Complete 2019 NASCAR Pennzoil Oil 400 Betting Guide

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On Sunday, March 3rd, NASCAR will be live from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400. This is the 3rd race of the 2019 regular season and it’s the first of two races that NASCAR runs at this track each year. Last weekend, Brad Keselowski won in Atlanta and NASCAR betting sites have him listed as one of the favorites for Sunday’s race in Las Vegas. He will be competing with NASCAR’s Big 3 for the checkered flag.

Race Profile

The Pennzoil 400 is held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), which is a tri-oval track with a distance of 1.5 miles. This weekend’s race has the following breakdown:

  • Total Miles: 400 miles
  • Total Laps: 267 laps
  • Stage 1: First 80 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 80 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 107 laps

The Pennzoil 400 will be live on FOX beginning at 3:30 PM ET.

What to Watch For Heading Into Las Vegas?

Last year, Kevin Harvick won the spring race in Las Vegas. He’s the betting favorite to win this weekend as well. But, will he? In addition to Harvick’s quest to get his first win in 2019, the following storylines are also worth watching this weekend:

  • Martin Truex Jr. was complaining about lap traffic last weekend costing him a win in Atlanta. Will lap traffic play a role in this weekend’s race?
  • Can one of NASCAR’s Big 3 win on Sunday?
  • Will Brad Keselowski make it 2 wins in a row at LVMS and back to back wins this season?
  • Can Kyle Larson get his first win since 2017, at LVMS this weekend?

Previous Pennzoil Oil 400 Winners

The first Las Vegas race was back in 1998 and won by Mark Martin. From the inaugural winner to 2018, we’ve seen 11 different drivers enter victory circle:

  • Jeff Burton in 1999 and 2000
  • Jeff Gordon in 2001
  • Sterling Marlin in 2002
  • Matt Kenseth in 2003-2004 and 2013
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2005-2007 and 2010
  • Carl Edwards in 2008 and 2011
  • Kyle Busch in 2009
  • Tony Stewart in 2012
  • Brad Keselowski in 2014 and 2016
  • Kevin Harvick in 2015 and 2018
  • Martin Truex Jr. in 2017

Pennzoil Oil 400 Winners Betting Odds

The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Kevin Harvick +500
  • Kyle Busch +600
  • Martin Truex Jr +600
  • Brad Keselowski +700
  • Kyle Larson +700
  • Joey Logano +800
  • Ryan Blaney +1200
  • Chase Elliott +2000
  • Clint Bowyer +2000
  • Denny Hamlin +2000
  • Aric Almirola +2500
  • Erik Jones +2500
  • Kurt Busch +2500
  • Jimmie Johnson +3300
  • Austin Dillon +5000
  • Daniel Suarez +5000
  • Ross Chastain +5000
  • Alex Bowman +6600
  • Paul Menard +6600
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr +6600
  • William Byron +6600
  • Matt DiBenedetto +8000
  • Daniel Hemric +10000
  • David Ragan +10000
  • Joey Gase +10000
  • Michael McDowell +10000
  • Reed Sorenson +10000
  • Ryan Newman +10000
  • Ryan Preece +10000
  • Ty Dillon +12500
  • Chris Buescher +20000
  • Corey Lajoie +20000
  • Landon Cassill +20000
  • Matt Tifft +20000
  • Parker Kligerman +20000
  • BJ McLeod +25000
  • Bubba Wallace Jr +25000
  • Cody Ware +25000

Favorites to Win in Las Vegas

The following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win in Las Vegas this weekend:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kevin Harvick 2 5 8 17.9 15.4 2
Kyle Busch 1 6 8 9.3 12.9 2
Martin Truex Jr. 1 4 6 14.8 11.8 0
Brad Keselowski 3 5 7 9.9 13.3 0
Kyle Larson 0 3 4 10 11.3 0

Kevin Harvick (+500)

Harvick dominated this race last spring by leading 214 laps and winning the race. It was his second straight win in 2018. Unfortunately, Harvick hasn’t won yet in 2019. However, he is 2nd in the driver standings after two weeks. Harvick finished 4th last weekend in Atlanta and led 45 laps on the day. Harvick also won Stage 2 and picked up a crucial Playoff Point.

In 19 starts at LVMS, Harvick has 2 wins with both of them coming in this Las Vegas spring race. However, in his last 3 trips to Vegas, Harvick has either won or crashed out. It will be interesting to see if Harvick can reverse this trend and either win or get a Top 10 finish.

Harvick is definitely a contender for the checkered flag, but can he win in Las Vegas for the 3rd time?

