Complete Betting Guide to NASCAR’s Pocono Doubleheader on 6/27 and 6/28

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NASCAR Pocono Race Car

For the first time in NASCAR Cup Series history, the sport will run a points race at the same track on two consecutive days. This weekend, June 27th and 28th, NASCAR will hold two thrilling Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway also known as “The Tricky Triangle.”

Typically, NASCAR runs two races at Pocono each year. However, they’ve never run them on consecutive days before. Usually, they’re about six weeks apart.

This Pocono scheduling was intentional as the sport had to reshuffle their season due to a forced hiatus. The Pocono races are the 10th and 11th races since the return to action and the 14th and 15th overall races this season.

With so much NASCAR action packed into this weekend, there’s a lot to breakdown and examine from the NASCAR betting sites to the racing excitement on the track.

About Pocono Raceway

Pocono Raceway is located in the Pocono Mountains of Long Pond, Pennsylvania. The track itself is shaped like a triangle with three turns that have all have different bankings and connected by straightaways of different lengths. It’s a unique racetrack with a lap distance of 2.5 miles and plenty of racing history.

NASCAR’s first race at Pocono was held over a decade after the track opened. Richard Petty won the inaugural race on August 4, 1974, titled the Purolator 500.

This weekend’s events will mark the 85th and 86th times that NASCAR’s Cup Series has raced at Pocono.

Pocono 325 Race Profile (Saturday)

Saturday’s Pocono 325 is traditionally the first Pocono race of the season and typically run at the end of June.

  • Total Miles: 325 miles
  • Total Laps: 130 laps
  • Stage 1: First 25 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 52 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 53 laps

The Pocono 325 is set to begin at 3:30 PM ET on Saturday, June 27th, and air live on FOX.

Pocono 350 Race Profile (Sunday)

Sunday’s Pocono 350 is traditionally the second Pocono race of the season and typically run at beginning of August.

  • Total Miles: 350 miles
  • Total Laps: 140 laps
  • Stage 1: First 30 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 55 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 55 laps

The Pocono 350 is set to begin at 4 PM ET on Sunday, June 28th, and air live on FS1.

What to Watch for at Pocono

With all of the excitement heading into this historic racing weekend, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on:

  • Will anyone win both Pocono races this weekend?
  • Will Kyle Busch get back into the winning circle?
  • Will Denny Hamlin tie Jeff Gordon for most career wins at Pocono?
  • Will Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing win again?
  • Can Ford upstage Chevy and Toyota this weekend?
  • Will Kevin Harvick snap his drought at Pocono?

Previous Pocono Winners

As mentioned, the first NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono was held in 1974 and won by Richard Petty. However, NASCAR didn’t start running two annual races at this track until 1982 when they added the June Pocono race, which was won by Bobby Allison the first two years in a row.

Recent Pocono 325 Winners

  • Denny Hamlin in 2010
  • Jeff Gordon in 2011
  • Joey Logano in 2012
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2013
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2014
  • Martin Truex Jr. in 2015, 2018
  • Kurt Busch in 2016
  • Ryan Blaney in 2017
  • Kyle Busch in 2019

Jeff Gordon holds the record for all-time wins in this race with four. Of the active drivers, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. have won this race two times apiece.

Recent Pocono 350 Winners

  • Greg Biffle in 2010
  • Brad Keselowski in 2011
  • Jeff Gordon in 2012
  • Kasey Kahne in 2013
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2014
  • Matt Kenseth in 2015
  • Chris Buescher in 2016
  • Kyle Busch in 2017, 2018
  • Denny Hamlin in 2019

Bill Elliott holds the record with four wins in the older of the two Pocono races. Among active drivers, Denny Hamlin has won this event three times and is aiming to tie Elliott for most career wins in this race.

NASCAR Pocono Betting Odds

The following betting odds are for the Pocono 325 and courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Kevin Harvick (+500)
  • Kyle Busch (+500)
  • Denny Hamlin (+750)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (+750)
  • Brad Keselowski (+800)
  • Chase Elliott (+800)
  • Ryan Blaney (+1000)
  • Joey Logano (+1200
  • Erik Jones (+1400)
  • Alex Bowman (+1800)
  • Kurt Busch (+2000)
  • William Byron (+2200)
  • Jimmie Johnson(+2800)
  • Clint Bowyer (+6600)
  • Darrell Wallace Jr (+9000)
  • Aric Almirola (+10000)
  • Austin Dillon (+10000)
  • Christoper Bell (+10000)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+10000)
  • Matt Kenseth (+10000)
  • Ryan Newman (+10000)

As of this publication, online betting sites haven’t released odds for the Pocono 350 on Sunday. However, it’s pretty much going to be very similar to the odds for Saturday’s Pocono 325. The only thing that might change is that the winner of the Pocono 325 will be favored more in the 350 race.

