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Latest Lines and Proper Props: Texas

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: July 18, 2020, 1:40 pm ET

Opening lines for the O'Reilly 500 at Texas Motor Speedway were not set until Thursday following the All-star race and as a result, there was not much time for them to move.

Nevertheless, there were some fairly significant shifts in perspective as wagers rolled in.

Kyle Busch began the week as the second-most favored driver with +600 (6/1) odds alongside Denny Hamlin. Last week Busch had a significant bump as the race grew closer on the strength of a very strong Kentucky record. This week odds makers needed to boost the incentive slightly as Busch was listed at +650 on Saturday.

Busch has only one top-five at Texas in the past three years. That was a victory in spring 2018. He is currently listed at +175 to finish in the top three on the Draft Kings sportsbook and with an average finish of 11.5 over the last six races, he is a longshot to cover that bet.


Chase Elliott lost 100 points to his odds from Thursday to Saturday and landed at +800. While he got off to a strong start on this track with back-to-back top-fives in his rookie season, he has not cracked that mark again. He has been consistent with results of sixth through 13th in five of his last six attempts, but that is a far cry from making him a favorite to cover the outright odds to win. At +225 to finish in the top three, he is not a very good bet in that regard either.

Last week Kevin Harvick was the favorite with +500 odds on Saturday. He struggled at Kentucky for most of the race, but the team eventually put him in a great position to contend for the victory. In the closing laps, it seemed to come down to either him or Martin Truex Jr. (with +650 odds at Kentucky). Without a late-race caution, those two would have settled the matter between them, but NASCAR can be unpredictable and Cole Custer charged from row three to steal the win.

Harvick is the most-favored driver two weeks in a row. Only this time, his odds are a mere +300. His Texas stats bear up under that scrutiny because he’s won the last three fall races there and finished in the top five in two of the last three spring events. Harvick has not failed to earn a top-10 on this track in more than five years, but with such a minor payout, bettors will want to fade him.

The best place to do so may well be in a head-to-head matchup with Hamlin. Draft Kings has Harvick listed as -200 to finish ahead of Hamlin, giving the No. 11 driver +155 odds. Hamlin won this race last year. He finished third in fall 2017. It must be noted, however, that he has finished 25th or worse in the other four races during the last three seasons.

Bettors responded well to Ryan Blaney’s opening odds of +1100. So much so, in fact, that odds makers shaved 200 off his line. With 9/1 odds he is an interesting proposal. Blaney finished second in the fall 2018 race behind Harvick. More importantly, he was well on his way to scoring a fifth consecutive 1.5-mile top-five last week before he and Harvick made contact on the final restart. With +250 odds to finish in the top three, he is worthy of a hefty wager.

That Truex was able to challenge for the Quaker State 400 win is a testament to his doggedness. He was forced to start at the back of the pack when the team failed pre-race inspection twice. He seems to thrive under those conditions, however, and working his way through the field only improved the handling of his car. Still, there may have been some residual uncertainty about his luck because this week he dropped to +1000 for the outright win.

Draft Kings has a head-to-head matchup set between Kurt Busch and Erik Jones. Busch is listed as -139 with Jones at +108, which is favorable to bettors. Texas is one of Jones’ best tracks with three fourth-place finishes in a current streak of five consecutive top-10s. Busch is strong there as well with a current streak of six top-10s; none of these have been in the top five, however.

Blaney drew the outside pole to start the O'Reilly 500 and is listed as the favorite to win Stage 1 with +400 odds compared to Harvick’s +450. Harvick rolls off the grid fifth.

Draft Kings believes Harvick will gain momentum as the race progresses, however, because he is heavily favored to win Stage 2. Harvick’s Saturday odds to do so were +350 compared to Hamlin at +700. Blaney falls all the way to +900 to win the second segment.

The odds for any driver to win both stages and the race have been set at +550.

Elliott is a heavy favorite this week to be the best Chevrolet driver with +150 odds compared to Jimmie Johnson’s +550. Elliott has been erratic at times in 2020 and Johnson has been star crossed, which provides an opportunity to place a modest bet on Kurt Busch with +600 odds to top the bowtie brigade.

Harvick is heavily favored to be the best Ford driver with +125 odds to Blaney’s +500.

Kyle Busch and Hamlin are co-favored at +170 to lead Toyota’s charge. But if Jones has the type of day we expect, he could provide a lot of value at +800. Another interesting prop bet involving Jones is whether he can beat Aric Almirola (+215), Johnson (+240), or Kurt Busch (+250). Jones has the longest odds of Draft Kings’ Group C at +275.

Matt DiBenedetto is listed at +300 to beat Alex Bowman (+175), William Byron (+225), and Clint Bowyer (+325) in Group D. DiBenedetto is having a career year on most track types. Last week, he ran with the leaders for most of the race before finishing third. He was second at Las Vegas in Week 2 of the season. That makes him worth at least a modest bet to top this group of four drivers.

 

Rank

Driver

Current  Odds

Opening Odds

Change

1.

Kevin Harvick

300

300

0

2.

Denny Hamlin

600

600

0

3.

Kyle Busch

650

600

-50

4.

Chase Elliott

800

700

-100

5.

Ryan Blaney

900

1100

200

6.

Martin Truex Jr.

1000

900

-100

7.

Joey Logano

1100

1100

0

8.

Brad Keselowski

1300

1000

-300

9.

Aric Almirola

2000

2000

0

10.

Jimmie Johnson

2200

2000

-200

 

11.

Kurt Busch

2500

2500

0

12.

Erik Jones

2800

2500

-300

13.

Alex Bowman

3000

2500

-500

14.

William Byron

4000

3300

-700

15.

Matt Kenseth

5000

3300

-1700

15.

Matt DiBenedetto

5000

3300

-1700

17.

Clint Bowyer

6000

5000

-1000

18.

Christopher Bell

6600

6600

0

19.

Tyler Reddick

8000

8000

0

19.

Cole Custer

8000

8000

0

 

21.

Ryan Newman

12500

10000

-2500

21.

Austin Dillon

12500

10000

-2500

23.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

15000

12500

-2500

23.

Bubba Wallace

15000

15000

0

25.

Chris Buescher

30000

25000

-5000

26.

JH Nemechek

35000

35000

0

27.

Ryan Preece

50000

50000

0

27.

Ty Dillon

50000

50000

0

27.

Daniel Suarez

50000

50000

0

30.

Michael McDowell

75000

100000

25000

 

31.

Corey LaJoie

100000

100000

0

32.

JJ Yeley

150000

150000

0

32.

Reed Sorenson

150000

150000

0

32.

BJ McLeod

150000

150000

0

32.

Joey Gase

150000

150000

0

32.

Brennan Poole

150000

150000

0

32.

Timmy Hill

150000

150000

0

32.

Gray Gaulding

150000

150000

0

32.

Garrett Smithley

150000

150000

0

32.

Josh Bilicki

150000

150000

0

32.

Quin Houff

150000

150000

0

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.