Kyle Busch (+600)

Last weekend, Kyle Busch had a “ho hum” day at the office with a 6th place finish. He didn’t lead a lap and wasn’t really a threat to take the checkered flag. Kyle currently sits 3rd overall in the driver standings, 9 points behind Denny Hamlin and 1 point behind Harvick. Kyle does have 1 playoff point so far, as he won a stage in Daytona the first race of the season.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is Kyle’s home tack. And, he has won 1 time at this track, which was back in 2009. Since then, Kyle has only had 3 Top 5’s and 4 Top 7’s. In 2018, Kyle had a strong showing at LVMS with a 2nd place finish in the race last spring and a 7th place finish in the fall race.

For his career, Kyle has a 12.9 average finish, which is the best average finish out of the favorites for this weekend except for Joey Logano. Will Kyle get his first win in 2019 and become a two-time winner at Las Vegas?

Martin Truex Jr (+600)

As mentioned above, Truex Jr. finished 2nd last weekend behind Brad Keselowski. However, Truex felt he had the best car at the track in Atlanta. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t indicate that as Martin only led 4 laps and his best finish for a stage was 3rd. It’s possible that some of Martin’s frustrations are due to his 12th place position in the driver standings.

Like Harvick and Busch, the other members of NASCAR’s Big 3, Martin Truex Jr. has won at Las Vegas before. He won this race in 2017. Last year, Martin finished 4th at the spring race and 3rd in the fall race. Truex has four Top 4 finishes in his last 5 Vegas races with his worst finish being 11th. In fact, since 2011, Martin has finished no worse than 17th and has an average finish of 7.3 over that span.

Truex seems to race well at the 1.5 mile tracks and that’s exactly what LVMS is. Additionally, he’s led laps in the last 3 Las Vegas races. Truex is a strong contender for the checkered flag and at least 1 playoff point this weekend.

Brad Keselowski (+700)

Keselowski is once again being picked to win this week. Last week in Atlanta, Brad was one of the favorites to win. And, Brad delivered the goods last Sunday when he won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 after leading 33 laps. Brad currently sits 6th in the driver standings, but he already has a win on the season which is almost a guarantee that he will make the playoffs.

Keselowski has been a beast at Las Vegas over his career. In 11 races, Brad has 3 wins, 5 Top 5s, and 7 Top 10s. But, it’s his streak of strong finishes over the last 6 years that really catches my eye. Since 2013, Brad has finished 7th or better in the last 7 LVMS races. Keep in mind, 3 of those 7 races resulted in wins. He also has 5 Top 5s and 7 Top 10s over that span. His average finish during this impressive stretch of racing is 3.4.

There’s no way that Brad can’t be an odds on favorite at this track. In fact, I like him better than Kyle Busch, Larson and possibly Harvick. It’s hard to pick anyone to beat Keselowski this Sunday.

Kyle Larson (+700)

Like Truex, Kyle Larson has had a lot of success at the 1.5-mile tracks. He comes into this race after running extremely well last weekend in Atlanta. Larson led the most laps with 142 and won the first stage. Unfortunately, his car faded late in the race. Currently, Larson sits 4th in the standings and is racing well to start 2019. He had a 7th place finish at Daytona two weekends ago.

At Las Vegas, Larson has been a stud. Over the last three LVMS races, Larson has finished 2nd on two occasions and third. That’s an average finish of 2.3, which is even better than Keselowski’s incredible stretch of Las Vegas races.

I fully expect Larson to be a contender this weekend. He’s racing well in 2019 and looks poised to be an early-season contender amongst the top drivers in NASCAR. But, will that result in a victory on Sunday?

Best Pennzoil Oil 400 Betting Value

The following drivers offer solid NASCAR betting value based on their career success at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and their current betting odds:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Denny Hamlin 0 2 6 18.1 14 1
Jimmie Johnson 4 6 9 12.9 11.6 0

Denny Hamlin (+2000)

As everyone should know by now, Hamlin won the 2019 Daytona 500, which was the second of his career. He was very fortunate to outlast the crashes and the small field to get the victory in the opening race of the season. Last weekend, Hamlin followed up his Daytona performance with an 11th place finish in Atlanta. However, he finished 8th in Stage 1 and 5th in Stage 2. Hamlin was making a run toward the Top 5 for the race, but faded late. Currently, Hamlin still sits first overall in the driver standings as he’s 8 points ahead of 2nd place Kevin Harvick.

Hamlin has had a few rough finishes at Vegas including last fall when he finished 32nd due to a crash. For his career, Hamlin has 2 Top 5s, 6 Top 10s, and an average finish of 14th. He’s only led 15 laps in 14 starts.

