Kyle Larson waves to fans before a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
- Kyle Larson is the favorite this week at the South Point 400 on Sunday, September 26th, 2021
- The “Race For The Chase” continues as the Round of 12 phase begins
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday night’s race in Las Vegas
NASCAR heads to Las Vegas for the South Point 400 on Sunday night. This is after the race at Bristol, where Kyle Larson bumped and grinded his way to a sixth win this season. It just shows that the Hendricks Motorsports Racing driver will indeed do anything to win. Given his performances on low-maintenance, high-horsepower tracks, it is not a surprise why he is a favorite in the South Point 400 odds. It does seem Hendricks leads the way on this intermediate course.
Let’s look at the South Point 400 odds from the Las Vegas tri-oval and figure out which drivers are the best bets.
NASCAR South Point 400 Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win at DraftKings||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Five|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+900||+300||+130|
Odds as of September 23rd
Kyle Larson Favorited to Leave Las Vegas With Win
NASCAR drivers will run on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway when the flag drops for the Sunday night race beginning around 7:00 PM EST.
At Bristol, Larson was again dominant on the longer run. That is no exception in Las Vegas. The first two stages are 80 laps each, but the third and final stage is 107 laps. With the race being held at night, track temperatures should be cooler by then. That makes the track more of a low-wear, high horsepower kind of race.
That again favors Larson here because of his success in 2021 when running on intermediate tracks like the 1.5-miler at Las Vegas. His speed intervals lead all drivers. Furthermore, the No. 5 car just seems to get better and better as these races go on. On the Vegas track, Larson has an average finish of 5.83 over his past six races, including a win and five top-ten results.
Now, as an aside, did anyone notice those bunched-up odds again? First, here is the starting grid.
— Speedway Digest (@speedwaydigest) September 22, 2021
It is not a surprise that Kyle Larson starts at the pole based on metrics. Again, the top 12 in the playoff chase get the preference here as far as starting order. Larson over the past three seasons has the second-best driver rating on intermediate tracks as well. Again, few drivers can go out there and have the potential to win a race.
Also, the first race of this three-race trilogy carries some intrigue. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have technically won the last two Fall races here in Las Vegas. This year has been a different story on intermediate tracks. Hendricks Motorsports has led the way headlined by Kyle Larson.
South Point 400 Recent Winners
|Year||Race Winner||Pole Position||Most Laps Led|
|2020||Kurt Busch — Chip Ganassi Racing||Kevin Harvick — Stewart-Haas Racing||Denny Hamlin — Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2019||Martin Truex Jr. — Joe Gibbs Racing||Clint Bowyer — Stewart-Haas Racing||Joey Logano — Team Penske|
|2018||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske||Erik Jones — Joe Gibbs Racing||Martin Truex Jr. — Furniture Row Racing|
The race is normally 400 laps but overtime has occurred in two of the three Fall races at Las Vegas. It has been a primetime race since 2019 to avoid the searing Las Vegas heat. Lower track temperatures and night racing tend to mix well.
Can Joey Logano Surprise in Las Vegas?
Sports bettors have a small window of history when it comes to the Team Penske driver. However, Joey Logano has taken a slight downturn in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, but here is where it gets fun. The problem is Logano has not run well this year on intermediate tracks. This flies in the face of what he has done over the past three seasons.
This includes Las Vegas where Logano is third among all active drivers with an average finish of 6.43. Logano has won twice and has six top-ten finishes in seven races. Now, about that contrast…
— Ryan (@ifantasyrace) September 22, 2021
So, who do you see not on this list? That’s correct. Joey Logano. Logano was in the top-five in speed on long runs during Vegas races in 2019 and 2020. The Team Penske driver starts ninth on Sunday night. That could be a problem too.
Brad Keselowski or Martin Truex Jr. Worth a Look?
Two of the past winners in the South Point 400 odds have favorable history on their side. Both Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. have finished in the top ten during six of their last seven races in Las Vegas. They have driver ratings of well over 100 as well. Keselowski has the best average result at 4.86. Truex Jr. comes in at a solid 6.57.
The two drivers have both led less than 10% of the laps despite running right near the front. Yes, the Hendricks cars are faster but this duo can win on opportunity alone. Keselowski struck three years ago to win in Vegas this week. Then, Truex Jr. did so a year later.
Aggregate average running position on 1.5-mile tracks this year:
1. Kyle Larson (3.7, lol)
2. William Byron (7.2)
3. Kyle Busch (7.5)
4. Denny Hamlin (8.3)
5. Martin Truex Jr. (9.2)
6. Alex Bowman (9.8)
6. Brad Keselowski (9.8)
8. Ryan Blaney (10.2)
9. Chase Elliott (11.5)
— Jim Sannes (@JimSannes) September 20, 2021
For those wondering, Keselowski and Truex Jr. are right there on all intermediate tracks this year. The Team Penske driver finds ways to contend and knows his Charlotte Roval results are disastrous. The urgency is up for the driver.
Can Alex Bowman or William Byron be ones to watch? That answer is yes. Also, Byron and Bowman’s South Point 400 odds (+1200 and +1800) have shortened in response.
Here are our best bets:
- Top Pick: Kyle Larson to win (+330)
- Medium Shot: William Byron (+1200), Brad Keselowski (+1500)
- Longer shots: Alex Bowman (+1800 and +600 Top 3 hedge), Ross Chastain (+6000)
- Brad Keselowski Top 3 (+500), Kevin Harvick Top 5 (+140), William Byron Top 5 (+170)
A journalist veteran for over two decades, Chris has taught the gamut of fantasy hockey sports online from injuries to news to prospects, and more. He has bet on several sports and written sports betting articles about the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL, and NHL for USA Today.