2018 Pocono 400 Betting Sites, Odds, Preview and Predictions

by Rick Rockwell
on May 31, 2018

On Sunday, June 3rd, NASCAR heads to Long Pond, Pennsylvania, for the Pocono 400. This is the first of two annual races held at the Pocono Raceway during the NASCAR season. This will also be the 14th race of NASCAR’s 26 race regular season schedule.

The Pocono 400, which was reduced from 500 miles to 400 miles in 2012, consists of 160 laps with 3 stages:

  • Stage 1 – the first 50 laps
  • Stage 2 – the second 50 laps
  • Stage 3 – the final 60 laps

Ryan Blaney won this race in 2017 and looks to become one of only a handful of drivers to win the Pocono 400 more than once. Currently, Blaney is 5th in the odds to win this race.

Coming into the Pocono 400

Coming into the Pocono 400, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have won 9 of the first 13 races. If you count the All-Star race two weeks ago, then these two have won 10 of 14 races. They’re at the top in wins, playoff points, stage wins and laps led on the season. So, it’s no surprise that these two drivers are the odds on favorite to win this Sunday at Pocono. Busch dominated the Coca Cola 600 last weekend and finally won at a track he’s never won at before. He’s become the only active driver to win at every race track.

Harvick had a terrible week leading up to the Coca Cola 600 and ended up having to start at the back of the pack. However, Kevin was able to work his way up into the top 10 before crashing into the wall and being knocked out of the race. Despite his poor performance last weekend, Harvick has slightly edged out Busch as the favorite to win at Pocono this weekend.

Pocono 400 Betting Sites

As we’ve pointed out in recent articles, it’s important to choose the right betting site for wagering on the Pocono 400. Make sure the betting sites are reputable, offer a wide range of withdraw and deposit options, have great customer service and are easy to place bets with.

Also, make sure these sites offer NASCAR betting, which includes specific types of wagers like:

  • Pocono 400 winner
  • Pocono 400 driver matchups
  • Pocono 400 prop bets
  • Pocono 400 live betting

Not many sites offer live NASCAR betting, but if you can get the first three of these wager types then you are still on your way to an exciting Pocono 400 betting experience.

Past Pocono 400 Winners

The record number of times a driver has won the Pocono 400 is 4 times. This record is held by Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Bobby Allison and Tim Richmond. There are only two current drivers who have won this race more than once and that’s Jimmy Johnson and Denny Hamlin. The following is a dating back to 2001, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Year Car # Winning Driver Winning Racing Team Model
2001 28 Ricky Rudd Robert Yates Racing Ford
2002 88 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford
2003 20 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet
2004 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2005 99 Carl Edwards Roush Racing Ford
2006 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet
2007 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2008 9 Kasey Kahne Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge
2009 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
2010 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2011 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2012 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2013 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2014 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2015 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
2016 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
2017 21 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford

Pocono 400 Betting Odds

The following is a list of betting odds on who will win the 2018 Pocono 400 courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas Superbook:

  • Kevin Harvick 5/2
  • Kyle Busch 3/1
  • Martin Truex Jr 6/1
  • Denny Hamlin 10/1
  • Ryan Blaney 10/1
  • Brad Keselowski 10/1
  • Kyle Larson 10/1
  • Joey Logano 20/1
  • Erik Jones 20/1
  • Kurt Busch 20/1
  • Clint Bowyer 20/1
  • Aric Almirola 30/1
  • Chase Elliott 40/1
  • Jimmie Johnson 50/1
  • Daniel Suarez 50/1
  • Ryan Newman 100/1
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr 100/1
  • Jamie McMurray 100/1
  • Paul Menard 100/1
  • William Byron 100/1
  • Alex Bowman 100/1
  • Austin Dillon 300/1
  • Matt Kenseth 300/1
  • Kasey Kahne 500/1
  • Darrell Wallace Jr 500/1
  • AJ Allmendinger 500/1
  • Chris Buescher 500/1
  • The Field (all other drivers) 500/1
  • Ty Dillon 1000/1
  • Michael McDowell 2000/1

The Betting Favorites

According to Westgate’s odds, here are the Top 5 favorites to win the Pocono 400:

Kevin Harvick 5/2

Harvick has won 5 races so far this season and sits on top of the playoff standings. Unfortunately, he had a miserable performance last weekend, but looks to rebound at Pocono where he’s never won this race. In fact, in nearly 3 dozen starts at this track, Harvick has never won a race here.