For example, the odds didn’t change much when NASCAR ran two consecutive races at Darlington and then two consecutive races at Charlotte within three days of each other. The winner of the first race saw his odds bumped up for the second race.

At Charlotte, Chase Elliott went from being one of the favorites at the Coca Cola 600 on Sunday, where he finished second overall, to being the odds on favorite at the Alsco Uniforms 500 on Wednesday, which he ended up winning.

Betting Favorites for Pocono’s Doubleheader

According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win at Pocono.

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kevin Harvick 0 12 18 15.6 12.6 3
Kyle Busch 3 8 15 11.4 15.6 5
Denny Hamlin 5 11 18 7.1 12.0 3
Martin Truex Jr. 2 6 11 14.8 15.2 2
Brad Keselowski 1 10 12 11.1 11.1 1
Chase Elliot 0 2 6 13.2 14.2 1

Kevin Harvick (+500)

Kevin Harvick enters Pocono weekend still sitting atop the driver standings. He’s been at the top of the standings since Phoenix, which was 10 races ago. Harvick extended his lead back to 23 points over the 2nd place Joey Logano after finishing 10th at Talladega last weekend.

For Harvick, he’s finished in the Top 10 for 10 of the 13 races so far. At Pocono, he’s tied for the second most Top 10s among active drivers with 18. Harvick also has 12 Top 5s, which is the second most among active drivers and the 8th best average finish at 12.6.

Unfortunately, in 38 career starts at Pocono, Harvick has never won at this track. In fact, it’s one of the only tracks that the #4 car has never won at. Last year, Harvick finished 22nd and 6th in the two Pocono races.

Over the last 11 races at this track, Harvick has nine Top 10s and seven Top 5s. He also has four runner-ups over that stretch as well.

Despite his success in 2020 so far (two wins), I’m not comfortable taking Harvick to win either race this weekend. He’s 0-38 in his career and there are other drivers who’ve had more success at Pocono than Kevin has.

His odds to win the race are overvalued at +500. However, a finish in the Top 10 is -315, Top 5 is +102, and Top 3 is +165.

I see Harvick finishing in the Top 10 for both Pocono races this weekend. I also believe he can be a Top 5 car in both. However, I think he will only crack the Top 3 in one of them while falling just short in the other.

Kyle Busch (+500)

Is there anyone who has been more disappointing than Kyle Busch this season so far? The reigning Cup Series champion sits 9th in the driver standings with no wins and just seven Top 10s in 13 races to date. He finished 32nd last weekend at Talladega as he was caught up in a wreck.

What’s even more surprising is that Busch’s average finish for 2020 so far is 13.7. That’s nearly five spots lower than what he was running last year when he ended the season with an 8.9 average finish, five wins, 27 Top 10s in 36 races, and the championship trophy.

I was burned by Kyle Busch a few weeks ago when I picked him to win at Martinsville as he fell short. The #18 car really needs to turn things around before we start to really get concerned. Fortunately, Pocono is a track where Busch has raced well at. He’ll have two tries at getting his first win of 2020.

In 30 career starts, Busch has three wins, eight Top 5s, 15 Top 10s, and a 15.6 average finish. More importantly, it’s what Busch has done in the last seven races that we should be paying attention to.

Over that span, Busch has three wins, five Top 5s, and seven Top 9s. He’s also led laps in all seven of those races. Busch Has won two of the last three Pocono races and three of the last five. If he wasn’t in such a slump, I would say that Busch could sweep both races this weekend.

With that said, I still like his chances to win over Harvick. Yet, +500 odds are a little overvalued for me considering poorly Kyle Busch is racing this season.

I definitely see Busch finishing Top 10 in both Pocono races (-435). He also has +125 odds for Top 3 and -125 odds for Top 5 finishes.

I can see Busch challenging for the checkered flag in both races and cracking the Top 3 in one of them. He does have three 9th place finishes in the last seven races, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Busch finishes between 5th and 10th in one of the races as well.

Will Busch finally capture his first checkered flag of the season?

Denny Hamlin (+750)

Denny Hamlin leads the Cup Series with three wins on the season as he’s captured checkered flags at Daytona, Darlington and Homestead two weeks ago. Last weekend, he finished 4th at Talladega, which bumped him up to 6th in the standings.

