2023 South Point 400 Preview and Picks

2023 South Point 400 Preview and Picks

Jay Horne
Date: October 15, 2:30 pm
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Betting Odds

NASCAR's Cup Series heads to Sin City this weekend as the playoffs continue into the Round of 8. Just 3 races remain to decide the 4 drivers that will fight for a championship in the season finale at Phoenix, which means every race moving forward is extremely critical towards deciding a future champion. On Sunday, the Cup Series will return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2nd time this season for the running of the South Point 400 which could yield a championship opportunity for NASCAR's playoff contenders.

Back in March, William Byron earned the first of his 6 victories this season by winning at Las Vegas in the Pennzoil 400. Byron's 6 victories lead all drivers this season and 3 of those victories have transpired at 1.5 mile speedways like Vegas. From a handicapping perspective, bettors must realize that with today's current rules package, the 1.5 mile speedways are very dependent upon horsepower/raw speed. Drivers are essentially in the throttle nearly the entire way around these 1.5 mile speedways which includes Las Vegas and therefore a lot of the pure speed is dependent upon the equipment/setups in the cars. Therefore, it will be important for bettors to look at the trends throughout the season at the 1.5 mile venues which will likely continue on Sunday.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Betting Notes

  • Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski are tied for the most wins (3) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway among active drivers.
  • Kevin Harvick (2), Martin Truex Jr (2), Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, and William Byron are also former winners at Vegas.
  • Denny Hamlin has the highest driver rating (108.1) and has led the most laps (351) over the last 7 races at Las Vegas.
  • Martin Truex Jr has the best average finishing position (6.8) among all drivers over the last 10 races at Las Vegas.
  • Kyle Busch has finished 6th or better in 5 of his last 6 starts at Las Vegas.
  • Kyle Larson has finished in the top two positions in 3 of his last 5 starts at Las Vegas.
  • Ross Chastain has finished 3rd, 4th, and 12 in the 3 starts at Las Vegas in the Next Gen Car.
  • Chevrolet drivers have won 4 of the last 6 races at Las Vegas.

I have a useful handicapping tool over at NASCARWagers called dynamic averages which provides collective loop data results from all 5 previous races this season on 1.5 mile speedways. In reviewing that data, it clearly shows that William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, and Tyler Reddick have been the best drivers statistically this season on the 1.5 mile surfaces. Personally, I believe the Toyota drivers like Hamlin, Wallace, and Reddick have shown more speed in the last several weeks. However, Larson and Byron may be the better talents on the 1.5 mile speedways. In fact, Larson has actually performed better than the statistics may suggest due to a couple of bad finishes after quality performances.

As a result, I think Larson is probably the driver that deserves the No.1 ranking this weekend ahead of Sunday's green flag. Unfortunately, betting odds agree with that suggestion which means Larson has minimal betting value as the outright favorite, however, I still believe he is the guy to beat. For better options for the outright win, Denny Hamlin and William Byron are solid pivots and perhaps we will know more after Saturday's practices. I also believe Bubba Wallace and Brad Keselowski are excellent underdog selections that can be used in all betting formats.

2023 South Point 400 Picks

Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada

Jay's Picks:

Favorite: Kyle Larson +500

Dark Horse: Bubba Wallace +1800

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