto Club is Michigan International Speedway. Both tracks were owned by Roger Penske and he used the blueprint from Michigan to build Auto Club. Byron nearly won at Michigan last year. He started 18th and finished 2nd. Byron will have a good chance to win the pole since the drivers will hold the throttle wide-open in qualifying, like they did at Daytona. The Cup Series tested this aero package at Charlotte and Byron blew away the field. He was 1.5 MPH faster than anyone else. I like his chances of winning Sunday.
JOEY LOGANO (14-1): We do not know what team or manufacturer is going to show up with speed this weekend so I want to diversify my betting portfolio. I have one Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Kyle Busch), one Hendrick Motorsports Chevy (William Byron) and now I will have one Team Penske Ford with Joey Logano. The No. 22 team always starts off the season on a hot streak. Logano already won in California this year. I will bet that he makes it a “Cali Sweep” and three wins in a row for Team Penske in the Gen-7 car.
BRAD KESELOWSKI (20-1): The only reason why the odds for Keselowski are 20-1 is because he is driving for RFK Racing and not Team Penske. Keselowski would be one of the favorites if he was still in the No. 2 car. I do not think the No. 6 car for RFK Racing is going to be too far behind on speed. Keselowski posted the second fastest speed when NASCAR tested the current aero package at Charlotte. He was faster than the Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske cars. Keselowski finished 5th, 3rd, 4th, 2nd, 9th and 1st in his last six races at Auto Club Speedway. If his car has any speed, Keselowski will have a good chance to win Sunday.
Long-Shot Special: My Long-Shot Special this week is ERIK JONES (80-1): NASCAR’s goal with the Gen-7 is to “Level the playing field” so the smaller teams will have a chance to win. No one knows for sure how successful they have been in “leveling the playing field” but Jones had a really fast car when the Cup Series was in California for the Busch Light Clash race (He finished 4th). Jones finished 7th at Auto Club in 2018. He could find Victory Lane Sunday if the No. 43 team can get a lucky caution and use pit strategy to their advantage.
Good luck this week!
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