Latest Lines: Toyota Owners 400

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Dan Beaver
·5 min read
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Line Moves

Last week Martin Truex Jr. opened at +525 and moved to +475 before the green flag waved over the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. He didn’t dominate, but when Ryan Blaney’s team made a mistake in the pits, he handily won. The week he opened at +450 for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway – continuing his upward trend. He was a +425 Saturday morning at PointsBet Sportsbook.

If you caught the betting segment on MotorMouths this week – the pilot of what is to become a weekly standard – you will have noticed that Steve Letarte believes he should be handicapped as the potential winner, but neither of us thinks he represents an acceptable bet at +450. Shaving a quarter off his potential payout hasn’t made matters any better. He still deserves to be a favorite, but so many things can happen in a NASCAR race that your money is better served elsewhere.

Nine of the top 10 ranked drivers experienced line moves this week. Often the line deviates only when money is placed on one side if the there is a lot of action or the other if handicappers need to sweeten the pot to get you to let loose of your hard-earned cash. Lowering the line typically means that bookmakers are pleased with the number of bets they received at the original odds and it’s time to reduce their vulnerability.

Major moves are fairly rare, but they happen.


If you were paying attention Monday morning, Kyle Larson (+775) could have been wagered at +1000. He was ranked about sixth at the time. It didn’t take long for him to move 225 points. Larson was a great value at 10/1; he’s almost as attractive at nearly 8/1 as oddsmakers struggle to figure out exactly what to do with this driver who missed most of 2020 and is assimilating into a new team. Until he drops below the +600 mark, he deserves a weekly bet.}

Denny Hamlin (+600) also showed significant movement this week. He opened at +675, which ranked him behind Truex and Brad Keselowski. Hamlin has a great reputation on short, flat tracks, but he struggled on the minimally-banked courses last year. We noted in the Best Bets column this week [https://edit-edge.nbcsports.com/edge/article/best-bets/beavers-best-bets-toyota-owners-400] that he was perfect on this course type in 2019 and so far that has also been true in 2021. If he drops below +600 before you have a chance to wager, skip him. But as long as he has at least a 6/1 Return on Investment (ROI) he is worth the risk.

Keselowski (+725) moved in the opposite direction and saw a full $1 deducted from his return. The loss of confidence by smart bettors is baffling because he has been one of Hamlin and Truex’s principal rivals on short, flat tracks in recent seasons with a top-five percentage of .611 over the course of the last 18 races. The only driver with that same record is Hamlin. Kez has top-fives in six of his last seven short, flat track races and if had not been in an accident last week in Martinsville, that would likely be seven.

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If you have any concerns about the outright win, Keselowski is listed at +200 to finish in the top three. True: the return is much lower, but so is the risk. Truex is listed at +110 for a top-three while Hamlin is +170. There are the drivers we expect to challenge for the win – along with Larson at +225.

Chase Elliott (+800) was another driver that bettors attached themselves to. He saw 100 points shaved off his total during the week. While he has run well on this track in the past, he does not yet have a victory. He finished fifth last fall, but was outside the top 10 in both 2019 races. He has some momentum on his side with last week’s runner-up finish at Martinsville – but not enough to make him a must-have. Whether you place a wager on him will depend entirely on how deep you reach into your pockets on a weekly basis.

Joey Logano (+850) saw a rise of 75 points, Kyle Busch (+1000) jumped by 200, Kevin Harvick (+1100) jumped 100, and William Byron (+2200) jumped 200 as oddsmakers tried to get more money to flow.

That leaves Blaney (+1400) as the only driver among the top 10 who did not see his line move. That stasis might have something to do with an inability by oddsmakers and bettors to decide exactly how he should be valued. Blaney does not run well at Richmond and has no top-15s to show for nine attempts. On the other hand, he has momentum on his side with last week’s solid run on the flat Martinsville Speedway. Bold gamblers will want to put some money on him in an attempt to capitalize on these long odds.

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Rank

Driver

Current
Odds

Opening
Odds

Change

Richmond 2020
fall (2634)

1.

Martin Truex Jr.

425

450

-25

460

2.

Denny Hamlin

600

675

-75

420

3.

Brad Keselowski

725

625

100

900

4.

Kyle Larson

775

1000

-225

5.

Chase Elliott

800

900

-100

1000

6.

Joey Logano

850

775

75

900

7.

Kyle Busch

1000

800

200

750

8.

Kevin Harvick

1100

1000

100

420

9.

Ryan Blaney

1400

1400

0

2500

10.

William Byron

2200

2000

200

5000

11.

Christopher Bell

2500

2800

-300

6600

12.

Alex Bowman

3300

3000

300

4000

13.

Kurt Busch

4000

4000

0

2800

13.

Austin Dillon

4000

4000

0

6000

15.

Aric Almirola

8000

9000

-1000

3300

15.

Tyler Reddick

8000

8000

0

8000

17.

Matt DiBenedetto

9000

9000

0

9000

17.

Bubba Wallace

9000

10000

-1000

30000

19.

Ryan Newman

12500

12500

0

12500

20.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

15000

12500

2500

20000

20.

Cole Custer

15000

15000

0

9000

22.

Erik Jones

20000

20000

0

3500

23.

Daniel Suarez

20000

20000

0

50000

24.

Chris Buescher

25000

25000

0

35000

24.

Ross Chastain

25000

35000

-10000

24.

Chase Briscoe

25000

30000

-5000

24.

Austin Cindric

25000

25000

0

28.

Michael McDowell

30000

25000

5000

50000

29.

BJ McLeod

50000

50000

0

29.

Ryan Preece

50000

40000

10000

50000

29.

James Davison

50000

50000

0

50000

29.

Corey LaJoie

50000

50000

0

50000

29.

Garrett Smithley

50000

50000

0

29.

Cody Ware

50000

50000

0

29.

Josh Bilicki

50000

50000

0

29.

Justin Haley

50000

50000

0

29.

Quin Houff

50000

50000

0

50000

29.

Anthony Alfredo

50000

50000

0

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