South Point 400 Odds & Picks
Race: South Point 400
Date: Sunday September 15, 2019
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Time: 7 pm ET
What Did We Learn From Last Week
Kevin Harvick managed to pull off another win this year in a race tattered with wreckage at Indy. He held off Joey Logano, who took second place, in a very dominating performance. Harvick ran up front for much of the race, even winning the second stage by an unprecedented 6.118 seconds over Logano. Overall, Harvick led a total of 119 laps after starting from the pole and led a total of 5 times. Joey Logano, as previously mentioned, finished second followed by Bubba Wallace, William Byron, and Clint Bowyer to round out the top 5 spots. Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman, Chase Elliott, and Paul Menard finished out the top ten. Indy concludes the regular NASCAR Cup Series season. Starting this weekend, we are heading into the Chase and the final races of the season to crown the champion.
Perhaps the biggest storyline of the day, though, was the fact that Jimmie Johnson ended his streak of 15 straight years of making it into the postseason competition. Unfortunately for him, Johnson was involved in an 8 car wreck after a restart on lap 105, causing catastrophic damage to the #48 Chevrolet, leaving him no choice but to retire from the race early. He collided with Kurt Busch and several others were involved, but Johnson took the biggest hit in ending his contention for the Chase. He was more of a dark horse, anyway, as he essentially needed a win or a super finish to edge his way back into the top 16 to begin with. As Johnson stated, the team has had the entire season to get into the position they needed to be in the Chase and they just couldn’t get the job done. Another loss for the Chase contenders was Daniel Suarez. He was continuing to chase Ryan Newman, but traffic got the best of him. Traffic was definitely a big factor in the race, and ultimately caused heartbreak for many, including Suarez.
Where Are We Heading This Weekend?
As we move into postseason racing, we are going to see a shift of sorts with the teams and drivers, whether or not they are championship contenders. That is because those who are not contenders will likely be trying new strategies and vying for next year to see what kind of strides they can make before heading into the 2020 season. We also have to keep in mind that these teams also have virtually nothing to lose. A win is a win, and that’s still what every team is looking to capture. Those teams that are, in fact, championship contenders are going to be methodical in moving forward. While wins give a driver an automatic pass into the next stage, consistency will also be important. If a driver can’t get those wins, then taking risks that cause finishes of 25+ are not going to help those teams. Drivers need to continue to be consistent while also maintaining strong running positions and running for the win each and every race. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is our opening track for the Chase. We’ve raced here once this year back in March, where Joey Logano was victorious. This speedway is a 1.5-mile asphalt tri-oval. It’s fast. It’s one of the faster intermediate tracks we have, which is evident due to its configuration. The banking is what makes the speed here. It has variable banking through the turns that ranges from 12 to 20 degrees. As someone who has actually driven on this track, I can attest to the speed that coming out of 20 degree banking allots. You are talking speeds near 200mph with that sort of momentum.
Odds And Potential Winners
Knowing that we are at an intermediate track, and better yet, one with a lot of speed, picking a driver to win really isn’t too tough. Narrowing the field here is easier than in other circumstances. We’ve already raced once here, so we know what the aero package gives us. We also saw a dominating performance by the Penske drivers. While Logano pulled away with the win, teammate Brad Keselowski followed suit with a runner-up spot. The Penske horsepower is no joke and it’s certainly something that is necessary at a track like this. I am expecting very similar performances from both drivers this weekend. I also anticipate that Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who finished 3rd and 4th respectively in March will have repeats as well. With Harvick coming off a win at Indy, he will most certainly be very competitive going into Las Vegas. Let’s take a look at your potential winners this weekend:
Low Odds Pick: Joey Logano (13-2). For a limited time, you can essentially make free South Point 400 bets by taking advantage of a 100% match play bonus at MyBookie. Simply deposit $100 to $1000 and they will bonus you with a matching amount that you can use for free wagers!
Middle of the Road Pick: Kyle Larson (12-1)
Dark Horse: Aric Almirola (100-1)
Aric Almirola might not seem like a likely choice, but he’s been consistent in top 15 finishes. He came in 7th at Las Vegas in March. Overall, he’s getting better and better. This guy is coming on strong, and people don’t give him the credit he is due in my opinion. With 100-1 odds, he might not be the popular choice, but boy will your bank account look good if he comes home with a win! Look for him to be a strong force this weekend. Kyle Larson is another driver that is getting better throughout the season. He’s had a few hiccups and didn’t have the best finish here in March but definitely not the worst at 12th place. That being said, we used to see him very successfully run the top line of the track all the way around these intermediate speedways. I am anticipating him getting back into a little bit of domination with these types of tracks. At 12-1 odds, he’s also not the favorite, but he’s not too far off. He’s got a good shot here with his previous record on the intermediate tracks. Let’s see what he can do this weekend. Finally, Joey Logano is going to be the class of the field. This guy won this race in March and is coming off a runner-up finish from Indy. Oddly enough, he’s not the favorite here either, but he’s got very good odds. He will definitely give us a strong showing, and my radar puts him in victory lane. With the horsepower needed for this track plus Logano’s success here and throughout the rest of the season, he is the one to beat. Let’s see where the points are sitting as we head into the first of the Chase races:
- Kyle Busch (9-2)
- Denny Hamlin (15-2)
- Martin Truex Jr. (13-2)
- Kevin Harvick (5-1)
- Joey Logano (13-2)
- Brad Keselowski (6-1)
- Chase Elliott (16-1)
- Kurt Busch (20-1)
- Alex Bowman (30-1)
- Erik Jones (12-1)
- Kyle Larson (12-1)
- Ryan Blaney (25-1)
- William Byron (28-1)
- Aric Almirola (100-1)
- Clint Bowyer (33-1)
- Ryan Newman (66-1)
Ryan Newman was the lucky winner to climb his way into the top 16. Clint Bowyer also scrounged his way into the field. He is a strong driver but he’s had a bout of bad luck and inconsistency. The funny thing about these first few races is that we will easily see those last 4 drivers probably fall right out of contention. We sometimes have a mulligan with one or two drivers who get lucky with a win and move on. Las Vegas is a place of luck, so we shall see. Let’s see who gets lucky with the chips this weekend as the drivers head to Sin City for the opening race of the Chase!
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