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NASCAR Betting Free Picks: Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – SportsUntapped.com
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Added February 27th, 2010 by David Glisan

NASCAR Betting Free Picks:  Shelby American at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
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NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series makes their annual pilgrimage to Southern Nevada on Sunday for the Shelby American at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  We had a good week with our NASCAR betting last week as we hit a winner on Jimmie Johnson at Fontana.  We’ll try to keep the winners coming this week in a notoriously tough track to handicap.

Since NASCAR starting running in Las Vegas back in 1998 there have been eight different winners (Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Sterling Marlin) and three multiple winners (Burton and Kenseth twice, Johnson three times). Compounding the difficulty in handicapping the race, the track was completely reconfigured in 2006.  The most important change impacting Sprint Cup racing was adding more graduated banking in the corners to encourage side by side racing.


As we’ve talked about before, the way I handicap the ‘to win’ bets for NASCAR is adapted from an associate of mine who has an excellent track record in handicapping major stakes events in horse racing.  Basically, you try to come up with a ‘profile’ of past winners and narrow the field down to the drivers who best fit this template.  Once you’ve done that, you can evaluate prices and come up with a wagering mix that will give you a few different drivers who’ll give you a profit if they win.

The first thing we look at is the starting positions of previous winners.  The furthest back in the field that this race has been won from was 25th by Matt Kenseth in 2004.  Jimmie Johnson won the race from the #23 starting position in 2007–the first year of racing on the reconfigured track.  Since then the race was won last year by Kyle Busch from the pole and the year before by Carl Edwards from the #2 position.  It’s too soon to say this categorically, but there’s a chance that the changes in the layout now make a good qualifying spot all the more important.

Another component is historical performance at the track, and we’ll give an added emphasis to performance in the two races on the reconfigured layout.  Surprisingly, the name that keeps popping up for the best average finish is Jeff Burton.  Burton not only has the best average finish of all active drives at LVMS (11.5) he also has the best average finish in the past six and eight races as well.  More significantly, perhaps, he has the highest average finish in the two races on the new configuration (4.0).  Burton is as wily a veteran as you’ll find in NASCAR and if anyone can overcome a substandard starting position he’s the man.  He’ll start 22nd which is inside of our ‘cutoff’ of 25th.

The best average over the past four races is Las Vegas native Kyle Busch, who won the race last year and has a 6.0 average finish in that timeframe.  Strangely enough, it seems that his brother Kurt Busch always qualifies better (he’ll start from the pole on Sunday) but Kyle finishes better.  Kyle Busch will start 5th and will try to be the fourth driver in the track’s history to win back to back races.

Another component we evaluate are driver ratings from the track which include a variety of statistical data such as average speed, average finish, laps led, top 15 finishes, etc. over the past five races.  The top driver under this metric is Jimmie Johnson followed by Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.  Greg Biffle is 4th and Jeff Burton is 5th.

So based on these factors, my driver mix will include defending race winner Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton.  Obviously Jimmie Johnson is a threat, but he’s the favorite at most books and not much of a value–particularly from a #20 starting position.  Biffle is definitely a ‘dark horse’ candidate to win, but we’re getting a better price to statistical performance ratio with Burton.  Best prices we’ve found as of this writing are at Bodog and Bookmaker, and we’ll split our wager up as follows:

50% OF WAGER ON KYLE BUSCH +700 (Bodog)
35% OF WAGER ON JEFF GORDON +900 (Bodog)
15% OF WAGER ON JEFF BURTON +2000 (Bookmaker)

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