Hamlin is also tied for the series lead in Top 5s with seven. It’s a bit surprising that he’s not ranked higher than 6th overall. However, he’s had a few rough finishes at tracks like Martinsville and Charlotte that have cost him points. Yet, Hamlin is the only favorite other than Harvick to have zero DNFs this year.

That bodes well for Denny Hamlin who leads all active drivers with five wins at Pocono. In fact, one more career win at this track and Hamlin will tie Jeff Gordon for the most all-time wins. Denny has won the first Pocono race twice and the second race three times including last year’s event.

In addition to the five wins, Hamlin has 11 Top 5s, 18 Top 10s and a 12.0 average finish which is 5th best among active drivers.

Most of Hamlin’s success at Pocono has come in his early years. He won four of his first nine races at this track. Since then, he’s had plenty of ups and downs. But, the #11 car has three straight Top 10 results. Additionally, he finished 6th and 1st last year.

I believe Hamlin is a contender to win at least one of these races and I see him finishing in the Top 10 (-295) for both of them. His odds for Top 5 (+115) and Top 3 (+190) are also appealing as I believe he has a shot at both for this doubleheader weekend.

Martin Truex Jr. (+750)

Is it any surprise that Joe Gibbs Racing has three drivers in the Top 4 betting favorites for these races? Since 1999, JGR has won 14 races at this track with Busch, Hamlin and Truex winning 10 of the 14.

Right behind Hamlin in the standings is Truex who sits 7th overall with just one win on the season and only six Top 10s. He’s only one step above Busch’s slump, but a win in Martinsville three races ago really gave the #19 car a shot in the arm.

At Pocono, Truex has had the least amount of success compared to his teammates Hamlin and Busch. However, two wins does give Truex fans and bettors some hope this weekend.

If you throw out the engine issue in last year’s first Pocono race, Truex has five Top 15s, four Top 10s, three Top 5s, and one win in the last six Pocono races. Truex finished 3rd in the second Pocono race last year.

I’m not as confident in Truex this weekend as I am Hamlin and Busch. But, I do believe he has a better shot at winning than Harvick does.

With that said, I’m not sure if Truex can take the checkered flag in either race. I do believe he will give us two Top 10s (-278) and at least one Top 5 (+125). His Top 3 odds at +215 have some appeal since he has three Top 3s in the last five races at Pocono Raceway.

Look for the #19 car to have some success this weekend. How much success you ask; that’s up in the air due to his up and down 2020 to date.

Brad Keselowski (+800)

Keslowski has made a nice run up the standings since NASCAR returned from hiatus. He went from 9th to 5th in the standings, won two races, and has finished in the Top 10 for seven of the nine events. His nine Top 10s this year are second only to Kevin Harvick who has 10.

Keselowski enters Pocono weekend with a 60% Top 10 rate as he has 12 in 20 career. His 10 Top 5s at Pocono are 4th best among active drivers and his average finish of 11.1 is the third best. Last year, Keselowski finished 2nd and 8th overall.

Keselowski hasn’t won at Pocono in nine years. However, he does have eight Top 10s in the last nine races at this track and seven Top 5s over that span. That’s a solid 7.7 average finish during that stretch. His numbers would be even better if he didn’t crash out of the second Pocono race in 2018.

The #2 car also has some appealing odds for finishing in the Top 10 (+225), Top 5 (+135), and Top 3 (+225).

With the way Keselowski has been running this season, I believe he’s definitely a Top 10 car for both races. In fact, I would put him down for at least one Top 5 as well. However, I’m not sure if he’s will snag one of the checkered flags.

In fact, his teammates might have more success this weekend. I think Keselowski’s odds are slightly overvalued.

Chase Elliott (+800)

Elliott was involved in the late lap crash at Talladega last weekend and finished 38th overall. That result dropped him from 2nd to 4th in the standings. However, Elliott has led laps in eight straight races this season and has been driving consistently well.

His two worst finishes came from crashes, otherwise Elliott could’ve been challenging for the top spot in the standings due six Top 5s and a series leading five stage wins.

At Pocono, Elliott has a staggering 75% Top 10 finishing rate with six Top 10s in eight races. He crashed out of the second Pocono races last year, which snapped a streak of five straight Top 10s.

Elliott does only have two Top 5s at Pocono in his eight appearances, but his consistency in 2020 leads me to believe that the #9 car can challenge for a checkered flag in one of the two races this weekend. His odds for finishes in the Top 10 (-278), Top 5 (+125), and Top 3 (-215) do have some appeal.

