NASCAR has already produced three upsets in its first three Cup Series races this season, which has to make oddsmakers in Las Vegas particularly nervous.
The one place sports books don't want to be wrong is in their own backyard. And with Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosting the NASCAR Pennzoil 400 this weekend, Vegas bookies want to be on top of their game.
The NASCAR Cup races at Las Vegas are not particularly difficult to handicap since the 1.5-mile track has not produced a single upset over 26 races in its 22-year history. The only winner that could be considered even a mild surprise was Kurt Busch's victory last September, and that was only because Busch had never won at major NASCAR race at his home track.
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Early odds favor the sport's top drivers, but there have been three NASCAR upsets so far this season. Could another one dissappoint bookmakers this weekend?
NASCAR odds at Las Vegas
(Odds are from BetMGM, per NASCAR.com)
Martin Truex Jr. 6-1
Kevin Harvick 13-2
Brad Keselowski 13-2
Joey Logano 13-2
Denny Hamlin 9-1
Kyle Larson 10-1
Ryan Blaney 11-1
Chase Elliott 11-1
Kyle Busch 12-1
Kurt Busch 20-1
The NASCAR Cup favorites at Las Vegas
Truex is a solid choice at 6-1 as no NASCAR driver has been as consistent on the 1.5-mile track in recent years. Truex has six top-five finishes in his last nine races there, including two wins.
Brad Keselowski leads all active NASCAR drivers with three Cup wins at Las Vegas, while Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano have two wins apiece. Logano won this race last year, and all three NASCAR drivers open at 13-2 odds. Harvick and Logano have the top two driver ratings at the track at 104.8 and 104.6, respectively.
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Best bets to win NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas
While the favorites have the track record to back it up, there are also some great bets among other top NASCAR stars.
Though Denny Hamlin has never won at Las Vegas, it would be no surprise to see him finally take the checkered flag in Sin City. Hamlin won two NASCAR races on 1.5-mile tracks last year and three more on big, fast, unrestricted speedways. At 9-1, Hamlin is a good bet. So is defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott at 11-1.
Two other solid bets are Kyle Larson at 10-1 and Ryan Blaney at 11-1. Larson has six top-10s at the NASCAR track, including two runnerup finishes. He's also coming off a good run at 1.5-mile Homestead. Blaney also has six top-10s at Las Vegas, including three top-fives.
Then there are the local favorites, the Busch brothers. Kyle Busch won the 2009 NASCAR race at Las Vegas and is third in driver rating at the track with a 10.8 average finish. Kurt won the September NASCAR race at Las Vegas and is off to a strong start in 2021.
Long shots to win at Las Vegas
While there has never been a NASCAR upset at Las Vegas, there are some good gambles worth taking. Wiliam Byron has just one top-10 finish at Las Vegas, but who expected him to win last week at Homestead. He is 25-1 along with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman, who finished fifth there last September.
Matt DiBenedetto, meanwhile, has gotten off to a terrible start this season, slumping to 34th in points after three races. But the driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford finished second in both NASCAR races at Las Vegas last year.
Two other NASCAR drivers that jump out are Christopher Bell, who already has a win this season, and Tyler Reddick, who finished second last week at Homestead. Both are 50-1.
Long-Shot odds at Las Vegas
Matt DiBenedetto 30-1
Austin Dillon 30-1
Aric Almirola 35-1
Chase Briscoe 35-1
Christopher Bell 50-1
Tyler Reddick 50-1
Cole Custer 66-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 66-1
Ryan Newman 80-1
Bubba Wallace 80-1
Las Vegas Starting Lineup
1 Kevin Harvick - No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
2 William Byron - No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
3 Kyle Larson - No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
4 Martin Truex Jr. - No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
5 Michael McDowell - No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford
6 Denny Hamlin - No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
7 Kurt Busch - No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
8 Chase Elliott - No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
9 Alex Bowman - No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
10 Brad Keselowski - No. 2 Team Penske Ford
11 Tyler Reddick - No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
12 Austin Dillon - No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
13 Ryan Newman - No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
14 Kyle Busch - No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
15 Joey Logano - No. 22 Team Penske Ford
16 Christopher Bell - No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
18 Chris Buescher - No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
19 Ryan Preece - No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
20 Cole Custer - No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
21 Ross Chastain - No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
22 Daniel Suarez - No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet
23 Bubba Wallace - No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota
24 Chase Briscoe - No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
25 Justin Haley - No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
26 Ryan Blaney - No. 12 Team Penske Ford
27 Anthony Alfredo - No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford
28 Aric Almirola - No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
29 Erik Jones - No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
30 Matt DiBenedetto - No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford
31 Garrett Smithley - No. 53 Rick Ware Racing Ford
32 Cody Ware - No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet
33 Corey LaJoie - No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
34 BJ McLeod - No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford
35 Josh Bilicki - No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford
36 Quin Houff - No. 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet
37 Joey Gase - No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
38 Timmy Hill - No. 66 MBM Motorsports Ford