NASCAR United Rentals 500 5K Best Bets and DFS Plays at Phoenix Raceway

NASCAR United Rentals 500 5K Best Bets and DFS Plays at Phoenix Raceway
NASCAR United Rentals 500 5K Best Bets and DFS Plays at Phoenix Raceway

William Byron found his way to victory last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Byron dominated the day leading 176 laps and winning both stages. Hendrick Motorsports swept the top three spots with Byron, Kyle Larson, and Alex Bowman. Chevrolet has now won all three points-paying races in 2023.

This week it’s on to Phoenix Raceway. The site of the championship races that will be held here later this season, November 3rd-5th. Chase Elliott is expected to miss at least six weeks of competition while he recovers from his broken tibia. Josh Berry will fill in on oval tracks, while IMSA Sportscar star Jordan Taylor will handle the road courses.

Chase Briscoe captured this race last season, while fellow Ford driver Joey Logano wrapped up his championship with a win here in the fall. As we do every week, we’ll walk through my five favorite bets using a budget of $5,000. We followed up with a couple of drivers to keep an eye on for DFS at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR United Rentals 500 5K Best Bets and DFS Plays at Phoenix Raceway

Kevin Harvick Top 10 – $2,000 (-182)

Kevin Harvick holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for most consecutive top 10 finishes at a single race track in a row. That number is set at 19, and this weekend Harvick is looking to make that number 20. Expanding on that number Harvick has scored a top 10 in 21 of the last 22 and 23 of the previous 25 races at Phoenix Raceway.

Harvick has also won at this track nine times. Including a run of four wins in a row from November 2013 through March 2015. As I wrote last week, nothing is a sure thing in betting. However, Kevin Harvick’s top 10’s, especially at Phoenix, are as close as it gets.

Brad Keselowski Over Ryan Preece – $1,000 (-114)

Ryan Preece has struggled in his return to the NASCAR Cup Series. Preece returned to NASCAR’s top level after a season away from full-time competition. Stewart-Haas Racing overall has struggled out of the gate. Besides Kevin Harvick’s success early, Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, and Preece haven’t gotten off to a great start.

Brad Keselowski struggled early last season with his transition to driver/owner and this new generation of cars. Late last season and early on into 2023, things look much better for the Roush Fenway Keselowski team. Brad has 12 top 10 finishes to his name at Phoenix Raceway, including nine top fives.

Christopher Bell Top Toyota – $1,000 (+310)

Christopher Bell is great on short-flat tracks. In his last four starts here at Phoenix Raceway, Bell has scored a top-10 finish in three of them. In his previous two races at comparable New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bell has a win and a second-place finish.

As we often talk about on the NASCAR Gambling Podcast. Betting on the top Toyota finisher has an advantage Chevy and Ford don’t offer. There are only six Toyota in the field. This means the driver you bet on only has to beat the other five Toyota to cash this bet for you.

Race Winner – $500 Kyle Larson (+900)

Larson has come out of the gate firing in 2023. Larson struggled early with an electrical issue at Auto Club Speedway. He returned to the track 15 laps down and consistently was one of the fastest cars on the track. Last week at Las Vegas, if it ended in regulation, Larson would have been victorious.

With the speed Hendrick has shown early in the season, Larson has four top-five finishes in his last eight races at Phoenix. Including that 2021 championship race, getting Larson at 9/1 is crazy value. Look for that number five car to be fast yet again this weekend.

Race Winner – $500 Kyle Busch (+1000)

It’s the Kyle and Kyle show for me this weekend at Phoenix Raceway. Kyle Busch is another driver off to a hot start in 2023. Busch started the season on the podium in Los Angeles. He was leading the Daytona 500 at the end of regulation. Then, two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway, Busch dominated, grabbing his first victory for Richard Childress Racing.

Last week Busch got into the wall early and struggled with the car after that. It’s been a seamless transition for Busch coming over to his new home in 2023. Tyler Reddick finished second in this race in 2022 in the number eight car. Kyle Busch has also seen his fair share of success here. In three straight races, Busch has finished in seventh place. In 15 of the last 18 races, Busch has found himself in the top 10 at the end of the day at Phoenix Raceway.

Underdog Deposit Bonus

United Rentals 500 DFS Drivers to Watch

Kyle Larson ($11,100)

Larson tops the board as the most expensive driver this week. For good reason. I’ve already laid my case out for Larson above. Last week Larson led 63 laps and recorded 40 fastest laps. The week before, when he was 15 laps down, Larson still checked in for 22 fastest laps on the day. In 2021 at Phoenix Raceway, Larson led 107 laps en route to his victory.

Kevin Harvick ($9,000)

19 top 10 finishes at Phoenix Raceway in a row. I don’t think my editor would appreciate it if that’s all I wrote, but that sentence is all you need to know about Kevin Harvick this week. He will likely be the most popular play in DFS. As we know, anything can happen, so you may want to fade him in bigger GPP contests. However, when it comes to cash games, as we always say on the NASCAR GAMBLING PODCAST, Harvick is just the free space this weekend.

Aric Almirola ($6,900)

Aric checks in at a very nice $6,900 price tag this week. While he’s been in the camp of Stewart-Haas drivers that have been struggling to start the season, when it comes to short-flat tracks, this is where Aric shows up. Similar to Bell, Aric has a great history at New Hampshire, where he won in 2021. When it comes to Phoenix Raceway, in nine of his last 11 starts, Almirola has finished in the top 13, including a couple of top-five finishes. At this low of a price tag, if he can just survive and cash in a good finish, that’s all you are asking for.


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