NASCAR Best Bets: Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400
Matt Selz brings us his top picks for NASCAR's Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400
The Brickyard is the venue for racing this weekend and that means we get another 2.5-mile flat track for the third race in a row. However, unlike the races at Pocono, Indy is a rectangular oval with four turns that are each separated by straightaways whether they be the long front and back stretch or the short chutes between Turn 1 and Turn 2 and Turn 3 and Turn 4.
This has typically been a track where starting up front gives you a great shot at winning as 50-percent of winners have come from the top-five starting spots in the 26 Cup races here. The numbers get higher if you look at the top-15 starting spots at around 80-percent. Drivers that ran well at Pocono last weekend are at the top of the list for drivers we will look to bet on this weekend since the tracks are pretty comparable.
Kevin Harvick +350 - Harvick won this race last year and had a great weekend at Pocono as he won on Saturday and finished P2 on Sunday despite saying his car was faster on Sunday. Harvick has been great at Indy with the best average finish over the last four and eight races at the track with six top-10s in the last eight races.
Denny Hamlin +550 - Hamlin has the most wins in Cup series this year with four wins including on Sunday at Pocono and nearly winning at Pocono on Saturday as well. Hamlin has four top-fives in the last eight races at Indy with another two top-10s giving him the second-best average finish in the field in that span. He’s starting P6 which gives him nearly a two-thirds shot at winning given past history for starting spots at this track.
Joey Logano +800 - Logano is on the pole which has typically been a very good starting spot here with a near 20-percent shot at winning over the 26 races here. His boss, Roger Penske, also bought the speedway this offseason and this will be the first Cup race held here under his ownership adding to a bit of a narrative for the Penske cars to do well on Sunday. Logano had three wins earlier this season but has cooled off a tad over the last four races which is why his odds are not higher. We’ll take advantage of the favorable starting spot at a track he’s performed well at recently with the second-best average finish in the last four races here.
Aric Almirola +1800 - Almirola is on quite the hot streak with four-straight top-five finishes and now he’s starting P5 on Sunday. The speed has been there for Almirola to be a contender late in the race at Indy and as stated above, half of the winners here have started in the top-five. Almirola has had one of the fastest cars on the track dating back to several races ago and that should transfer again to Indianapolis.
William Byron +3500 - Byron finished in the top-five here last year and has been lightning quick of late. Starting outside the top-15 is a bit of a risk here but five winners have come from outside the top-15, which is the same number of pole winners that have won. Byron is starting P18 on Sunday but also held serve well at Pocono in a similar set up. He will need some breaks to lock down the win but the speed is there for him to be a player late in the race.
Ryan Newman +10000 - Newman is making a return trip to his home track and typically this track has been kind to Newman as he’s posted three top-10s in the last four races here. Newman will be starting P14, therefore right inside the top-15 odds we’ve already highlighted, which makes him an intriguing bet at these odds.
Bubba Wallace +15000 - Wallace had a P3 finish here last year and the 43-car team has shown quite a nice bit of speed lately. He has three top-10s to his credit already this year so why not take a shot on him getting his fourth and potentially a win at a track he ran very well at here last year in this same aero package?
Chevrolet - Winning Manufacturer +400 - Chevys have won 17 of 26 races at Indy but only one of the last five. Their grip on Indy has been waning in the last several years but that’s why the odds are what they are as opposed to Ford at -115 and Toyota at +175. Half of the best bets above are in Chevys and on Sunday at Pocono they looked very fast and had several cars in the top-10.
Stewart-Haas Racing - Winning Team +275 - Sure, we could bet the field, which you could if you think Team Penske wins and get a return of +225, but if you look above, there are two SHR drivers listed and two that are starting in the top-five. Those are odds I like not to mention SHR won this race last year and had a great weekend at Pocono last weekend.
Ryan Newman - Top-five finish +1300 - Newman is at his home track this weekend and his history here has shown that he performs well at his home track. Three top-10s in the last four races and starting P14 means he’s got a shot to finish in the top-five as he finished P8 here last year after starting P22.
William Byron - Top-five finish +480 - Byron finished last year in the top-five here and the last three races have had green flag speed that ranks in the top-three on the track. With strong runs at Pocono this is a nice return for a top-five bet.