It’s no secret, betting is a huge business in the sports world. It’s taken some time, but the racing world is starting to cash in on this. So much so, this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix has some very favorable odds.
See, through much of the first half of last season, making money on NASCAR wasn’t in the cards. When three drivers reach victory lane for the bulk of the races, it’s hard to wager. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. were 3-1 and even 2-1 odds for most races. They’d win those weekend’s too.
There wasn’t much to be made. Bet longshots but lose because the favorites with very unfavorable betting lines ended up winning the race outright.
But, over the last 16 races, NASCAR has seen more parity. Just look at this weekend and what that’s done. Yes, Harvick (2-1) and Busch (3-1) have great odds, as they should, what happens if neither win Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 (3:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)?
The next best is Brad Keselowski at 7-1. Last year, it was in the 4-1 and 5-1 range. That’s coming to our favor now. If he wins and you throw money his way, that’s a really good thing. The problem is, Keselowski has just two top five finishes since 2015. So, I don’t know how smart that would be.
That means even better odds. Yay!
Joey Logano is 8-1 but his last four Phoenix finishes are 31st, 12th, 19th and 37th respectively.
Now, we’re in double digits because no one else is 9-1 or better. Heck, Keselowski and Logano have won races this year and enter one of their worst tracks. With them winning, why not throw caution to the wind and prepare for the November race which is in the playoffs.
Here are double digit odds to watch.
Denny Hamlin (16/1)
He has five top 10 finishes in his last seven Phoenix starts. He won this race in 2012. He led 193 laps in the fall race of 2017. He won the Daytona 500 this year too.
Kyle Larson (20/1)
He has three top three finishes in his last five Phoenix starts. He finished seventh in the season opening Daytona 500. He led the most laps but finished 12th after speeding on pit lane late in the race at Atlanta. He finished 12th again last week after another pit road issue. The speed is there. The odds are great.
Aric Almirola (22/1)
HE has three top 10 finishes in his last three Phoenix starts. He also has two straight top 10 finishes on the season.
Erik Jones (25/1)
He has three top 10 finishes in his last four Phoenix starts. He has two top seven finishes in three tries in 2019.
Kurt Busch (28/1)
He has six top 10’s in his last nine Phoenix starts and two straight top five finishes on the season.
Alex Bowman (50/1)
He nearly won at Phoenix when he subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016. He has been quietly solid in 2019 too. These are good odds.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (50/1)
He’s vastly improved in 2019 and has been good in the past at Phoenix. He was fourth and eighth respectively in the two races in 2017 there.
William Byron (80/1)
He finished 12th and ninth respectively in the two Cup races at Phoenix last year as a rookie. He was fourth and first respectively the year prior in the XFINITY Series. He’s improved in 2019 and has Chad Knaus who’s not afraid to gamble on his pit box.
Ryan Newman (80/1)
He won this race in 2017. He finished 11th in both races last year. His last five spring race finishes are 7th, 3rd, 39th, 1st and 11th respectively.
Daniel Hemric (100/1)
Why not? He had a top five car in Atlanta and has four top six finishes in as many tries at Phoenix in the XFINITY Series.