The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona this weekend for the TicketGuardian 500 with Kevin Harvick Sportsbook as the betting favorite at +200 to win his third race in a row. Unlike most races, this one is measured in kilometers and will be a 312-lap battle.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook lists Harvick at the top of the oddsboard, with Kyle Busch at +550, Kyle Larson at +750, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski at +850, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott at +950, Joey Logano at +1350, Ryan Blaney at +2000 and Erik Jones at +2250 to round out the top 10.
Can Kevin Harvick be stopped?
The driver of the No. 4 Ford Fusion is on a tear to start the 2018 season, winning back-to-back races and leading the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup standings. Harvick is priced accordingly, considering he has won this race three years in a row from 2014 to 2016 and four times total.
That being said, only 19 drivers in NASCAR’s history have won three consecutive races during a season and the odds are stacked against Harvick to pull off the feat. The hat trick hasn’t been accomplished since Jimmie Johnson achieved the milestone in 2007.
Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. should be on every bettor’s radar
Both of these drivers are too talented, with outstanding crews, to stay off the podium for long. Keselowski and Truex combined for 34 top-five finishes last season, including 11 checkered flags.
Truex is the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion and may be due for a win as this is his longest stretch (three races) without making the top of the podium since May 2017.
On the other hand, Keselowski owns 24 victories in his career and won the NASCAR championship in 2012. He may not own a victory at this track but with second- and sixth-place finishes this season, he may be too under the radar.
Is Ryan Newman or any other driver worth betting on?
Newman is the reigning Sportsbook at this track and also finished first in 2010. At +5500, it wouldn’t be a bad wager to invest in a repeat Sportsbook as Kevin Harvick proved that drivers can be victorious in consecutive years in this race. The one factor holding Newman back is he only won one race last season and guess where it was? (Go ahead, I’ll wait.)
Logano is currently second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup standings and had 10 top-five finishes last season. While he’s performing respectably in the rankings, he only has four wins over the last two seasons and may be inclined to play it safe and try to keep his place near the top of the standings.
Say what you want about Johnson but with 13 victories in the last three seasons, the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro just continues to win on this circuit. Having won at this track in 2008 may seem like a long time ago but you can’t discount Johnson’s chances with so many options for bettors to choose from.