Last year, Kevin finished second in the Pocono 400 as he desperately tried to force the eventual winner Ryan Blaney into making a mistake on the final lap. Look for Harvick to come out aggressive in this race as he tries to rebound from last weekend and get his first ever win in the Pocono 400.

Kyle Busch 3/1

Kyle Busch’s performance at the Coca Cola 600 last weekend was absolutely impressive. He dominated the entire race, led the most laps, won the stages and clearly showed why he was the best man to stand in the winner’s circle. Kyle has won at Pocono Raceway, but it was for the second race of the season, not the Pocono 400. So, he will look to continue his dominance this season and carry the momentum from the Coca Cola 600 into this race. With 4 wins on the season, and sitting at the top of the point standings, it’s a coin flip as to whether he or Harvick will win any given race from this point forward.

Martin Truex Jr 6/1

The reigning NASCAR champion knows what it takes to win here. Truex won the 2015 Pocono 400 and finished in the top 10 last year. Currently, Martin Truex Jr. sits 5th overall in the points standings with 1 win and eight Top 5 finishes on the season. Martin has had a steady season so far, but nothing like last year’s run. With the second half of the regular season kicking off this weekend, look for Truex Jr. to start winning more stages, earning more points, and contending for each victory including this weekend at Pocono. MTJ proved that he’s ready to make a second half push as he finished 2nd at the Coca Cola 600 last weekend, earning himself 54 points.

Denny Hamlin 10/1

Along with Jimmy Johnson, Denny Hamlin is the only current driver to have won this race more than once. He last won the Pocono 400 in 2010, but generally fares well at this track. Currently, Hamlin sits 7th in the point standings and has six Top 5 finishes on the season. Hamlin had a strong performance last weekend at the Coca Cola 600 finishing 3rd. He’s starting to heat up as the temperatures and the pressure to make the playoffs rise. Denny has yet to win a race this season, but watch out for him at Pocono where he could become a 3-time winner.

Ryan Blaney 10/1

Blaney did a remarkable job last year winning the Pocono 400 as he fended off multiple attacks by Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. It was the first win of his Monster Energy Cup career and he did it with one of NASCAR’s oldest racing teams – the Wood Brothers. This year, Blaney hasn’t had consistent success. He’s currently sitting 11th in the point standings and only has three Top 5 finishes so far. He crashed out of last weekend’s race, finishing 36th. But, with his experience winning last year, Blaney does have the confidence to turn this season around and get another big win for his career, which could also lock him in for a playoff spot this postseason if he can take the checkered flag at Pocono.

The Best Value

It seems like every week, I’m picking these two drivers as the best value. Well, that’s because they are. Last weekend, I took Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson as the best value with JJ as my top value pick. Busch ended up finishing 8th and Johnson finished 5th. I believe both drivers have a shot at winning this race and an even better chance of finishing in the top 5 this weekend:

Kurt Busch 20/1

The man who currently sits 6th in the standings is at a remarkable 20-to-1 odds. Hamlin, who sits one spot below Kurt in the standings has higher odds to win this race at 10-to-1. So, Westgate thinks that Hamlin is twice as likely to win this race over Busch. I find this to be rather shocking considering how well Kurt Busch has run here since 2011. During that span, Kurt has five Top 5 finishes, six Top 10 finishes, and won the Pocono 400 in 2016. At the track itself, Busch has 3 career wins, an average start of 10.5 and an average finish of 14.2. Last year, Busch finished fourth in the Pocono 400. I expect Busch to be one of the best cars on the track when it’s all said and done this weekend.

