The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Pocono Raceway this week for the HighPoint.com 400. “The Tricky Triangle” is not like any other track on the schedule. It is a 2.5-mile, triangle-shaped track, with three completely different corners. It is one of the toughest tracks for a crew chief to set their car up for. Some teams have figured it out better than others and that is why we typically see the same drivers run up front at Pocono.
The sportsbooks are making the odds on the Cup Series races very tight. The problem is that the drivers priced under 10-1 odds keep winning the races. Martin Truex Jr. won last week at 7-1 odds, William Byron won at Atlanta at 10-1 and Kyle Busch won at Nashville at 8-1 odds. There is a great chance that one of the drivers who is priced under 10-1 odds will win again this week. It is no fun to spend $100 on your betting card to win $20 – $40. You almost have to select two or three drivers and place all of your money on them. It will be hard to make a profit on the oval tracks if the favorites continue to win.
The odds for the favorites will not change much after practice and qualifying. I am posting my betting card now, but I am not placing any bets until Saturday evening. I will wait to see if any drivers with longer odds show speed in practice. If not, I will simply bet the drivers listed below.
Here are my Best Bets for the HighPoint.com 400…
DRAFTKINGS ODDS FOR POCONO
* 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 Martin Truex Jr. at 5-1 odds, you will win $6.
KYLE BUSCH (6-1): Busch has been the best driver in the recent races at Pocono. He led the most laps and finished second last year, but his car failed post-race inspection. Rowdy finished second in the first race at Pocono in 2021 and won the second race. That is an average finishing position of 1.6 in his last three races at the track. Busch is always at his best when he gets some extra seat time. He is running the Truck Series race Saturday, so that should make Rowdy even a better pick for the race Sunday.
DENNY HAMLIN (6-1): Hamlin swept the two races at Pocono in his rookie season. He has been good at the track ever since he entered the Cup Series. Hamlin leads the Cup Series with six wins at Pocono. He actually won the race last year, but his car failed post-race inspection. Hamlin also won in 2020 and 2019. The No. 11 car is going to be tough to beat Sunday.
KYLE LARSON (8-1): Larson has the second-best average finishing position in the last five races at Pocono. He also has the second-best Driver Rating at the track (Behind Denny Hamlin). Larson has never won at Pocono, but he was leading the final laps in 2021 when he had a flat tire. His average finishing position in his last three races at the track would be 2.6 if that tire did not go down. Larson may be one of the drivers I bet now, before the teams unload for practice.
WILLIAM BYRON (9-1): Byron has not been great at Pocono, but he has been great this year. He has four wins in the Cup Series and the No. 24 car has been the fastest on the large intermediate tracks using the current aero package. Byron won the race at Las Vegas, finished third at Kansas and second at Charlotte. That is an average finishing position of second on the large intermediate tracks using the aero package that will be used Sunday. It also helps that the No. 24 team’s pit crew is lightning fast. Byron has never won at the Tricky Triangle, but that could change Sunday.
Good luck Sunday!
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