Monster Energy Series 2018 All-Star Race Free Pick - Betting Lines
There is hot, and there is white-hot, and that is the only way to describe Kevin Harvick after he posted his fifth victory of the season with a win last Saturday night at Kansas. The defending Cup Series Champ Martin Truex Jr. finished second in that race followed by Joey Logano in third. I had Brad Keselowski as my top-valued play at +1000 betting odds, but he was a non-factor at Kansas with a 14th-place finish after starting fifth.
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The following is a look at a trio of the top favorites to win Saturday night’s race at Charlotte along with my top-valued pick at longer odds as provided by 5Dimes.
2018 All Star Race Favorites
Kevin Harvick +550
With five victories in just 12 events, the No. 4 Ford has clearly established itself as the team to beat over the first third of the season. It does not seem to matter which race Harvick is running as the clear favorite to win anytime he is behind the wheel. The All-Star Race is a much shorter exhibition-style event, but you almost have to go with him as the favorite to win. The only thing working against his odds is a less than stellar performance in this race over the course of his Cup Series career. His only victory came in 2007, and he finished no better than sixth the last two years.
Kyle Busch +550
As the co-favorite to win Saturday night’s main event at Charlotte, Busch remains second to Harvick in total wins this season with three. They are the only two drivers with multiple trips to Victory Lane this season. The No 18 Toyota is still first in the Cup Series standings with a total of 503 points on the strength of seven runs inside the top five. Adding value to Busch’s +550 odds to win on Saturday night is a victory in last year’s All-Star Race. This was his first career win in this event in 13 tries.
Kyle Larson +800
Larson is one of three drivers listed at +800 odds to win along with Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski, but I believe he belongs at the top of the list given the No. 42 Chevrolet's current form. He led last week's race at Kansas for 101 laps before fading to fourth, and he came very close to winning at Bristol a few week's back finishing in a runner-up finish to Kyle Busch. Larson's relative lack of experience in this week's race could squeeze some of the value from his odds, but he is coming off a second-place finish in last year's All-Star Race.
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2018 All Star Race Prediction
There is always value to be found in veteran drivers when it comes to special events such as the All-Star Race. Hamlin is racing close to top form right now behind the wheel of the No 11 Toyota with a recent third-place finish at Richmond followed by last week’s fifth-place run at Kansas. I still think he gives his team a chance to win anytime he is on the track. When it comes to his recent performance in this week’s main event, Hamlin did win the All-Star Race in 2015 as part of five straight finishes inside the top 10.
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