2016 Nascar Odds: Toyota/Save Mart 350 Predictions
Nascar returns this Sunday after a short break, as all of the big names hit the Sonoma Raceway track in California for the 2016 Toyota/Save Mart 350.
This track is a bit unique, as it boasts some right-hand turns – something drivers are not accustomed to. Needless to say, how drivers handle that could have a huge hand in this race.
The clock is ticking on drivers wanting in on the Chase, and snagging a win this weekend could get someone in. Let’s see who stands out ahead of the pack, who could be a sneaky play and who ultimately is the best bet to come away with a win at this year’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 race.
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Top Toyota/Save Mart 350 Favorites
Vegas has Kurt Busch out in front, but he’s in a pretty tight grouping of four drivers with single digit odds. They have stiff competition even behind them, though, with a whopping 11 drivers entering with 20/1 odds or better.
- Kurt Busch 5/1
- Jimmie Johnson 7/1
- Kevin Harvick 7/1
- A.J. Allmendinger 7/1
- Carl Edwards 10/1
- Martin Truex Jr. 10/1
- Kyle Busch 10/1
Busch is an obvious play to lead the way here, as he’s run wild at Sonoma Raceway with a win and seven runs inside the top-5. He’s also arguably the top overall driver on the year, as he has one win and leads Nascar with 13 top-10 finishes.
Like any race, the Toyota/Save Mart 350 has a ton of drivers to consider, and that naturally has Jimmie Johnson in the mix. Johnson is a borderline lock for the top-10 and maybe even the top-5, as he won here in 2010 and hasn’t finished worse than 9th in any of his last seven runs. That type of consistency – plus his two wins on the year – make him as big of a threat as anyone.
Harvick is another guy who has enjoyed a strong 2016, as he has one win already and has the second most top-10 finishes (12) in all of Nascar. His precise upside at this track is tough to gauge, but he has run well in the past.
Allmendinger has really nice odds even though he has just three top-10 runs and zero wins. He is more of a sleeper than a favorite at first glance, but he’s probably one of the more versatile drivers in this race, so his skill-set could suit well for this track.
Edwards has been a bit of a boss at Sonoma, as he almost won here in 2014 and has fared quite well in each of his last three runs. It doesn’t hurt that he’s been the third best driver by the numbers this year, either, bringing two wins and 10 runs inside the top-10 into Sunday’s race.
Truex and the other Busch brother round out the list with 10/1 odds, and both need to be taken very seriously as legit contenders to take home first place. Truex actually won here in 2013 and is another guy who has been running well for most of the year. Kyle Busch could just as easily be the top contender in place of his brother, though, as he’s won this event two times before – including just last year.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sleepers
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 18/1
- Chase Elliott 20/1
- Kasey Kahne 30/1
- Brad Keselowski 50/1
- Matt Kenseth 50/1
This is a very tough group of sleepers to bet against, as Kahne, Elliott and Earnhardt are the only ones that don’t have a win in 2016. They’ve still run extremely well, though, with Dale Jr. finding himself inside the top-10 six times and Elliott winning two poles (11 top-10 runs).
Both have to be seen as solid threats in this race, as Earnhardt has really amped up his game lately on road course races, while the rookie Elliott has little to go on in the form of negative. It’s his first crack at Sonoma, so he really could go either way.
The real excitement probably starts with Kahne in this group, and it just gets better from there. Kahne actually won here in 2009 and currently sits one spot out of the Chase cut-off. He should run well out of pure desperation.
Keselowski might be the best pure bet at the Toyota/Save Mart 350, as he’s second in the Chase on the year and has two wins, six top-5 runs and 10 top-10 finishes. He’s one of the best drivers out there right now. He has struggled in road course races, but it’s tough to look away from 50/1 odds with such a productive driver.
The same goes for Kenseth, who is 9th overall on the year with a win and six finishes inside the top-10. This probably isn’t his race on paper, either, but he also sports 50/1 odds and could be worth a flier bet simply due to his ability and solid 2016.
Toyota/Save Mart 350 Prediction
If his odds met his production rather than his ability to potentially exploit this track, Allmendinger would be a lot more appealing.
For the same reason you shouldn’t be betting on A.J., you may want to throw some coin at Keselowski and Kenseth. They’re not safe bets at all to raise the checkered flag, but they’re great drivers and 50/1 odds offer a nice payout.
The winner is likely coming out of that top contender grouping, however. Math tells us that, as there have been six drivers to win one race in 2016, but four guys have won 2+. Logic gives us Keselowski, Johnson, Busch and Edwards.
There is still a chance Elliot or Dale Jr. bust out and get a win here, but the safe money is with the top contenders.
Of that pack, Carl Edwards feels like the ticket. He’s been great on the year, but he’s also running hot with finishes of 6, 8 and 4 in three of his last four races. In fact, he hasn’t been worse than 18th during that span and .
Edwards is third in the Chase scoring, he’s coming in hot and he’s fared well at this very track. He even won in 2014, so everything adds up to another good run at the very worst, and a big win at best. If he can make it happen, Edwards would get his third victory of the year and would inch closer to the top of the standings.
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