On Sunday, September 15th, NASCAR will be live from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the South Point 400. This is not only the first race of the playoffs, and the 27th overall race of the season, but it’s also the second annual trip that the Monster Energy Cup Series makes to Las Vegas.
The opening round of the playoffs features the South Point 400 and two other races where the 16 eligible drivers will try to earn wins and points in order to move on to Round 2. After the first three races, the four playoff drivers with the lowest points will be eliminated.
The same elimination format applies for rounds two and three. The fourth round is a championship race at Homestead-Miami for the final four drivers.
NASCAR betting sites not only have Kyle Busch listed as the odds on favorite to win Sunday’s race at Vegas, but he’s also the favorite to win the 2019 NASCAR Championship. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are right behind Busch in NASCAR betting odds for this weekend’s event.
South Point 400 Race Profile
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a traditional oval track with a lap distance of 1.5 miles long. There are four turns with banking from 12 to 20 degrees. In 2018, the South Point 400 became the second annual Las Vegas race along with the Pennzoil 400, which is typically run in March. Sunday’s race breaks down as follows:
The South Point 400 is set to begin at 7 PM ET and will air live on NBC Sports Network.
With all of the excitement heading into the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on at Las Vegas:
The 2019 playoff format is as follows:
Sunday’s South Point 400 marks the first race of the 2019 NASCAR playoffs. The following 16 drivers are eligible for the postseason and are ranked as follows:
The first ever NASCAR race held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the Pennzoil 400 in 1998. That race was won by Mark Martin. Since then, Jimmie Johnson has won the most times at this track with four victories.
In 2018, NASCAR decided to remove a fall race at New Hampshire and replace it with a second Las Vegas race called the South Point 400 named after the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa. Brad Keselowski won this race last year.
The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are listed as the odds on favorites to win at Las Vegas on Sunday:
|Driver||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Avg Start||Avg Finish||DNF|
It’s “put up or shut up time” and I believe Kyle Busch will be one of the playoff drivers that “puts up.” Busch is poised for another big playoff run after winning the regular season title for the second straight year. With that said, Kyle needs a bounce back performance after finishing 37th last weekend at Indy.
Kyle hasn’t won since Pocono, which was the beginning of June. Since then, he’s had eight Top 10 finishes in 12 races. But he blew an engine last weekend and barely made it through half of the race.
At Vegas, Busch has raced well in his career. Over 16 starts, Busch has nine Top 10s and one victory. His 12.2 average finish is sixth best among active drivers with three or more starts. In the spring Vegas race, Busch finished third and led some laps. He finished seventh here last year and second in the 2018 spring Vegas race.
Kyle has five Top 7 finishes in the last seven races at Las Vegas, and I believe he’s going to be a player for the checkered flag on Sunday.
As mentioned, Keselowski won this race last year and is poised for another strong run at Vegas this weekend. Keselowski has eight straight Top 7 finishes and three wins at Las Vegas and a career average finish of 12.2. However, if you take off his first four races, Brad has a stellar 3.25 average finish.
On the season, Keselowski finished with three wins, but he hasn’t won since Kansas which was nearly four months ago. Brad comes into the postseason sixth in the standings and also had a poor showing last weekend at Indy just like Busch. Keselowski crashed and finished 38th.
Prior to Indy, Keselowski had five Top 10 finishes in six races. He also led laps in four of those races. I believe Keselowski will be a serious threat to win at Vegas this weekend. In fact, I would’ve put him as the odds on favorite to win. Online betting sites undervalued him for this race.
Joey Logano is the reigning NASCAR champion. He made it to Miami-Harvick is quite possibly the hottest driver heading into the postseason. If not, then he has to be one of the top two or three drivers with the most momentum. Harvick won last weekend at Indy and has three wins in the final seven regular season races. He also led in five of those races as well.
Harvick will be starting fourth in the playoffs and he’s coming to a track where he’s performed well at over his career. Harvick has two wins at Vegas including the spring 2018 race. He crashed in this race last year, but finished fourth in the spring race this season.
I expect Harvick to be no worse than a Top 10 car on Sunday. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s racing for the win as the laps wind down. However, let’s see how his car is handling before we declare him a major threat to win. Harvick has crashed out of two of the last four races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Not only is Joey Logano the defending NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series champion, but he also won the Las Vegas race this spring and sits fifth in the playoffs standings. Logano’s second win of the season was at Michigan when he was the most dominant car on the track.
Joey was able to finish second to Harvick at Indy last weekend and even led some laps. It was a nice bounce back after five straight races of finishing 13th or worse, which was Logano’s worst stretch run of 2019 so far.
At Vegas, Logano leads all active drivers that have more than three starts with an 8.5 average finish. He also has a 7.8 average start and eight Top 10s in 12 career starts. Logano has finished inside the Top 10 over the last seven Vegas races and led laps in all of them as well.
