Las Vegas offers the race fan many destination alternatives that other tracks around the country do not provide, or even allow. The motor speedway is fast and usually lends itself to clean and exciting racing. For the traveler there are motels and hotels abound to suit anyone’s budget or fetishes. The bus service to and from the race can not be beat as I have literally been back in my hotel room an hour after the race ended. There is plenty to see and do once the race ends, and I recommend waiting. Race fans flock out-of-town on Sunday evening after the race and it’s really a perk to have the city much more available on Monday and Tuesday. Also by staying after the race to enjoy Las Vegas the lodging prices are not as expensive.
Las Vegas is a place where subtly is scarce, however there is an emphasis to quietly but effectively let the audience know that betting widely exist on NASCAR. As written yesterday the Las Vegas race produces the largest betting handle of the season for NASCAR. The casino sportsbooks will take in 4-5 times what they would for the Daytona 500 which is the second biggest race in terms of money wagered. Notice how the odds are referred to more than once during tomorrow’s telecast.
In most other sports the largest betting handles are generated at the championship level. An example of this is the Superbowl or the World Series. NASCAR is in a different situation as they increase betting figures and therefore interest only when they visit Las Vegas. We know that when more money is bet on a given event the overall interest increases. NASCAR is very aware that creating new fan growth means adopting how younger fans want to be involved. It’s not enough anymore to just have a favorite driver when you can have a favorite driver and some action on the outcome. This form of evolving action is in race wagering and NASCAR Daily Fantasy. In terms of growth and interest NASCAR made a very bright decision to add a playoff race to Sin city.
Since the betting handle is so much higher on NASCAR this week, the odds makers are extra tight. When the odds opened earlier in the week several drivers were left off the board until practice and qualifying were completed. Daily Fantasy does not have that luxury as they set the prices once the opening odds are out. Due to the fact that wagering on NASCAR is currently limited to a few states, NASCAR daily fantasy (DFS) needs a larger footprint will help develop new fans.
DFS – The DFS picks as typical are divided into tiers based on the prices at DraftKings. All picks listed below have qualified by formula. If a driver is not listed then they failed to make the cut, however it should not exclude them from doing well or winning. Again you have to take a stand, and value is what drives the stance. I am giving a push to the drivers who performed well in the Xfinity race. The bumps in turns 1 & 2 are upsetting the cars and this paired with a lower spoiler of a cup car makes the extra track time valuable. The stages are set to end at lap 80 and 160 of 267 total laps. I expect an uptick in caution flags from years past at Las Vegas. The bold drivers are slightly higher rated per tier but others should be integrated into lineups.
DraftKings $10,000 – $10,700
Keslowski – Could lead many laps, especially early. Not worth 5/1 but more on that later.
Harvick – If he is this hot it will be his day. Typically not his best track
J. Johnson – Tournament option as he will likely move up and could win, again not worth 13/2
Kyle Busch – Tournament option as he (2) DNFs at Las Vegas. Hard to bet @ 7/1 with high DNF%
Logano – Cash game option, weekend sweep?
M. Truex – Looked great all weekend, could lead a lot of laps if things go his way from the green.
Kenseth – See above, and ultra consistent. Cash play.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Tournament play, he will likely move up quickly if trouble is avoided
Elliott – Fast in practice, good starting spot. 8/1 is rough, no dice.
Larson – Consistent all weekend, learned something about the low line in the Xfinity race too.
Kahne – Fast all weekend, good starting spot. Tournament option, with 2 DNFs
A. Dillon – Ran well all weekend and will likely move up, tournament option
Blaney – He is for real and has a great starting spot.
Suarez – Little to go on but he appears to making the move to cup swiftly. Ran well all weekend. Tournament option.
Newman – Likely to move up. History of running well at Las Vegas.
Bayne – Practiced faster than his qualifying effort
Allmendinger – Has a shot to move up
TY Dillon – Ran well Saturday, good price and can improve on race day
Menard – Tough to move up much but could have good finish
C. Buscher – Real stretch if salary savings is desperately needed.
Wagering – The odds are terrible this weekend in terms of value. There is an extra “Vegas squeeze” coming from the Bookmakers due to the fact that they have a captive and vacationing audience who are looking for action. B. Keslowski at 5/1 is horrible and I would not touch it at all. Following Keslowski there are several drivers between 7/1 and 10/1 and the majority of them offer little value except for the two listed below. I will not bet a driver who is not worth the posted odds, even if I think they might win. As you can see many of the prime favorites are left out this week due to odds value / likely win %. Below are the drivers that meet a minimum value to win based on current odds. Wagers should be structured so the payout is relative no matter who wins from the group. These odds will change with the influx of money bet tomorrow.
Logano – 8.5/1
Harvick – 8.5/1
*UPDATES POSSIBLE UNTIL RACE TIME*
*Stats used for formula courtesy of www.DriverAverages.com