NASCAR

NASCAR Betting Guide: Toyota Owners 400

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
NASCAR Betting Guide: Toyota Owners 400

This week in Richmond, it's all about the Toyotas.

They dominated Phoenix, a track very similar to Richmond.

The four most likely winners? All Toyotas.

Toyota is -125 to win the race in FanDuel Sportsbook's NASCAR betting odds for Richmond.

Heck, even the race itself is named the Toyota Owners 400.

This is all fair and justified, and my model has Toyota winning about half the time. They deserve the buzz.

But it has allowed some other teams to go overlooked, especially in markets where they don't need to top all the Toyotas to cash.

That's where the value lies for me this week prior to practice and qualifying. Let's lay out those two values -- both on the same team -- and then we can circle back later if more value arises post-qualifying.

Toyota Owners 400 Betting Picks

Chase Briscoe to Finish Top 10 (+320)

(UPDATE: Briscoe has since shortened to +290 to finish top 10. His speed was poor on Saturday, so I'm actually lower on him now than I was earlier in the week. Thus, I wouldn't add at +290 if Briscoe isn't already on your card.)

Last year, Stewart-Haas Racing was at its best on short, flat tracks. It was the one track type where their -- and Ford's -- broad lack of speed didn't impact them as much.

We saw that translate to Phoenix this year, as well, and the organization as a whole seems to be in a better place. My model's buying into almost all of them this weekend as a result, beginning with Chase Briscoe.

Richmond, specifically, has never been Briscoe's best track. He was merely fine here in the Xfinity Sereis, and he has no top 10s in Cup. But he has finished 12th or better in 3 of 4 Next-Gen races at Richmond, so it's not like he's out to lunch. And this track type is definitively his best.

Briscoe won at Phoenix back in 2022. Across 15 Next-Gen races on short, flat tracks, Briscoe's top-10 rate is 60.0%, including a ninth-place finish in Phoenix this year.

That's not reflected in the market. Briscoe's implied odds are just 23.8%, versus my model, which puts him at 27.4%. In a week where the markets are pretty efficient, that's the biggest value I've got, making Briscoe my favorite bet of the week at FanDuel.

Ryan Preece to Finish Top 10 (+320)

(UPDATE: Preece has since lengthened to +430 to finish top 10. Similar to Briscoe, this lengthening is deserved, and Preece is not a value even at the longer number by my model.)

The value is thinner on Briscoe's teammate, Ryan Preece, so I'm not as sold here. But what puts this over the top is how Preece ran here last year.

During the fall race, Preece's car was fast. He qualified 11th, had an 8th-place average running position, and finished 5th. It's his only career top-five on a non-drafting track.

This track type is Preece's bread-and-butter, given his background racing modifieds on short tracks. He flashed upside last year, showing great pace in both Martinsville races in addition to what he did in Richmond.

Preece wasn't as strong as Briscoe in Phoenix, posting an 18th-place average running position. As a result, my model has him at 24.5% to finish top 10, just a hair above his 23.8% implied odds. Still, it's hard not to be intrigued when you consider just how strong he was here back in the fall.

It's also worth noting I'm really close to showing value on a third SHR driver in Noah Gragson. Gragson was super fast in Phoenix and is a talented racer. My model has him just below his implied odds -- 21.3% for me versus 22.7% implied at +340 -- so I couldn't pull the trigger. But he's another to consider if you've got faith in this team to show up on Sunday.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Joey Logano to Win (+1600)

As you can see above, I had faith in some Fords entering the weekend, and that faith was greeted with hideous speed on Saturday. It's possible that should scare me off.

But not all Fords were slow. And I do think we should buy into a few of them now, starting with Joey Logano.

Logano ranked fastest among Group A drivers in five-lap average during Saturday's practice. He slipped as the run went along, which could lead to concerns about tire degradation. But Logano does tend to conserve his tires well as he's a two-time winner in Richmond and has finished top-five in 12 of 22 races here with Team Penske.

Logano's best finish here during the Next-Gen era is fourth, but he did lead over half the race back in 2022 before falling to sixth at the finish. He can get around this track, and he had good speed early in practice. My model has Logano at 7.7% to win, up from 5.9% implied.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Michael McDowell to Finish Top 10 (+320)

In the Logano section, I mentioned he was fastest in Group A during practice. That's important to note because Group A was significantly faster than Group B, meaning you have to adjust if you're going to compare drivers across groups.

But the fastest driver in 5-, 10-, and 15-lap average in Group B was this guy, Michael McDowell.

McDowell's practice speed didn't translate to qualifying as he'll start 31st. But he says it's because he over-drove Turn 1, and given the tire falloff at Richmond, qualifying speeds aren't as predictive of race pace as they are elsewhere. McDowell's teammate, Todd Gilliland, qualified sixth, so the team seems to be fast.

In 25 career races at Richmond, McDowell has just one top-10 finish. But with Front Row Motorsports now a Tier 1 Ford team, this is the best equipment he has ever had. Additionally, that one top-10 came in last year's spring race, so it does seem like he's making gains. My model has McDowell at 31.2% to finish top 10, up from 23.8% implied.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Noah Gragson to Finish Top 10 (+340)

As mentioned above, I had interest in Noah Gragson before practice and qualifying. His odds have held tight at +340, and my confidence in him has gone up, so I'll happily add him now.

Gragson -- once you adjust for group differentials -- was solid in practice. He ranked top-15 in 5-, 10-, and 15-lap averages and qualified 17th.

Gragson had a decent track record at Richmond in Xfinity, even if it wasn't his strongest track. He debuted here with a runner-up finish during his age-19 season, and he eventually did break into victory lane in 2021.

More importantly, Gragson has looked back to his old self this year. He had a 10th-place average running position in Phoenix and finished 12th. Combine that with everything else, and my model has Gragson at 29.0% to finish top 10, up from 22.7% implied.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.