I like Joey this weekend, but nobody has ever swept Vegas before. Furthermore, it’s a rarity for drivers to win more than one Vegas race in a row. Only Burton and Johnson have ever accomplished this feat. Logano has the skills, but he also has history working against him.
Just like Harvick, Hamlin is one of those drivers I mentioned that has a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs. He sits second in the postseason standings and captured four checkered flags so far. That total tied him Hamlin with his teammates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. for the most wins in the regular season.
Over the last eight races, Hamlin has finished sixth or better in seven of those events. Furthermore, he won two of those races and finished runner up in another two of them. Hamlin also went from sixth in the standings all the way up to second.
This weekend, Hamlin might not be as much of a factor as fans of the #11 car hope for. Hamlin has yet to win in Vegas and only has two Top 5s in his career. He crashed out of this race last year and finished 10th in the spring.
For Hamlin, a Top 10 finish would be a small victory as he already has enough points to virtually move on to the second round. However, a few more points in the first round will give him a big boost in the next one. I like Hamlin to run well and finish in the Top 10, just not compete for a checkered flag this weekend.
The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the first playoff race of 2019 due to their current betting odds and their past success at this track:
|Driver||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Avg Start||Avg Finish||DNF|
|Martin Truex Jr.||1||4||7||15.3||11.5||0|
Like with Hamlin, Truex hasn’t lit up Vegas in his career. However, unlike his teammate, Truex has won at this track and it was only four races ago. If we just focus on his last eight races at Vegas, Truex has finished in the Top 14 for all of them.
Additionally, over that span, he has six Top 10s and four Top 5s. Truex has led in three of the last four Las Vegas races and his 11.5 average finish puts him ahead of Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin.
Not only is Truex a sleeper to win the 2019 NASCAR championship, but I believe he’s also flying under the radar to win this race. Martin finished third here last year and eighth this spring. Watch for the #19 car to be a contender for the checkered flag by time it’s all said and done.
As we transition from one of my favorite drivers to another, Larson has an 11.4 average finish which is the third best among active drivers with three or more starts. He was second in this race last year and finished 12th in this year’s spring race. He also has four Top 10s in seven starts.
Larson comes into the playoffs 11th in the standings, but does have some momentum over the last two months. In the last seven races, Larson went from 13th in the driver standings up to ninth overall. He had six Top 6 finishes during that span and only two crashes kept him from even more success.
Larson doesn’t have the wiggle room for a lackluster performance like the three Joe Gibbs Racing cars and the two Team Penske cars mentioned. He needs at least a Top 10 performance to build towards advancing to the second round. I believe he will get it as long as he can stay out of trouble late in the race.
Blaney is a sneaky pick this week because most people don’t even realize how well he’s run at this track. Ryan is second among active drivers with a 10.7 average finish and had four straight Top 7 results before finishing 22nd this spring. He started on the pole in the 2018 spring race and has four Top 10s in six career starts.
On the season, Blaney was up and down with his results. But it was the second half of the season that saw Blaney put together a strong run. In the final 13 races of the regular season, Blaney had eight Top 10s and eleven Top 15s. He quietly finished seventh last weekend at Indy and even led some laps.
Blaney should squeak into the Top 10 this weekend. And, just like Larson, he will need that result to improve his chances of moving on to the second round. Blaney currently sits 12th in the playoff standings.
Ryan Newman (+10000) is my favorite longshot pick due to his veteran experience and tenacity. He finished the regular season with a 14.0 average finish, but no victories. However, he did reward me with nine Top 10s along the way. And he finished every single race.
Those factors bode well for Newman who secured the final playoff spot at Indy last weekend. He beat out Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson. Newman is in a more desperate position than both Blaney and Larson to perform well this weekend.
Most of the other drivers with odds this high weren’t in the playoffs. So, that’s another reason why I chose Ryan for my longshot. Newman finished eighth last weekend at Indy and has some modest momentum heading into the postseason.
He will need to dial back the clock at least four years when he finished third at Vegas. Newman can’t afford a poor showing this Sunday. I believe the wily veteran will sneak into a Top 10 spot by time the checkered flag falls on the South Point 400.
The following NASCAR prop bets require bettors to choose the winning driver out of head-to-head matchups for the South Point 400 at Las Vegas on Sunday, September 15th. These driver matchups and NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
|Driver||Brad Keselowski||Joey Logano|
In the battle of JGR teammates, this head-to-head driving matchup This battle of Team Penske drivers is going to be an exciting one. Logano won this race in March and Keselowski won this race last fall. However, it’s Brad who has the amazing 3.25 average finish over the last seven races than Logano. Brad also has triple the amount of wins, and more Top 5s in the same amount of starts.
