Latest Lines: Xfinity 500

Dan Beaver
·5 min read



Line Moves

The Wednesday running of the Autotrader 500 created a short week. The lines set at PointsBet Sportsbook came out quickly, but were also quickly adjusted to reflect the actual movement of money. Most changes among the top-10 ranked drivers were minor and the effect on their handicap was minimal.

Martin Truex Jr. (+320) is a prime example. He began the week as highly favored at +325 and experienced a movement of +5 points. In this week’s Best Bets column, we noted that Truex deserved the designation based on back-to-back victories on this paperclip-shaped track. The fact that his payout is a nickel less on Saturday changes nothing, but it may signal that a lot of money was flowing in and the cumulative net effect was enough to warrant the move.

The slight movements this week also more clearly define favorites. Brad Keselowski (+560) and Denny Hamlin (+575) both opened at +550 and both had minor adjustments. The dime added to the payout for Kez and the quarter for Hamlin is not going to sway new bettors one way or the other, but it does reflect gamblers’ attitude toward a driver who has won two races on short, flat tracks this year (Keselowski) versus a driver who seems to have lost all or most of his momentum during the playoffs (Hamlin).


Kyle Busch (+800) entered the week as the fifth-ranked driver. He was slightly undervalued. His victory last week at Texas has taken a huge weight off his shoulder and the No. 18 Toyota is going to be much lighter – metaphorically speaking – than it was when he was at Martinsville this June. With 8/1 odds, Busch represents a good payday if he can win again and there are few drivers more determined that Rowdy.

In contrast, Chase Elliott’s (+800) slight decrease suggests that he was not getting enough movement and the pot needed to be sweetened slightly. The good news is that adjustment drags his top-three odds slightly. Elliott is probably not going to get the outright win and should be avoided, but he is likely to get close and a side bet of +240 on the No. 9 is advisable.

Joey Logano (+850), Kevin Harvick (+900), and Ryan Blaney (+1000) all remained unchanged.

The two biggest movers among the top 10 were Alex Bowman (+2200) with a 300-point deduction and Kurt Busch (+2800) with a 500-point decrease. Both are compelling dark horses that deserve a little attention if small side bets fit into your gambling strategy.

One of the most interesting moves was Jimmie Johnson (+3500). The clock is ticking loudly on his career and he has only two more chances to win. Next week at Phoenix will be a tall order because the Championship race has always gone to a championship-contending driver. Martinsville has the potential to be a little more egalitarian. This drivers’ track rewards precision and tenacity. At this stage of his career, both descriptions fit Johnson perfectly. Johnson’s top-three odds are +800, so bettors can double down if they have a good feeling about the driver who has won nine times on this track – the most recent of which came in 2016.

Prop Bets

Christopher Bell is listed at +265 to finish among the top-10. Cole Custer sits at +300 with Tyler Reddick at +215. Rookies are not necessarily good bets on this wild card short track, but this is not a normal class of freshmen. Reddick’s fourth-place finish at Bristol 2 and Bell’s ninth in Bristol 1 prove they are capable of surprising the oddsmakers and all three racers could garner modest wagers.

Ryan Newman is also listed at +265 to finish in the top 10. Earlier this week Newman was showcased as a driver capable of breach this number and nothing has changed our opinion.

Group A at PointsBet features the top four drivers. Truex (+180) is once more heavily favored, but $1.80 return on each buck wagered could refresh the kitty. Hamlin (+255), Keselowski (+255), and Busch (+300) follow closely behind.

That narrow margin is even smaller in Group B. Elliott (+240) and Logano (+240) are equally matched with Blaney (+245) and Harvick (+250) at near identical marks. What does this mean? That the handicappers are just as confused as bettors as to who has a clear upper hand.

That small gap is reflected down the line with no driver in five group matchups having more than 3/1 odds. Unless you have a clear favorite to win other than Truex, it is best to wait a week to make this prop bet.

Elliott (+140) over Bowman (+550) is the top-ranked Chevrolet driver. Keselowski (+215) over Logano (+350) tops the Ford contingent, with Truex (-110) to Hamlin’s (+185) it the favored Toyota driver.

For all the focus on Truex and his statistical dominance in the points spread, Ford and Toyota are equally favored to win the race at +130. If you believe either Elliott, Bowman, or Johnson can hold up the Hendrick Motorsports tradition on a track they once dominated, place a modest wager on Chevrolet at +300 to win.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Rank

Driver

Current Odds

Opening Odds

Change

1.

Martin Truex Jr.

320

325

5

2.

Brad Keselowski

560

550

-10

3.

Denny Hamlin

575

550

-25

4.

Kyle Busch

800

850

50

4.

Chase Elliott

800

775

-25

6.

Joey Logano

850

850

0

7.

Kevin Harvick

900

900

0

8.

Ryan Blaney

1000

1000

0

9.

Alex Bowman

2200

2500

300

10.

Kurt Busch

2800

3300

500

11.

Jimmie Johnson

3500

5000

1500

11.

Clint Bowyer

3500

4000

500

11.

William Byron

3500

4000

500

14.

Matt DiBenedetto

6600

7000

400

15.

Aric Almirola

7000

8000

1000

15.

Erik Jones

7000

7000

0

17.

Austin Dillon

9000

10000

1000

17.

Tyler Reddick

9000

10000

1000

19.

Christopher Bell

12500

12500

0

20.

Ryan Newman

15000

20000

5000

21.

Matt Kenseth

20000

20000

0

21.

Bubba Wallace

20000

30000

10000

21.

Cole Custer

20000

15000

-5000

24.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

25000

40000

15000

25.

Chris Buescher

40000

50000

10000

26.

JJ Yeley

50000

26.

Michael McDowell

50000

26.

Ryan Preece

50000

50000

0

26.

James Davison

50000

50000

0

26.

Corey LaJoie

50000

50000

0

26.

Ty Dillon

50000

50000

0

26.

Joey Gase

50000

50000

0

26.

Brennan Poole

50000

26.

Daniel Suarez

50000

50000

0

26.

Timmy Hill

50000

26.

JH Nemechek

50000

26.

Josh Bilicki

50000

26.

Quin Houff

50000

50000

0