NASCAR odds Phoenix: Picks and predictions for Sundays United Rentals 500
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The new low-downforce aerodynamic package is front and center for today’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.
With the new package drivers are talking about how the cars are slipping and sliding around. That leaves more to the drivers’ control, while at the same time creating enhanced tire wear compared to past races here.
MORE: Bell on new package: ‘I really like it’ | Explaining the new setup
This means that practice data becomes quite relevant.
Fortunately, we have an abundance of that from the 50-minute practice session NASCAR gave teams on Friday.
Combing through that data, as well as applying track and similar track history, I’ve found one group bet that really stands out based on the latest NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Odds, Pick for Phoenix
Group D at DraftKings consists of the following four drivers, with each’s NASCAR odds to win the group in parenthesis:
Brad Keselowski (+110)
Erik Jones (+240)
Austin Cindric (+450)
Aric Almirola (+500)
To me, Almirola’s price tag stands out like a sore thumb.
First, Almirola is very good at short, flat tracks. He’s finished inside the top 10 in 17 of 35 races (48.6%) at this track type with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).
That jumps to 15 of 28 (53.6%) in low-downforce years (removing 2019) and further increases to 12 of 20 races (60%) if we count last year as a higher-downforce year.
Undoubtedly, the short, flat tracks are Almirola’s best track type outside of the superspeedways.
Turning our eyes toward practice, Almirola once again looked competitive compared to this group.
While he didn’t fire off on the short run quite as well as Keselowski, he was in the same range as Cindric and Jones over five consecutive laps.
Where Almirola really shined, though, was on the long run.
Over 15 consecutive laps in practice, Almirola topped this group. What’s more, the falloff in average lap time was the smallest among this quartet.
As a result, Almirola had the second-best 10-lap, and best 15- and 20-lap time in this group.
Books likely lengthened his NASCAR odds here thanks to his 31st-place qualifying effort.
But all of SHR struggled in qualifying, which is likely a result of their focus on the long run.
Should we get a long green flag run to end this, it’s quite possible Almirola tops this group.
I have all four drivers back-to-back in my model in win and top-10 probability, so let’s roll with the one with the longest NASCAR odds.
The Bet: Aric Almirola (+500) to Win Group D | Bet to: +400