Now, I’m sure that some of you will ask how Denny Hamlin offers betting value this weekend. Well, simply put, Hamlin is racing well in 2019 already. In fact, he’s raced better in the first two races of the season than he did for most of 2018. Hamlin looks to be back on track and is a solid driver at just about any race track. I expect Denny to be at least in the Top 10 this weekend and a few lucky breaks could possibly help him get into victory circle.

Jimmie Johnson (+3300)

Once again, we go to another race track where Jimmie Johnson has performed really well at. Last weekend, Johnson was in Atlanta where he’s dominated at in his career. Unfortunately, Johnson had a poor car and finished 24th overall. Johnson was never a contender in the race and will look to bounce back this weekend in Vegas. Currently, JJ is 16th in the driver standings.

In 18 career starts at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Jimmie Johnson has 4 wins, 6 Top 5s, 9 Top 10s, an average finish of 11.6 and no crashes. Unfortunately, it’s been 4 races since he’s cracked the Top 10 and Top 5. In 2016, JJ finished 3rd and led 76 laps. Johnson has led laps in 14 of his 18 races at LVMS. So, there’s a good chance he can lead some laps here this weekend.

Johnson leads all drivers with the most wins at 4, tied for the most Top 5s with 6, and has the most career laps led at this track with just under 600 (595). Out of all active drivers, he has the 4th best average finish at 11.6.

Johnson had a Top 10 finish at Daytona this year and then a poor 24th finish last weekend. I believe JJ can crack the Top 10 this weekend and possibly contend for a checkered flag.

Top Las Vegas Longshot to Win

For the second straight week, I’m taking Ryan Newman (+10000) as my top longshot pick to win the race. Last weekend, Newman was my pick in Atlanta because he had 7 career poles. This weekend, I’m taking Newman for a few reasons.

First, Newman has been racing well this season as he currently sits 15th overall in the standings. Second, Newman has fared well in Las Vegas for his career. In 19 starts, Newman has 4 Top 5’s, 9 Top 10’s, an average finish of 15.5, and just 2 DNFs. Over the last 6 Vegas races, Newman has finished no worse than 17th. In 2018, Newman averaged a 10th place finish.

I like this little resurgence from Newman in his career and I expect it to continue this weekend in Las Vegas.

Pennzoil Oil 400 Prop Bets: Driver Matchups

The following NASCAR prop bets pit two drivers against each other to see which one completes the race with the best finish. These prop bets are courtesy of 5Dimes:

Ryan Blaney (-145) vs Chase Elliott (+125)

Driver Ryan Blaney Chase Elliott
Wins 0 0
Top 5 2 1
Top 10 4 1
Avg Start 10.8 9.5
Avg Finish 8.4 27.8
DNF 0 3
Total Races 5 4

On the season, these two drivers are close in the standings as Ryan Blaney is sitting 14th and Chase Elliott is sitting 17th. With that said, these two drivers are much further apart in their career results at Las Vegas than the current driver standings.

Blaney has the best average finish among active drivers at 8.4, while Elliott is at 27.8. Blaney also has more Top 5s and Top 10s than Chase. Ryan has finished 7th or better in his last 4 Las Vegas Races. Furthermore, Ryan Blaney finished 5th in both LVMS races last year.

Elliott hasn’t raced well at Vegas. You can say that he’s snake-bitten at this track. Elliott has crashed out of 3 races in his 4 starts at LVMS. Additionally, he crashed out of both Vegas races last year. In 2017, Elliott had a 3rd place finish, which is higher than Blaney’s ever finished.

Overall, I think Elliott is the better driver between the two. In fact, I believe Chase Elliott is a future superstar of the sport. However, I think Blaney is the better driver at Vegas at this point in their respective careers. I’m taking Blaney to finish higher than Elliott on Sunday.

Winner: Ryan Blaney (-145)

Erik Jones (-155) vs Jimmie Johnson (+135)

Driver Erik Jones Jimmie Johnson
Wins 0 4
Top 5 0 6
Top 10 1 9
Avg Start 6 12.9
Avg Finish 21 11.6
DNF 1 0
Total Races 3 18

Ok, so last weekend didn’t go so well with my Jones vs Johnson matchup in Atlanta. For a track that JJ has dominated in his career, a 24th place finish was a huge disappointment. Jones finished 7th overall. Additionally, Jones is beating Johnson in the driver standings as Erik is 7th and JJ is 16th.

With that said, I’m going back to this matchup once again. I believe that Johnson is the superior driver at this track which is evident by his success. Johnson has started 6 times as many races in Vegas as Jones has. Johnson has 4 wins, while Jones’ best finish was 8th place in this spring race last year. He crashed out of the fall Vegas race.

