Jake Ernst previews the Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway and picks out the best bets from this weekend’s NASCAR series event.
It has been just six races since the NASCAR series last raced at Pocono Raceway and this weekend; they will be heading back for the second of two races at the track for the Gander RV 400.
The 2.5-mile asphalt track was opened in 1971 and has hosted a total of 83 races up to this point. There has been a total of 37 different drivers to earn a win at Pocono and of those 37, 10 will actually be in the field this Sunday so there will be no shortage of talent.
This upcoming race will feature a diverse spread of betting lines with the favorite opening at +275 and the biggest underdog coming in at +100,000. Sure, everybody loves pulling for an underdog but in this particular race, I would advise staying away from that trap. It’s certainly not a bold statement by any means but barring any type of unforeseen event, I believe one of the favorites will prove to be victorious on Sunday.
Now that you know a bit of the history behind the track and what some of the odds are looking like, lets take a look at my three best bets for the upcoming race:
The bet: Kyle Busch to win the race at +275 on SugarHouse Sportsbook
At this point, you don’t even need to look at the odds to know Kyle Busch is the favorite for Sunday but his statistics at Pocono Raceway are very lopsided and as a gambler, you can make what you want out of them.
Surprisingly enough, Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, will be starting in his 30th career race at Pocono this Sunday where he has won just three times before. What is really interesting (and should be appealing to gamblers) though, is that those three wins have all come within his last four races at the track, so yeah, he has been pretty dominant here over the last two years.
The 34-year-old has finished in the top-10 a very impressive six times in a row at Pocono with his last four finishes consisting of a win, a third place finish and back-to-back wins. Yeah, I know you hear this every week but you’re probably going to want to bet on Busch this Sunday.
The bet: Martin Truex Jr. to win the race at +500 on SugarHouse Sportsbook
The 39-year-old has similar stats to those of Kyle Busch at Pocono Raceway but at +500, Truex has far greater odds to win the race. Truex has 27starts at Pocono Raceway, which ranks him fourth among active drivers but has finished in the top-five just 18% of the time (five top-5’s out of 27 starts), a very underwhelming stat for a high-caliber driver like Truex Jr.
However, on the bright side and much like Busch, Truex’s wins have both come in recent years with the first being in 2015 and the last coming in 2018. With that being said, you can tell that both Busch and Truex are improving over time at Pocono and it’s quite safe to say that they are aging like fine wine.
The bet: Ryan Blaney to finish 1-3 at +500 on SugarHouse Sportsbook
One of NASCAR’s rising stars has raced at Pocono just seven times in his career but in those seven starts, has finished outside the top-12 just once. Pocono Raceway is where the 25-year-old secured his first-career win back in 2017 on the Monster Energy Cup Series level and has shown a ton of consistency at this track over the course of his young-career.
Blaney has had a bit of a roller coaster season thus far but this is a race that I believe he has had circled on his calendar for quite some time. While I’m not completely convinced he has the skill to win this race over the likes of some of the series’ best drivers like Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr or Kevin Harvick, I think he has a decent shot at a podium finish (1-3) and with odds of +500, I think there is some solid value here.