Jimmie Johnson 50/1

At 50/1 odds, I love this value. Johnson is a two-time winner in the Pocono 400 and a 3 time winner at this racetrack. He’s led the most laps out of any driver in this race with 738. In 32 starts at Pocono Raceway, JJ has 11 Top 5 finishes, 19 Top 10 finishes, and an average finish of 12.1. Jimmy won the 2013 and the 2004 Pocono 400, but has had some rough finishes here the last couple years as he crashed out in 2016 and 2017. He did finish 3rd in 2015.

The Darkhorse

Some might consider Jimmie Johnson the darkhorse, but I think there’s one even more of a longshot to win than JJ and that’s Kasey Kahne at 500/1 odds. In 28 starts at the Pocono Raceway, Kahne has 2 wins, five Top 5 finishes, nine Top 10 finishes, and an average finish of 18.4. Kahne won the Pocono 400 in 2008 and has led 219 laps at this track. Kahne finished 35th last year due to a crash. In 2016, he finished 6th. Kasey finished 20th at the Coca Cola 600 last week and currently sits outside the top 25 in the standings. But, this could be the track that Kahne turns his season around.

Pocono 400 Head to Head Matchups

At hot-casino.com, we love these driver matchups. The goal of this type of wager is to pick the driver that will finish higher between the pair. Each week, some betting sites have dozens of matchups. The following are a few matchups that I really like. Odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.eu:

Jimmie Johnson -115 vs Daniel Suarez -115

I’ve already expressed my thoughts on why Johnson has a shot at winning this race. I love his odds and his overall experience at this track. The matchup with Suarez is a good one because Daniel only has two starts at the Pocono Raceway and an average finish of 11th. In the 2017 Pocono 400, Suarez finished 15th. Last weekend, Suarez finished 15th at the Coca Cola 600 and currently sits 18th in the points standings. Johnson sits 12th in the points standings. Give me JJ in this matchup.

Erik Jones -115 vs Kurt Busch -115

Like with Jimmie Johnson, I believe Busch has a huge experience advantage at this track over Jones. However, unlike Suarez, Jones ran really well last year in the Pocono 400 as he finished 3rd. In the second race at this track, Jones finished 8th. Erik sits 13th in the points standings and Busch is 6th. Not only do I like Kurt Busch to win this matchup, I also like him to contend for the win at the Pocono 400.

Denny Hamlin -115 vs Kyle Larson -115

Here’s another great matchup on paper, but when you dig deeper you will see that Hamlin is the man to take in this head-to-head battle. On the season, Hamlin is 7th and Larson is 9th in the points standings. Both of them have comparable stats for the season in top 5 finishes, top 10 finishes and laps led. However, Hamlin has the better history at this race track than Larson.

Hamlin is a two-time winner and one of the 5 favorites to win this race at 10-to-1 odds. Larson also has the same betting odds, but his best finish at this track was 5th in the 2014 Pocono 400. In 8 starts at the Pocono Raceway, Larson has an average finish of 11.6. Hamlin has 24 career starts, with an average finish of 11.8. However, in addition to winning two previous Pocono 400’s, Denny has also won two other races at this track. He’s second among active drivers in laps led, behind Johnson, with 688 laps. Give me Hamlin in this matchup.

2018 Pocono 400 Checkered Flag

In the 14th race of the regular season, the Pocono 400 will certainly provide some exciting action. I don’t see one driver dominating the race like Busch did last weekend at Charlotte. I expect several drivers to lead the race and to contend for the checkered flag. In no particular order, I like the following drivers to finish in the Top 5:

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Kyle Busch
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Kurt Busch
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Four of these drivers are listed in the Top 5 odds to win the race, so it won’t be a surprise if they do end up finishing Top 5 in the race. It’s hard to pick against Harvick or Kyle Busch in this race or any race for that matter. But, I’m going with Denny Hamlin to get his first win of the season.

2018 Pocono 400 Betting Recap:

Here’s a quick recap of my 2018 Pocono 400 bets:

  • Winner: Denny Hamlin at 10-to-1
  • Best Value: Kurt Busch at 20-to-1 and Jimmie Johnson at 50-to-1
  • Head-to-Head: Jimmie Johnson (-115) over Daniel Suarez
  • Head-to-Head: Kurt Busch (-115) over Erik Jones
  • Head-to-Head: Denny Hamlin (-115) over Kyle Larson
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