Top 2 betting picks for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400

Well, not many of us, with the exception of Action Network’s Nick GiffenI saw it coming.

Erik Jones, a non-elimination driver, won the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs last weekend at Darlington. Meanwhile, a handful of championship contenders have run into trouble.

NASCAR is now heading to Kansas Speedway for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET, US), the second race of the Cup Series playoffs.

The teams will use a new tire combination in Sunday’s race – one that was not used during NASCAR’s visit to Kansas in May – so we opted to wait until after Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions to ensure we have as much data as possible.

So, with those now in the books, here are our two favorite bets for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 in Kansas.

NASCAR pick for Kansas

*Sunday morning odds

PJ Walsh: Chase Elliott (+200) for a Top-5

In his last 10 NASCAR Cup Series races at Kansas, Elliott has earned one win and seven top-six finishes. His worst result over this period is a 29th place at this track in May.

On the outskirts, it looks bad considering it was the only race held at this track in the Next Gen car. However, this finish is a little disappointing.

After starting 14th, Elliott drove to a third-place finish in Stage 1, then backed that up with a fifth-place finish in Stage 2.

Unfortunately for the #9 Chevy driver, Elliott punctured a left rear tire while racing in sixth place with 71 laps to go, confirming this car was much faster than his 29th place finish.

Also, I checked with Giffen, who mentioned that his NASCAR Kansas betting model gives Elliott a 43.7% chance of making the top five, easily beating the 33.3% chance implied odds of 2-1 at DraftKings.

Nick Giffen: Chris Buescher (+2500) for Top Ford

None of the Roush Fenway Keselowski (RFK) cars made the playoffs and it is highly likely that they will experiment in these playoff races.

It seems that the experiment paid off.

Buescher was the fastest Ford driver over five consecutive laps in practice. Over 10 and 15 laps, Buescher was less than 1/10 of a second slower than Blaney for top Ford honors in those measurements.

Earlier this year at Kansas, Buescher was quick in practice again, averaging sixth overall over five laps. However, he did not make a qualifying lap and was relegated to a starting 35th place.

In the race, Buescher showed speed as he moved through the pack. Unfortunately, he went into the wall just after halfway, causing his speed to drop.

Those looking at his green flag speed in 26th place will be misled.

Instead, my FLAGS metric positions him as the 18th fastest, despite his lack of track position throughout the race. It is likely that he had an even faster car than that.

We’re looking at a repeat scenario and by removing the fast Toyota and Chevy drivers, it helps narrow down the drivers Buescher has to beat.

DraftKings gives us Buescher at 25-1 to finish as the top Ford driver.

My model pegs it at 6.8% for this, well above his implied odds of 3.8%.

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