The South Point 400 kicks off the 2019 NASCAR playoffs, bringing together two of Las Vegasâ favorite sporting activities â racing and betting.
Sundayâs race, the second of two NASCAR events held in VSiN City every year, could present a new challenge for handicappers: With a 4:15 p.m. local start time, it will be the first Cup series race to finish under the lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In general, though, here are the factors that NASCAR bettors should consider when handicapping the races:
How has the driver done at the current track historically? Some drivers just fare better at certain tracks. Most recent results should be weighed in heavily.
How has the driver done at tracks similar to the current one? Recent results from similar tracks can be key as car setup may be identical.
How has the driver been running lately? The past 5-10 races is a common time frame to look back on.
How does the driverâs team fare at the current track? Certain teams do well at certain tracks. Single-car teams can struggle without on-track help, etc.
How did that driver qualify? At many tracks, qualifying position is critical, particularly those where single-groove racing makes it difficult to pass.
How did that driver do in Happy Hour and Practice? NASCAR.com lists these speeds in the time leading up to the race. They can provide a good indication as to whether that driverâs crew chief has the carâs setup dialed in right.
Is there a chance weather/conditions could affect the finish? Rain and/or changing track conditions over the course of a race have a major impact on a carâs handling. Normally larger race teams have more resources to deal with these variables.
Is there anything about this race that complements/negates a driverâs tendencies? Some drivers are more aggressive, some tracks are more receptive to that style, and vice versa. Tracks like Bristol, Darlington, or Talladega can be a challenge for inexperienced drivers, etc.
Are the odds fair for the names I am playing or betting against? Popular drivers like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick tend to be overrated and overpriced when oddsmakers create the lines. Conversely, young drivers, particularly those on strong teams, can often be undervalued.
Consider betting head-to-head matchups. Picking the winner of a matchup can be much easier than picking a winner. With up to 40 cars on the track determining the fortunes of a race, underdogs can sometimes have a lot of value.