Monster Energy Series OReilly Auto Parts 500 Pick

Date: 
March 31, 4:00 PM EDT
Location:
TV:

NASCAR’s Cup Series rolls into Texas Motor Speedway this week in preparation for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 as the seventh point-race event of the season. Race time is set for 3 p.m. with FOX carrying the race nationally.

OReilly Auto Parts 500 Top Value Picks

Brad Keselowski joined Kyle Busch as the first multiple winner this season in a Cup Series event with last Sunday’s dominating victory at Martinsville. Chase Elliott turned in his best performance of the year in second place, and Busch stayed hot by taking third.

Moving on to Texas, the following three drivers offer the best betting value to win Sunday’s main event based on the posted odds at 5Dimes online sportsbook.

OReilly Auto Parts 500 Top Favorite - Kevin Harvick +650

Kyle Busch won this race last season, and he is listed as a +325 favorite to win this Sunday again, but I like the value in Harvick as a fourth-favorite on the list. The No. 4 Ford team is still looking for its first Cup Series victory of the season, and it is only a matter of time before it crosses the finish line first after winning a grand total of eight point races last year. Current racing form remains solid with three runs inside the top five along with a sixth-place finish in last Sunday’s race at Martinsville. His overall average finishing position through the first six events is 8.8.

The real value in Harvick’s odds to win this week is his recent success at Fort Worth. Going back to the second race at this track in 2014, he has won twice and placed second in four other races in his last nine Cup Series events.

OReilly Auto Parts 500 Top Contender - Ryan Blaney +1100

I went with Blaney and his +2200 odds to win last Sunday's race as my top-valued longshot, and he kept things interesting with a fourth-place finish. He has been able to guide the No. 12 Ford to a Top 5 finish in each of his last three point races starting with the third-place run at Phoenix after beginning that race from the pole. His team is holding down eighth place in the updated Cup Series standings with a total of 203 points. This is just his fourth full-time season racing at NASCAR's highest level, and he is already showing the consistency that should make him a legitimate contender in any race he runs.

While Blaney’s experience at Texas Motor Speedway is limited, he finished fifth in this event last year ahead of a second-place run in the fall race at this track.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Top Longshot - Chase Elliott +2600

Elliott has always been one of my favorite young guns making his mark in Cup Series racing. He broke through last year with three trips to the Winner’s Circle in his third full season racing at this level. Following a rocky start to the new campaign with finishes outside the top 10 in four of his first five events, the No. 9 Chevrolet returned to form last Sunday at Martinsville with that second-place run. He led a total of 49 laps to pick up 51 points. Elliott is now in ninth place in the standings with 186 total points.

This is another driver that does not have a deep resume at Fort Worth, but five of his first six career runs here in a Cup Series event have ended inside the top 10 for an average finishing position of 7.2.

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