Monster Energy Series Toyota Owners 400 Pick

April 13, 8:30 PM EDT

NASCAR’s Cup Series heads to Richmond Raceway this week for its first night race of the new season. Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 is the ninth point race of the year, and it is slated to get underway at 6:30 p.m. on FOX.

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Toyota Owners 400 – Top Value Pick

The Busch brothers lit things up last Sunday at Bristol with younger Kyle outdueling his older sibling Kurt to post his third Cup Series victory of the season. Rounding out the Top 3 bet was Joey Logano. I went with Kyle Larson as my top-valued favorite, but he faded all the way to 19th in the final running order.

The betting odds to win at Richmond have been posted by 5Dimes online sportsbook, and the following three drivers offer the best value on the board to cash a winner.

Toyota Owners 400 Top Favorite - Kyle Busch +275

After cashing in a winning ticket on his first two Cup Series victories this season, I strayed away from Busch as a favorite and paid the price in last week's win. He is in a zone behind the wheel of the speedy Toyota No. 18 car, so it is time to get back on the bandwagon at Richmond. The early numbers speak for themselves. With last week’s win at Bristol, Busch has three victories and three other Top 5 finishes in the first eight events. He has yet to finish outside the top 10, and he has already led 498 total laps this season.

The biggest value in Busch’s odds to win this race is his 6.9 average finishing position at Richmond. He won both races last season as part of his six career Cup Series victories at this track.

Toyota Owners 400 Top Contender - Denny Hamlin +1000

Hamlin is one of three drivers this season with multiple wins after taking the checkered flag in the Daytona 500 and at Texas Motor Speedway a few weeks back. His only finish outside the Top 10 was an 11th-place run at Atlanta. With last Sunday’s fifth-place finish at Bristol, his No. 11 Toyota racing team is second in the current Cup Series standings with a total of 334 points. He did manage to lead seven laps in last Sunday’s race after leading a total of 45 laps in his recent win at Fort Worth.

As a Chesterfield, Virginia native, Hamlin brings a bit of home track advantage into Saturday night’s main event. He placed third in this race last season to help improve his solid 9.6 average finishing position at Richmond. His last victory here in a Cup Series event was in the second race of the 2016 season.

Toyota Owners 400 Top Longshot - Clint Bowyer +2100

Bowyer is the kind of veteran NASCAR driver I like to roll the dice on at higher odds when he is racing well. He has been able to guide his No. 14 Ford to a Top 10 finish in four of his first eight-point races, including a fifth-place run at Atlanta and a runner-up finish to Hamlin at Texas. Bowyer was able to lead 24 laps in last Sunday's race before fading to seventh place. His early efforts have this race team holding down 11th place in the current standings with 234 total points.

One of the main reasons for the long odds this week is a less than stellar racing record at Richmond in recent years. Over a very long career racing at NASCAR’s highest level, his average finishing position at Richmond is a pedestrian 13.0, but he has won here twice to add some value to his odds.