Like anyone else, if Elliott stays out of trouble this weekend, he will finish in the Top 10 for both races. I can also see him cracking the Top 5 in at least one of the races. Although he’s never won at this track, Elliott is really coming into his own as a driver and this could be the year that he ends that drought.

I definitely see Chase Elliott having a better shot at winning than Kevin Harvick, but I do feel his odds to win are slightly overvalued.

The Best Pocono Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for this historic doubleheader due to their current betting odds, their past success at Pocono Raceway, and their 2020 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Ryan Blaney 1 1 4 15.2 11.5 0
Kurt Busch 3 14 20 10.4 15.4 5
Jimmie Johnson 3 11 20 11.6 12.4 4

Ryan Blaney (+1000)

Ryan Blaney has quietly become one of the top drivers in the Cup Series halfway through the regular season. He sits 3rd in the standings just 25 points behind Harvick and 2 points behind his teammate Logano who’s in second place.

Blaney is tied with Hamlin for the most Top 5s this year with seven and won last weekend in Talladega. In his last seven races, Blaney has one win and six Top 5s. A crash at Bristol is the only bad finish for Blaney since the return from Hiatus. He went from 11th to 3rd in the standings during this stretch.

At Pocono, Blaney has had success in his eight career starts. In fact, he has just as good of numbers at Pocono as his teammates due. He also has a better average finish of 11.5, which is 4th best among drivers, than all of the favorites except for Keselowski which is 11.1.

Last year, Blaney finished 12th and 10th in the two Pocono races, but with the way he’s running this season I see Blaney having success this weekend.

Blaney is listed with the following odds: Top 10 (-215), Top 5 (+165), and Top 3 (+275). There’s some value here as well just like with his odds to win the race at +1000.

I like Blaney’s chances to win at this track more than I do for Keselowski, Elliott, Truex, Harvick and Logano.

I see Blaney finishing in the Top 10 for both races, at least one Top 5, at least one Top 3, and contending for at least one checkered flag this weekend.

Kurt Busch (+2000)

On the season, Kurt Busch sits 10th overall just one spot behind his brother. However, he’s tied with Keselowski for the second most Top 10s this season with nine. Busch finished 9th last weekend at Talladega, which was the sixth time he’s finished that high in the last seven races.

I think Kurt Busch offers the best value this weekend due to his past success at this track. He has three wins at Pocono which is tied for the 2nd most along with his brother and Jimmie Johnson. His 20 Top 10s is tied with Johnson for the most among active drivers. Yet, he leads all drivers with 14 Top 5s.

Busch last won at Pocono four years ago. Since then, he’s had some ups and downs with a few Top 10s and a few finishes outside of the Top 15. Last year, he finished 11th and 27th, which was the worst average finish in a year since 2015.

I expect to see Busch race like 2016 and 2017 when he had a 7.0 average finish in those four races. I’m giving Busch two Top 10s (-125) this weekend. In fact, I really like those odds for a Top 10 finish. His Top 5 odds are +300 and Top 3 finish are listed at +550.

I expect Kurt Busch to contend for at least one of the checkered flags this weekend and possibly even get his first win of the season.

Jimmie Johnson (+2800)

In the last six races, Johnson has climbed from 16th to 11th in the standings. He was second in the Coca Cola 600, but was disqualified due to his car failing a post-race inspection. Johnson has a 10.0 average finish in his last six races and heads to a track where he’s had a good amount of success at in his career.

As mentioned, Johnson is tied for second with three wins and is tied for first with 20 Top 10s. His 11 Top 5s are tied for second and his 12.4 average finish is the 7th best.

Johnson’s greatest success at Pocono has come in his earlier years. Over the last eight races at this track he only has one Top 10. In fact, he has three finishes outside of the Top 30 and three crashes. Johnson hasn’t had a Top 5 finish in five years and hasn’t won at Pocono in seven years.

With that said, I’m not sure he can turn back the hands of time to win this weekend, but I can see JJ cracking the Top 10 (-106). Those are appealing odds for a driver that’s averaged a Top 10 finish in his last six races on the season.

I can even see Johnson cracking the Top 5 (+375) in one of the races, but I have a hard time envisioning a Top 3 (+650). It’s going to take some luck late in the race for Johnson to contend for a checkered flag.

The Top Longshots to Win at Pocono This Weekend

Ryan Newman (+10000) is my longshot of the week due to his success at this track over his career. Newman has one win, nine Top 5s which is 4th best among active drivers, 15 Top 10s which is tied for 3rd best, and a 13.1 average finish which is the 9th best.