Both drivers had nearly the same average finish over the last six races, but Brad had four Top 10s while Logano only had one. Keselowski seems to perk up every time he heads to Las Vegas, and I believe he will edge out his teammate this weekend.
|Driver||Denny Hamlin||Kyle Larson|
Hamlin has certainly had the better 2019 season than Larson. Denny has won four times while Kyle hasn’t won at all. However, things are in Larson’s favor when these two drivers race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Hamlin has twice as many starts as Larson, but has a worse average starting spot, average finish, less Top 5s, and more DNFs. Over the last four Vegas races, Hamlin has an average finish of 16.1 while Larson has a 4.75 average finish.
Hamlin edged out Larson in the spring race as he finished 10th while Larson was 12th. However, Larson was second here last year while Hamlin crashed out. Additionally, Larson was second in 2017 and third in the spring 2018 race while Hamlin was sixth and 17th respectively.
I like Larson to edge out Hamlin on Sunday as they both finish in the Top 10. I believe Larson will flirt with a Top 5 while Hamlin slides in somewhere between seventh and 10th overall.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway might be the Busch brothers’ home track, but Team Penske has owned it as of late. And I believe both Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski are going to be two Top 5 cars this weekend. Joining them are Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Larson.
Rounding out the Top 10 should be Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, and Jimmie Johnson or Ryan Newman.
Of the Top 5, I think it comes down to which Team Penske driver has the best car on the final laps. And for me, I am going with Brad Keselowski to win this race. I like what he’s done at this track throughout his career. Keselowski has been dominant at this track over the last eight races with a 3.25 average finish.
Truex and Busch will put up a good fight, but they will fall short as Keselowski pulls away late. I like Larson as well, but until he wins a race, it’s hard to pick him to win. The safe play is to bet on both Logano and Keselowski as they offer solid returns. Since we can only pick one, take Keselowski.
Winner: Brad Keselowski (+500)
Longshot: Ryan Newman (+10000)
Every week, NASCAR releases 10 prop bets for rabid fans to select the correct answers, earn points and potentially win some cool prizes. For the 27th race of the season, there are a couple of props that I really like:
Let’s set the table on which drivers race for each team. Joe Gibbs Racing features Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and Erik Jones. All four drivers are in the playoffs and need a strong running this Sunday. Team Penske features Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, both are also in the playoffs.
In fact, Keselowski and Logano have won the last two Las Vegas races with Joey winning this spring and Keselowski winning last fall. I have both of them finishing in the Top 5 this weekend. For the JGR drivers, I have two of them in my Top 5 as well. I’ll save where I think the JGR drivers finish overall for the next prop bet.
As for the winner of this prop, I am taking Team Penske. Logano and Keselowski have been crushing it at this track and have more Vegas wins than all four of the JGR drivers combined. As you saw above, I picked Keselowski to win this weekend.
As for this prop bet, I believe all four JGR drivers will finish in the Top 10, but only two will crack the Top 5. Busch and Truex have wins here whereas Hamlin and Jones do not. Both Busch and Truex have better average finishes than Hamlin and Jones. They have also performed better over the last few years than Denny and Erik have.
Truex won in Vegas back in the spring of 2017. Hamlin’s best finish was third in 2007. I’m taking Truex to finish in the Top 5 this Sunday along with Kyle Busch, while Jones and Hamlin slot in between sixth and 10th overall.
In the spring race, only one non-playoff driver cracked the Top 10. And that was Ricky Stenhouse. This weekend, I only see one non-playoff driver with a possible shot at cracking the Top 10 on Sunday and that’s Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson has won at this track four times, which is the all-time record. Since he didn’t qualify for the postseason, Johnson stated that he will turn his attention to winning races. That means he can easily go all out and take risks to win the South Point 400 where playoff drivers have to be smarter.
For this prop bet, go with under 1.5 because there’s nobody else who has a shot at beating out 16 playoff drivers for one of the Top 10 spots.
By taking a look at the past results, we can get a more accurate idea of whether or not this race will have over or under 16.5 lead changes:
As you can see, the over has smashed it at Las Vegas. To put the final exclamation point on this prop bet, in last year’s Vegas playoff race, there were 23 lead changes. I see there being close to 20 this weekend. Take the over for this prop bet at this weekend’s South Point 400.
Phil Ruffin is a celebrated entrepreneur who has been a key player in several different industries over the years. By…
Video poker offers several variations that deliver over 100% return to player (RTP) when played correctly. These variants include full-pay…
On Saturday, June 6th, the UFC will be live from their UFC APEX venue in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC…
Various expressions describe winning big in casino games, including “going on a hot streak” or “being on a roll.” But…
Holidays, birthdays and special occasions have often brought an unnecessary stress on me. I place so much pressure on myself…
It might not be readily apparent, but I take my responsibilities as a gambling blogger seriously. After all, if something…