Kyle Larson, who is coming off his win at the Charlotte Roval last weekend, is favored at PointsBet SportsBook to win Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC). If that is correct, it will be the eighth win of the season for Larson and the third since the playoffs began.
Two of Larson’s victories this season came on 1.5-mile tracks in the first of two races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Three of his last four races on this track type ended outside the top five, however. Larson’s line this week is +360.
One way to view American odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet. The return on investment for +360 odds is $3.60. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a line of +300 is the same as 3/1.
Denny Hamlin is ranked second this week with odds of +625. He has won the opening race of each round of the playoff’s including the most recent 1.5-miler at Las Vegas. That is one of three top-fives on this track type with the other two coming at the beginning of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway and in the first Vegas race.
Dating back to last year’s playoffs, Kyle Busch consistently has been the strongest driver on 1.5-mile tracks. After a sixth-place finish at Vegas last fall, Busch went on to score nine top-five finishes in the last 10 events on this track type. He won the most recent race at Texas in fall 2020 and was victorious in the first Kansas Speedway race this year. He is listed at +750.
Chase Elliott is ranked fourth at +775. Elliott has not yet won on an oval track in 2021, but he has come on strong in recent 1.5-mile races with second-place finishes at Charlotte and Vegas.
Martin Truex Jr. has 10 wins in 51 starts on 1.5-mile seasons during the last five seasons, but none of those came in the past two seasons. His most recent victory on this track type was in fall 2019 at Vegas. In 21 races since, he has earned nine top-fives. He is listed at +900 this week.
Ryan Blaney is one of six drivers to win on 1.5-mile tracks this year. His victory came at Atlanta this spring and is one of four top-fives on the course type. He is listed at +1000.
Kurt Busch won the second Atlanta race with a line of +3300. This week, he is listed at +3000 for Texas.
William Byron is the other 1.5-mile winner with his success coming at Homestead-Miami Speedway this spring. He is listed at +1800.
If success is truly the best revenge, Kevin Harvick will have to overcome +1500 odds to win his first race of 2021 and avenge his elimination from the playoffs. A recent precedent was set last fall when Busch won his first race of 2020 at Texas after failing to advance to the Round of 8.
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Dan Beaver handicaps NASCAR races for NBC Sports Edge.