Last year, Newman finished 16th and 14th in the two Pocono races. He’s been a Top 15 car for the last decade with only four finishes outside of that mark.

Newman’s 2020 season hasn’t gone well even after returning from a remarkable crash, which is why I’m not 100% confident in the #6 car finishing in the Top 10 (+250). But, with two cracks at it this weekend, I think we’ll see at least one strong run for Newman at Pocono.

It will take a lot of luck and a big crash at the end of the race for Newman to win. So, a Top 10 finish is his ceiling.

Pocono Checkered Flags

As you can see in my list below, I have eight drivers that I the winners of both races will come from.

Keep in mind, the betting odds listed in this article are for the Pocono 325, but I don’t see there being much of a difference at all in the odds for the Pocono 350 as the top drivers are going to be pretty much in the same order for odds.

Of my Top 9 drivers, I’m going to eliminate Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones and Chase Elliott because they have yet to win at Pocono. It’s not that they can’t, it’s just the fact that the other five drivers have a better shot at winning.

From the remaining six, I am eliminating Keselowski and Truex as they’ve been inconsistent at Pocono the last few years and in Truex’s case, he’s been inconsistent this season.

That leaves us with the Busch brothers, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney. I believe that the winners of both Pocono races are going to come down to these four men.

For me, I really like how Blaney is running over the last seven races. He’s been impressive and has a solid grasp of this track. I believe he will snag one of the checkered flags.

Additionally, I believe one of Joe Gibbs Racing’s drivers of Hamlin or Kyle Busch will win the other race. It’s bitten me before by going with Busch over Hamlin, but I have to think that the reigning Cup Series champ should win one of the two races.

My winners this weekend are Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch.

My Top Drivers for the Pocono Doubleheader

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Kyle Busch
  • Kurt Busch
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Erik Jones
  • Chase Elliott
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Pocono Prop Bets

The following NASCAR prop bets are courtesy of DraftKings and for the Pocono 325:

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Even (-235)
  • Odd (+165)

Of my Top 9 drivers this weekend, only four of them are even numbers: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney. Since I’m picking Blaney and Kyle Busch to win this weekend, I have to go with the even.

But, there’s great value with the “Odd” betting option. And, five of my Top 9 drivers are odds. So, it might be smart to hedge our bets by taking the “Odd” option with our predicted race winners. Keep that strategy in mind as you look over these props.

Car Number of Race Winner –Even (-235)

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Over 17.5 (+100)
  • Under 17.5 (-135)

This prop bet is a little bit easier as both of my race winners are over the number of 17.5. Additionally, Truex and Jones are both over 17.5. I like the betting value for this as well. Since, I’m taking Busch and Blaney to win, I’m going with the Over for this bet.

Car Number of Race Winner –Over 17.5 (+100)

Manufacturer of Race Winner

  • Ford (+150)
  • Toyota (+150)
  • Chevrolet (+225)

For the Pocono races, I have a Ford and Toyota winning this weekend. But, for this prop bet, you have to like Toyota to win. They’ve won the last five Pocono races and only Ford has disrupted that streak.

Kyle Busch, Truex and Hamlin have all won over that span and Erik Jones has the best average finish among active drivers at 8.3.

Although I believe Blaney’s Ford will win one of the races, the odds of a Toyota winning are just too good to pass up.

Manufacturer of Race Winner –Toyota (+150)

Team of Race Winner

  • Joe Gibbs Racing (+150)
  • Team Penske (+300)
  • Hendrick Motor Sports (+350)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing (+475)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing (+1600)
  • Any Other Team (+2500)
  • Richard Childress racing (+3500)
  • Roush Fenway Racing (+6000)
  • JTG Daughtery Racing (+8000)

These two Pocono races will come down to Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing. As mentioned, Toyota has won five straight Pocono races and all five of them were by JGR. This team has won 14 Pocono races since 1999 as well. Team Penske has nine wins at Pocono.

Of my Top nine drivers, four are from JGR and two are from Team Penske. I’ve picked a driver from each team to win a Pocono race this weekend. However, for this prop bet, the smart money is on Joe Gibbs racing due to their success at this track over the last 2.5 years.

Team of Race Winner –Joe Gibbs Racing (+150)

Pocono Betting Recap

Betting Value

  • Ryan Blaney (+1000)
  • Kurt Busch (+2000)
  • Jimmie Johnson (+2800)

Longshot

  • Ryan Newman (+10000)

Winners

  • Ryan Blaney (+1000)
  • Kyle Busch (+500)
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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