Yes, Johnson has a new crew chief, but that shouldn’t cause him to finish poorly at two tracks that he has a combined 9 wins at. For this prop bet, I’m taking Jimmie Johnson to crack the Top 10 while Jones finishes somewhere between 10th and 15th.

Winner: Jimmie Johnson (+135)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr (-120) vs Ryan Newman (+100)

Driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ryan Newman
Wins 0 0
Top 5 0 4
Top 10 0 9
Avg Start 15.7 14
Avg Finish 23.3 15.5
DNF 1 2
Total Races 7 19

I laid out a strong case for Ryan Newman in my Longshot Betting section above. Bottom line, Newman has 4 Top 5s and 9 Top 10s in 19 starts with an impressive 15.5 average finish.

For Stenhouse, he’s been racing well this season so far. Currently, Ricky sits 10th in the driver standings and has led at least one lap in both races (Daytona and Atlanta). However, he’s only finished 13th and 18th. Last weekend, Newman finished ahead of Stenhouse and I think he will do it again this week in Vegas.

In 7 starts, Stenhouse has never finished in the Top 5 or even the Top 10. Furthermore, his best finish was 12th overall in 2016. Last year, Ricky finished 14th in the spring race and crashed out of the fall race. He’s also only ever led 1 lap here and that was in his rookie year of 2013. Newman has led 112 laps.

I like the value with Newman in this matchup and believe the veteran will place higher than Stenhouse.

Winner: Ryan Newman (+100)

Joey Logano (-155) vs Clint Bowyer (+135)

Driver Joey Logano Clint Bowyer
Wins 0 0
Top 5 4 1
Top 10 7 4
Avg Start 7.6 17.1
Avg Finish 9.2 18.1
DNF 0 0
Total Races 11 14

Joey Logano might not have the same level of success as drivers like Harvick, Johnson or Keselowski, but he does have a history of strong racing in Vegas and is underrated at this track. That’s trouble for Clint Bowyer who doesn’t have as much career success at LVSM as Logano does.

Bowyer has an average finish of 18.1, which is twice as bad as Logano’s 9.2. Furthermore, Bowyer has 1/4th the amount of Top 5’s as the 2018 NASCAR champ and he has an average starting spot of 10 places lower than Joey.

Bowyer, hasn’t finished inside the Top 10 since 2012. He did finish 10th in 2017, but his best ever finish was 2nd in 2009. Logano is currently experiencing a strong stretch of racing at this track. Joey has 6 Top 10 finishes in the last 6 races. Furthermore, he’s cracked the Top 5 in four of those races. Logano finished 7th in the spring race and 4th in the fall race last year.

Bowyer has only ever led 17 laps in Las Vegas while Logano has led 242. No matter what stat you look at, Joey has performed better at LVMS than Bowyer and I expect that to continue on Sunday. On the season, Logano is 5th in the standings and Bowyer is 9th. Clint will need to race at his best next Sunday just to have a shot at the Top 5, while Joey should be able to cruise to another Top 5 finish. Go with Logano in this matchup.

Winner: Joey Logano (-155)

Pennzoil Oil 400 Checkered Flag

This really is a tough race to pick a winner. I think 5 or more drivers have a realistic chance at winning on Sunday. However, based on recent stretches at the track we can narrow this down some. I believe the Top 5 drivers will be: Keselowski, Larson, Harvick, Truex, and Logano. I think Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman, and Denny Hamlin will round out the Top 10.

Of these 10 drivers, I believe this race will come down to Keselowski, Harvick, and Truex for the win. Logano and Larson will be there in the end, but I don’t see them winning on Sunday. I’m struggling to pick Brad to win this weekend because I just don’t see him winning two weeks in a row. So, now the checkered flag will come down to Truex and Harvick. Both drivers have won here in the last 3 Vegas races. The smart money is on Harvick or Keselowski, but I’m going with Truex Jr. to win. He had a shot at winning last weekend and he finished in the Top 4 for both Vegas races last year.

I’m taking Truex to get his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019 and make up for his frustrations at finishing runner up last weekend in Atlanta to Keselowski.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Kyle Larson
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Joey Logano

Pennzoil Oil 400 Betting Recap

Winner:

  • Martin Truex Jr (+600)

Betting Value:

  • Denny Hamlin (+2000)
  • Jimmie Johnson (+3300)

Longshot:

  • Ryan Newman (+10000)

Driver Matchups:

  • Ryan Blaney (-145) over Chase Elliott
  • Jimmie Johnson (+135) over Erik Jones
  • Ryan Newman (+100) over Ricky Stenhouse Jr
  • Joey Logano (-155) over Clint Bowyer
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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