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Kevin Harvick
AP
Latest Lines

Latest Lines and Proper Props: Kansas

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: July 23, 2020, 10:58 am ET

Line Moves

It was a short week between the Sunday O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and Thursday night’s Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas Speedway, but apparently a lot of money has exchanged hands. Every driver currently ranked among the top 10 in betting odds showed movement. Most of the odds were lowered, which is an indication that enough came in on the original line to incentivize the bookmakers to hedge those bets.

For another week, Kevin Harvick remains the favorite. He started the week at +400 (4/1) and dropped slightly to +450 on Thursday morning. His current odds of +125 to finish in the top three underscore their confidence in the driver, but this may be a good week to fade the superstar.

Despite the momentum Harvick brings with him into the weekend, this has not been his best track in the past two years. Harvick finished 13th in this race last year. He was 12th in the fall of 2018 and last year, even though he cracked the top-10 it was by a narrow margin in ninth. Harvick’s odds to finish in the top 10 are -480, which gives bettors a lot of wiggle room to bet the other side.


Chase Elliott was the biggest mover at the top of the grid. He lost 150 points from his opening line and landed at +650 on Thursday. One supposes gamblers took a look at his recent record at Kansas and decided that he represented a good value since he has finished fourth or better in four of his last five races on this track. Elliott is listed at +180 to finish in the top three, so even though there is not a lot of money to be made there, he deserves a modest bet.

The last time NASCAR ran a 1.5-mile race in the middle of the week, Elliott won at Charlotte.

Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney join Elliott at +650.

For Truex, that was a lowering of his odds by 50 points and it reflects gamblers’ confidence. That confidence might be misplaced. While he has been great on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks during his career, the last two seasons have been far less consistent. Either Elliott or Blaney would be a less stressful bet this week. Truex has failed to finish in the top 10 in three of seven 1.5-mile races this year.

Blaney, on the other hand, enters the weekend with a current six-race streak of top-10s on 1.5-milers with a worst of seventh in that span. He has not yet won on this track type, but that is only because circumstances have intervened. Blaney had the car to beat at Kentucky and Texas both. This week, he needs the cautions to fall more favorably because he will have another strong machine at his disposal. Blaney opened at +1000.

The two biggest movers among the top 10 were Aric Almirola and Alex Bowman. Both drivers landed at +1800 and moved by 200 points. For Almirola with his three consecutive top-10s on 1.5-milers, it was a lowering of odds suggesting tickets were generated in his favor. Bookmakers had to sweeten the pot for Bowman to try and generate some interest.

Prop Bets

If bettors want to fade Harvick, but are still worried he might finish inside the top 10, one attractive bet this week might be in his head-to-head matchup with Kyle Busch. Harvick is heavily favored to finish ahead of this rival with -150 odds to Busch’s +115. Busch has struggled in races without practice, but he seems to be getting better. And after this week’s announcement that there will be no qualification or practice for the remainder of the year, Busch is going to have to improve even more if he wants a shot at the championship.

Harvick drew the pole for this week’s Super Start Batteries 400 and that contributed to his being a heavy favorite to win Stage 1 with +250 odds compared to Joey Logano’s +600. Logano will start the race from the outside pole.

The Draft Kings sportsbook also expects Stage 2 to go to Harvick with +300 odds. Blaney and Truex are second on the list at +700. However, the odds for any driver to win both stages is +600. Chose one of the Stages, and bet against Harvick.

Favorites to be the best driver among the Chevrolet and Ford drivers remain the same as they have been for the past few weeks with Elliott (+125) and Harvick (+170) topping those groups. Truex (+165) has replaced Busch (+200) as the favorite Toyota driver, however.

In the Ford camp, Matt DiBenedetto represents an interesting bet. His odds to be the best of the blue ovals is +2200. This is a driver with Penske power under the hood who has had some surprising results all year. With the tiniest bit of luck, he could challenge for a win soon.

That could also make DiBenedetto a dark horse to finish best in his Group at Draft Kings. At +250, if he can finish ahead of Tyler Reddick (+180), Clint Bowyer (+250) and Christopher Bell (+300), he could put a little extra spending money in your pocket.

 

Rank

Driver

Current Odds

Opening Odds

Change

1.

Kevin Harvick

450

400

-50

2.

Martin Truex Jr.

650

600

-50

2.

Chase Elliott

650

500

-150

2.

Ryan Blaney

650

1000

350

5.

Kyle Busch

800

750

-50

5.

Denny Hamlin

800

700

-100

7.

Brad Keselowski

1000

900

-100

8.

Joey Logano

1300

1200

-100

9.

Aric Almirola

1800

1600

-200

9.

Alex Bowman

1800

2000

200

 

11.

Kurt Busch

2500

2500

0

11.

Erik Jones

2500

2500

0

13.

Jimmie Johnson

3300

3300

0

13.

Tyler Reddick

3300

3300

0

15.

Clint Bowyer

5000

5000

0

15.

Matt DiBenedetto

5000

5000

0

15.

William Byron

5000

4000

-1000

18.

Austin Dillon

6600

6600

0

19.

Matt Kenseth

8000

8000

0

19.

Cole Custer

8000

12500

4500

19.

Christopher Bell

8000

10000

2000

22.

Ryan Newman

12500

12500

0

22.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

12500

12500

0

24.

JH Nemechek

15000

10000

-5000

25.

Chris Buescher

20000

15000

-5000

26.

Bubba Wallace

30000

40000

10000

27.

Ryan Preece

50000

40000

-10000

28.

Ty Dillon

75000

75000

0

28.

Daniel Suarez

75000

50000

-25000

30.

Michael McDowell

100000

100000

0

30.

Corey LaJoie

100000

75000

-25000

32.

JJ Yeley

200000

200000

0

32.

Reed Sorenson

200000

200000

0

32.

BJ McLeod

200000

200000

0

32.

Joey Gase

200000

200000

0

32.

Brennan Poole

200000

150000

-50000

32.

Timmy Hill

200000

200000

0

32.

Garrett Smithley

200000

200000

0

32.

Josh Bilicki

200000

200000

0

32.

Quin Houff

200000

200000

0

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.