The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs are upon us and the Sportsbook race has the drivers competing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the South Point 400. The two men tied with the most points heading into the first playoff race are also tied with the top odds to capture the checkered flag. Those two drivers are Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, both +270 favorites to win.
Busch or Harvick? Who’s the driver to pick?
As it’s been all season, it is a coin flip as to who to wager on between these two championship contenders. The two drivers have combined for half of the wins this year with Harvick winning seven and Busch claiming six. So, who do you hitch your wagon to as the playoff season kicks off?
Kyle Busch (+270) would love to pick up the checkered flag in his home state of Nevada and did so in 2009, winning the pole and driving to victory lane. However, the 33-year-old has failed to return to glory at Las Vegas since then, finishing on the podium just once, earlier this year, and inside the top five just three times. When the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ran at Vegas earlier this season, Busch qualified 13th, led 10 laps and finished in second.
Kevin Harvick (+270) was the lone man that Busch finished behind in that March race. The California native qualified second, led 214 of 267 laps and drove himself to victory lane in a dominant performance. The 42-year-old also claimed the checkered flag in 2015 when he led 142 of the 267 laps. Harvick has only twice finished inside the top five since 2011, but both of those were victories. Expect another strong performance in the Sportsbook race of the playoffs.
Can the reigning champ flip the switch?
All season long Martin Truex Jr. (+450) has seemingly been in the shadow of Busch and Harvick, while quietly putting together a nice campaign, having 15 top-10 finishes and picking up four checkered flags along the way. Last year, the New Jersey native was unstoppable in the playoffs, having nine top-five finishes in the 10 races and driving to victory lane four times en route to his first championship. The question is whether he can do that again in 2018.
Truex has landed in the top five in three of the last four races at Las Vegas and inside the top 10 in five of the last eight. He also put in a dominant performance last year, leading 160 of the 267 laps for his first victory at the 1.5-mile track. In this year’s running at Vegas, the No. 78 car managed to lead only six laps – it was hard to lead any more than that because of Harvick’s tremendous run – and had a respectable fourth-place finish.
Logano is Providing the best value
Joey Logano (+1600) could be the dark horse for a Vegas victory. The 28-year-old has never found victory lane at this track yet but hasn’t been far off recently. The Connecticut native has landed inside the top 10 in each of the last five races at Las Vegas, including three top-five finishes and a second-place finish. Additionally, Logano has led laps in each of those races, and double-digit laps in four of the five races. With the likes of Busch, Harvick and Truex duking it out at the top of the field, it could be the time that Logano sneaks in for his first win in the South Point 400.
Here’s a look at the odds for the full field for the South Point 400: