Beaver’s Best Bets for the Alsco Uniforms 250

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The NASCAR Cup series has a week off from points’ paying race this week, but there will be plenty of action at Texas Motor Speedway. The Alsco Uniforms 250 Xfinity race and SpeedyCash.com 200 Truck race insure that Saturday will be busy. On Sunday, the NASCAR Open and All-Star race takes center stage.

This will be the fifth Xfinity race contested on a 1.5-mile track this year. So far, there have been no repeat winners with Myatt Snider taking the checkers at Homestead-Miami Speedway, AJ Allmendinger at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Justin Allgaier at Atlanta, and Ty Gibbs last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. If the oddsmakers are right, there will be a fifth new winner this week as Kyle Busch climbs behind the wheel of a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

There is a lot that can happen in NASCAR race. Accidents can swallow up unlikely drivers, mistakes in the pits are relatively common, and last July we saw the series strip the win from a driver for failing inspection. In prior seasons, they would have fined the driver and team, but let the victory stand. With a new rule in place, they dropped the winner to 37th. And who was that ‘winner’? Kyle Busch.

Proposed Winner

On paper, Busch (-145) is easily favored and PointsBet Sportsbook has given him minus odds. It is difficult to make a case as to why a bettor should fade Busch. He has crossed under the checkers first in his last three Texas Xfinity attempts and is going to be in the best equipment in the field.

Moreover, he is highly motivated to get two more wins under his belt to crack the 100-mark in this series. Dating back to the start of the 2019 season, Busch has finished third or better in every Xfinity race he entered with three exceptions. His Texas disqualification last year was preceded by a blown engine at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2019 and a broken suspension at Watkins Glen one race earlier.

Six of these podium finishes were victories, including in his last outing at the Circuit of the Americas when he won the pole and race on an unfamiliar track. Texas is far from unfamiliar.

Best Bets for a top five

The upside of Busch being such a heavy favorite, however, is that it drags the odds for other drivers to a much more profitable level. All other drivers in the field this week are listed at greater than 5/1. One of these is second-ranked Austin Cindric (+560). If Busch does not find Victory Lane, there is still a good chance that a new driver will because Cindric has three top-fives in the previous four 1.5-mile events. The best of these was a second to Gibbs in Charlotte.

Harrison Burton (+850) is ranked third, but there is a big drop between him and Cindric. There is a lot of rationale to put at least a few units on him to win because he is in equipment equal to Busch and has been steadily improving on the track type in 2021. He ran into trouble in Homestead, but rebounded to finish ninth at Vegas. His last two 1.5-mile races ended in third-place finishes at Atlanta and Charlotte.

If Noah Gragson (+1000) can avoid bad luck this week, he is another driver who should be able to crack the top five. He finished fifth at Vegas and fourth at Atlanta before experiencing trouble last week. In 2020, he was a terror on the 1.5-milers and just needs to have his confidence restored to challenge for the win.

AJ Allmendinger (+900) is undoubtedly pleased with his "cookie-cutter" win at Vegas and last week’s victory on the road course of Mid-Ohio. His inconsistency might have left him vulnerable in the points without those wins, but this is definitely a driver capable of finishing in the top five at Texas. In addition to his Vegas victory, he has another top five at Atlanta on this course type.

If you are looking to place a unit on a dark horse, Brandon Jones (+1800) raises his hand with 18/1 odds. Jones got off to a great start on this track type and came up one position shy of Snyder at Homestead. He was third at Vegas on the next 1.5-miler. He had trouble at Atlanta and only came partway back at Charlotte with an eighth-place finish but that is one of the reasons for his long odds.

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