With the 2018 NASCAR season coming to an end this weekend at Homestead-Miami, race fans will have their last chance to make some extra money for the next 3 months. Not only is the race sure to be an exciting one, the 2018 NASCAR Champion will be crowned. This means, NASCAR fans have the pleasure of two different major betting opportunities to take advantage of.

While Vegas has released their odds for each driver to win the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami, I have compiled data that reveals slightly different results. By choosing to ignore past year’s performances at this track and instead focus on season finish averages based on 1.5 mile track performances, I have created a list of drivers that are most likely to win this weekend. This list also allows us to evaluate each driver’s betting return based on their Vegas odds.

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Vegas Odds

  1. Kevin Harvick: 11/4
  2. Kyle Busch: 11/4
  3. Kyle Larson: 3/1
  4. Martin Truex Jr.: 6/1
  5. Joey Logano: 10/1
  6. Brad Keselowski: 15/1
  7. Chase Elliott: 20/1
  8. Denny Hamlin: 20/1
  9. Clint Bowyer: 25/1
  10. Kurt Busch: 25/1
  11. Eric Jones: 30/1
  12. Aric Almirola: 40/1
  13. Ryan Blaney: 40/1
  14. Austin Dillon: 80/1
  15. Jimmie Johnson: 80/1
  16. Daniel Suárez: 100/1

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1.5 Mile Finish Averages

  1. Kyle Busch: 5.4 (2) ^1
  2. Joey Logano: 7.25 (5) ^3
  3. Martin Truex Jr.: 8.9 (4) ^1
  4. Kevin Harvick: 9.3 (1) v3
  5. Kyle Larson: 9.6 (3) v2
  6. Brad Keselowski: 9.7 (6) –
  7. Austin Dillon: 10.4 (14) ^7
  8. Eric Jones: 10.6 (11) ^3
  9. Aric Almirola: 12.6 (12) ^3
  10. Ryan Blaney: 12.7 (13) ^3
  11. Clint Bowyer: 13 (9) v2
  12. Kurt Busch: 13 (10) v2
  13. Chase Elliott: 13.9 (7) v6
  14. Denny Hamlin: 14.8 (8) v6
  15. Jimmie Johnson: 17.6 (15) –
  16. Daniel Suárez: 19.25 (16) –

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kyle-busch-betting

Safest Pick: Kyle Busch

  • Homestead-Miami Odds: 11/4
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 5
  • NASCAR Standing: 2

Right out of the gate, I’m going against the grain with the safest bet to win at Homestead-Miami. While most experts seem to agree that Kevin Harvick is the favorite to win the NASCAR Championship this weekend, my data disagrees. Based on performances at 1.5 mile tracks this year, Kyle Busch has the best average finishes at an absurdly impressive 5.4. Although Harvick has 1 more win at a 1.5 mile track than Busch this year, Busch also hasn’t had a single poor performance on a track of this distance all season. If you’re the type of person that likes to put their money where the best odds are, I would recommend having faith in Kyle Busch to do what he does best at Homestead this weekend, win.

kevin-harvick-betting

Hedging Your Bet: Kevin Harvick

  • Homestead-Miami Odds: 11/4
  • NASCAR Standing: 4
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 9

While I just made the argument for Kyle Busch to win at Homestead-Miami this weekend, Kevin Harvick still has a great chance. He has the most top 5 finishes, tied with Kyle Busch for the most wins of the season and earned his Championship spot, twice. Not to mention, 4 of Harvick’s 8 wins this season, came from a 1.5 mile track. That being said, Harvick is racing without his crew chief Rodney Childers or car chief Robert Smith. Although interim crew chief Tony Gibson has proven to be championship capable before, I’m not sure how his health will affect a Championship run this weekend. At the end of the day, there’s a reason Busch and Harvick have the same odds. Even Vegas is having a hard time deciding between these two favorites. If you’re a person that likes to ensure they don’t lose, hedge your Kyle Busch bet with Kevin Harvick and you should be fine.

austin-dillon-betting

Big Risk, Bigger Reward: Austin Dillon

  • Homestead-Miami Odds: 80/1
  • NASCAR Standing: 13
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 10

