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The western tour continues for the NASCAR Cup Series as it takes to the one-mile delight in the desert at Phoenix Raceway. The Instacart 500 will take place on Sunday, and this year‘s field of drivers contains some of the all-time best competitors in track history. It makes the NASCAR odds this week even more interesting than usual.
Last week, we saw a competitive race at Las Vegas. Kyle Larson came out on top in that one. Could he repeat? Or will the all-time track winner mentioned below continue his dominance in Arizona?
Chase Elliott +500
Let‘s face it, Elliott is going to be the popular choice at a lot of tracks this year. That happens when you‘re one of the youngest NASCAR Cup Series season champions in history. His surname also doesn‘t hurt the case, as he‘s the son of Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott.
The younger Elliott has a pretty solid resume at Phoenix — six top 10s in 10 races, one victory, and the fourth-best average finish among active drivers. This kid continues to impress, and he‘s proven to be a jack-of-all-trades driver, conquering a diverse array of tracks.
The NASCAR odds this week favor Elliott, but only slightly.
OTHERS: The truth is, Kevin Harvick (+600) is the most successful driver of all time at Phoenix, and it is not even close. Harvick‘s nine all-time wins dwarf the next competitor (Jimmie Johnson with four). He has 25 top 10s in 36 starts and hasn‘t been outside the top 10 at all since coming over to Stewart Haas Racing in 2014. Kyle Busch (+800) has won 16 total races at Phoenix in the top three NASCAR series. Keep an eye on these two this weekend.
THE DARK HORSE THREAT
Kyle Larson +1000
One has to like Larson‘s momentum the past two races on similar-style tracks to Phoenix. He won last week‘s race at Las Vegas, and he took fourth at Miami the week prior. While Larson doesn‘t have a race win here, his past success on tracks like Phoenix is well-documented.
Larson has four straight top-six finishes at the Arizona track, and he seems to have some serious momentum going. He‘s earned a front-row start to the race thanks to NASCAR‘s formula that sets the field (during COVID-19). He‘ll start second next to Brad Keselowski. Starting in the front row on a one-mile, tri-oval track like Phoenix is a massive advantage.
OTHERS: William Byron (+1600) is another guy to keep a close eye on. He‘s been pretty consistent at Phoenix with two straight top 10s and a race win in the Xfinity Series a few years ago. Ryan Blaney (+1400) starts eighth, and in his past four starts there, he has three top-six finishes. That starting position combined with his recent success there makes him somebody to watch.
THE INTRIGUING LONG SHOT
Kurt Busch +2500
Honestly? It‘s kind of weird calling Kurt Busch a “long shot”, but according to the odds, he is. He will start twelfth in the field, which isn‘t bad. His Phoenix history is decent: one career win, 20 top 10s in 36 starts. He‘s run rather well here the past two years since coming on board with Chip Ganassi Racing.
OTHERS: Christopher Bell (+2500) has done some special things this year, too. He already has a win (Daytona Road Course), and his season‘s results have put him in the fourth starting spot. He also has won at Phoenix in the Xfinity Series. Erik Jones (+10000) may be considered a long shot in the NASCAR betting lines, but he has won twice at the track in the Camping World Truck Series and has four top 10s in nine races.