Stock car racing action continues this week from Las Vegas with the Kobalt Tools 400 and Oddsbay's handicapping team has all of the NASCAR betting picks you need to reach the 'winner's circle'! Make Oddsbay your home for the best sports betting information and free picks available anywhere in every season and every sport on the board!
CARL EDWARDS: Carl Edwards has the car to beat at Las Vegas. He'll start third and had one of the fastest cars in post qualifying practice. Edwards turned in the second fastest average practice time and the fastest in the final 'Happy Hour' practice. He won this race in 2008 but our only trepidation about using the #99 car is his tendency to 'find trouble' and wreck. To some extent, however, that's the trick with handicapping NASCAR--you can figure out which drivers have done well historically on a particular track and evaluate their qualifying and practice performance before the race. Once you've done that you've also got to get some 'racing luck', not only as a bettor but as a driver. The #99 team has 'circled' this race for a strong performance, or as Edwards himself said on Friday "this race will show how good this team is." That's the kind of thing that NASCAR drivers are supposed to say but we think he means it this time. The #99 team will debut a new car (chassis #732 for you NASCAR geeks) in this year's Kobalt Tools 400. Typically we try to 'beat the favorite' in most NASCAR races but in this instance the favorite has the best car and if he can avoid trouble should be in the mix at the end. He's +400 at 5 Dimes.
MATT KENSETH: Kenseth set a track record in qualifying which earned him the pole position for the race. He's got two wins at Las Vegas and has finished outside of the top 20 only once (due to a blown engine, which is a rarity for the slick operation at Roush Racing). He's finished top ten or better in six of the last eight races here and has five top five finishes in that stretch. The #17 was one of the best drivers last year on 1.5 mile tracks (called 'intermediate tracks' in NASCAR parlance) with the second best average finish. Over the past 10 races at Las Vegas, Kenseth has the best average finish of any active driver. He looked strong in practice and is a driver that usually does well at avoiding trouble. When Kenseth qualifies well he usually competes for the win and we expect him to do that here. He's +675 at 5 Dimes.
GREG BIFFLE: Notice a trend here? Yep--the Roush Racing team usually does well at Las Vegas. He's got three straight top ten finishes and five top tens in his last seven races here. He's only finished lower than 16th once (during his rookie year). He was quick in practice and is also good on 'intermediate tracks'. He'll roll off fourth and while he may not have quite as strong of a car as teammate Carl Edwards we expect him to be in the contention for the win. He's +900 at 5 Dimes.
Here's our percentage breakdown of how to allocate your wager:
45% of wager on Carl Edwards at +400
30% of wager on Matt Kenseth at +675
25% of wager on Greg Biffle at +900
Underdogs that could be worth a shot:
TONY STEWART: Stewart had a fast car in practice and while he hasn't won here he's got four top fives among six top ten finishes. In any case, he's not a bad value at +1700.
PAUL MENARD: Solid on intermediate tracks and has the fastest Chevy in the field. Turned in some impressive times in practice but has always had a trouble 'finishing well' despite having a good car. In terms of quality to value, he could be worth a flyer at +8500.
DAVID REUTIMANN: Reutimann is generally an underrated driver and he's available at a huge price here. He's won in Chicago and Charlotte which have similar track characteristics to Las Vegas. Finished 4th in 2009 and looked good in practice. He's a good driver to get at +7000.
TONY STEWART -115 OVER DENNY HAMLIN
MARK MARTIN +115 OVER KURT BUSCH
CLINT BOWYER -115 OVER JUAN PABLO MONTOYA