Austin Dillon is a controversial driver that has seen extreme highs and lows this season. After immediately starting the season with a win at Daytona, Dillon didn’t see a top-5 finish until Michigan, 22 races later. In fact, he’s only had 8 top-10 finishes and 2 top-5 finishes this season. This is probably why he has such poor odds to win this weekend at Homestead-Miami at 80/1. Based on the list of drivers with the worst odds to win this weekend however, Dillon has the 7th best average finish at 1.5 mile tracks this season at 10.4. Although he’s had a fairly rough year, Dillon has two back-to-back top-10 finishes at the last two races. After being eliminated during the first round of the playoffs, Dillon’s No. 3 RCR team has put together a competitive car late in the season and experienced the capabilities they surely wish they would have earlier. With a huge payout, Dillon is a risk worth at least a few dollars for a huge reward.

ryan-blaney-betting

Dog Pick: Ryan Blaney

  • Homestead-Miami Odds: 40/1
  • NASCAR Standing: 9
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 13

In only his 3rd season as a full-time cup series driver, the young Ryan Blaney has started to emerge as a possible NASCAR Championship contender in the near future. This season, he has earned 16 top-10 finishes, 8 top-5 finishes and 1 win. He’s currently ranked 9th and has a 12.9 average finish for 1.5 mile tracks this season. Regardless of this fact, he only has 40/1 odds of winning this weekend at Homestead-Miami. The most recent 1.5 mile race at Texas Motor Speedway, Blaney finished 2nd behind Kevin Harvick who was later caught cheating with an illegally-altered spoiler. In fact, Blaney has finished in the top 10 at the last four 1.5 mile races with an average finish of 4th. Ryan Blaney is a driver that has proven he can compete with the best at a track of this length and could seriously upset the Vegas odds.

denny-hamlin-betting

Inflated Odds: Denny Hamlin

  • Homestead-Miami Odds: 11/4
  • NASCAR Standing: 11
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 9

Denny Hamlin has 20/1 odds to win at Homestead-Miami this weekend, the 8th best of all the drivers. Based on his season-long performance at 1.5 mile tracks however, he has an average finish of 14.8 which is only the 14th best. To me, that negative difference in standings doesn’t add up to a likely return. Instead, drivers with 40/1 odds like Aric Almirola or Ryan Blaney have better average finishes at 1.5 mile tracks that would offer much better payouts. Although Hamlin has 2 career wins at this track, the most recent was 5 years ago and he hasn’t won a single race this year.

kurt-busch-betting

Worst Pick: Kurt Busch

  • Homestead-Miami Odds: 25/1
  • NASCAR Standing: 6
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 10

Kurt Busch has been a full-time NASCAR cup series driver for 18 years and has proven the older guys can still keep up with 21 top-10 finishes, 6 top-5 finishes and 1 win this season. He’s obviously a great driver but I don’t see him winning at Homestead-Miami this weekend. Based on his season performances at 1.5 mile tracks, Kurt Busch has an average of 10. That is a worse average finish at these length tracks than drivers like Austin Dillon and with a substantially worse payout. Kurt had a solid run to qualify for the Championship 4 last weekend and if it wasn’t for Denny Hamlin, he might have actually got it. That being said, I feel like Kurt might be burned out after that intense debacle. Not to mention, this will likely be his last race with Stewart-Haas Racing. As much respect as Kurt Busch has earned this season, I just do not see putting money on him to win this weekend with a poor payout as a good idea.

joey-logano-betting

Championship Pick: Joey Logano

  • Bovada Championship 4 Odds: +325
  • NASCAR Standing: 1
  • 1.5 Mile Track Season Finish Average: 7

I’m aware that I am about to completely contradict some of my earlier picks but the payout for this is just too enticing. After being the first to earn a spot in the Championship 4 with a controversial win in Martinsville, Joey Logano boldly declared himself the Championship favorite. Vegas seemed to disagree with Logano however as he has been given the worst odds of the 4 contenders to win the Championship this weekend at Homestead-Miami. This doesn’t necessarily mean Logano is wrong however. Based on his season performances at 1.5 mile tracks, he has the second highest average behind Kyle Busch with 7.25. Unlike other Championship 4 drivers like Truex, Logano has proven that he isn’t afraid to do what it takes to win. Between 4 great drivers, this NASCAR Championship could honestly go either way. So, why not put your money on the guy with the biggest payout?

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