Monster Energy Series Can-Am 500 Pick - Odds and Race Predictions
Kevin Harvick came in first last Sunday at Texas followed by Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano. I went with Chase Elliott at longer +1350 odds as my top-valued pick, but the best he could do was sixth after starting 16th.
The following is a look at a trio of the top favorites to win Sunday’s race at Phoenix along with my top-valued driver at longer odds to win as provided by 5Dimes.
Can-Am 500 Race Favorites
Kevin Harvick +200
Harvick’s victory at Texas came as a steep price. An illegal modification to the No. 4 Ford’s rear spoiler cost the team 40 points in the standings, but even more severe is the penalty rescinds his automatic qualification for the championship round. This could be seen as adding value to his odds to win at Phoenix since he might have to in order to still contend for the 2018 Cup Series title. He will enter this race in fourth place in the current Cup Series standings and in case of a tie after Sunday, the win at Texas cannot act as a tie-breaker. The good news for Harvick is his recent domination at this track with seven victories in 12 point-race events going back to this race in 2012.
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Kyle Busch +420
Harvick’s troubles can also be seen as plus for Busch and the No. 18 Toyota with three of the four spots in the title race still up for grabs. He has been plodding along in this 10-race playoff ever since his victory in the second event at Richmond. Any momentum from a recent second-place finish at Kansas and a fourth-place run at Martinsville was squashed with Sunday’s fade to 17th at Texas. Push has come to shove for a driver that has won seven times this season in a Cup Series race. Busch still has a cushion to qualify with a series-best 4128 total points. He also adds value to his odds with five Top 5 runs in his last six races at Phoenix.
Martin Truex Jr. +750
The defending Cup Series Champion is holding down second place in the Cup Series standings with a total of 4125 points following last Sunday's ninth-place finish at Texas. Much like Busch, he has lacked any real consistency during this playoff run. The No. 78 Toyota's best finish in recent weeks was third at Martinsville after rounding out the top three drivers at Las Vegas and Richmond in Truex’s first two playoff events. He should be able to qualify for Homestead-Miami with another top-three run on Sunday, but a victory is the only way he is guaranteed a spot. Truex has never won a Cup Series race at this track coming off a fifth-place finish in the first race at Phoenix this season.
Can-Am 500 Race Prediction 11/11/2018
It was not all that long ago that Keselowski was the driver to watch in this season’s title run after taking the checkered flag at Darlington and Indianapolis in the final two races of the regular season schedule. The driver of the No. 2 Ford stayed hot with a victory at Las Vegas in the first playoff race. His best effort since then was fifth at Martinsville and, with a 12th-place finish last Sunday, he will need to win this race to keep his racing title hopes alive. Phoenix is probably not the best track to bet on Keselowski to win with a 14.2 average finishing position. However, he has a way of making things happen when the pressure gets dialed up a notch or two.