Monster Energy Series TicketGuardian 500 Pick
NASCAR’s early West Coast swing in Cup Series racing continues with a stop in Phoenix for Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway. The green flag for Sunday’s main event is set to wave at 2:30 p.m. (ET) with FOX covering the race nationally.
TicketGuardian 500 Top Value Bets
The reigning Cup Series Champion Joey Logano made his presence known this season with last Sunday's victory at Las Vegas. He was my top bet to win in the contender category at longer +1150 odds to start the season on a high note. Brad Keselowski continued his hot start by taking second in that race, and Kyle Busch posted a strong run to round out the top three.
The following is a trio of drivers that offer the best value in their various betting odds at 5Dimes online sportsbook to win this Sunday’s race.
TicketGuardian 500 Top Favorite- Kyle Busch + 375
I went with Kevin Harvick as my top favorite in each of the last two races, but coming off that strong run in his home town, I think this is Kyle’s week to draw first blood in the win column between the Cup Series' top two drivers. Busch could have won the Daytona 500, but he took one for the team by helping Denny Hamlin cross the finish line first. The No. 18 Toyota already has two Top 5 finishes in the first three events, so this race presents a great opportunity to add a first-place run to the early resume.
Phoenix has been good to Kyle in recent years with seven-straight runs of seventh or better going back to the 2015 racing season. He placed second in this race last season ahead of a victory in the second race at this track in 2018.
TicketGuardian 500 Top Contender- Martin Truex Jr. +1150
Good drivers at longer odds was a recipe for success last Sunday, and I am going with the same betting strategy in this race. Truex is off to a decent start with a second-place finish at Atlanta followed by an eighth-place finish in last Sunday’s race. His early efforts behind the wheel of the new No. 19 Toyota have his team in eighth place in the early Cup Series standings with 89 total points. His first win last season came in the race at Fontana, which is the last stop of this three-event tour out west, but I like his chances to get to Victory Lane one race earlier this year.
Starting from the pole position in this event last year, Truex ended up fifth. Along with a third-place run in the second race at this track in 2017, he is still looking for his first career win here following those two close calls.
TicketGuardian 500 Top Longshot- Erik Jones +2750
Racing in his third full-time season at NASCAR’s highest level, Jones made an early name for himself with a third-place finish in the Daytona 500. Driving the No. 20 Toyota, he placed seventh in Atlanta before slipping to 13th in the final running order last Sunday in Las Vegas. Last season was highlighted by a victory in the second race at Daytona which also happened to be his first career win in Cup Series racing. He ended 2018 in 15th place in the final point standings on the strength of eight more Top 5 runs.
With limited experience at Phoenix, Jones has shown the ability to stay on the lead lap with three finishes in the top 10 through five previous point-race events here. This includes a ninth-place run in this race last year.