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NASCAR Best Bets: Motorsports Picks, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders at Richmond

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders, which starts on September 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Last week was close at Darlington. Both picks to win the race almost won, but almost does not pay. Richmond suits the same drivers, but the payouts are better. Should we double down at Richmond or find new drivers to follow?

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Martin Truex, Jr. to Win (+550)

No one has been better at Richmond than Truex, and no one has been better in the high horsepower, low downforce package. Truex had last week’s race at Darlington won, but he got nailed for speeding during the pivotal caution late in stage 3. Even with the penalty, Truex charged back for a fourth place finish.

Richmond is the only track that matters this week and that’s good news for Truex because no one is in his area code when it comes to speed at Richmond. In the last five Richmond races, he has finished fifth, second, first, first and third. Truex should have won the first Richmond race this season, but he earned a pit road penalty during green flag pit stops in stage 3. A testament to the speed of his car was that he served a pass-through penalty and was still able to stay on the lead lap at the three-quarters of a mile short track. When it comes to bets to win, bettors will find no one better than Truex.

Kyle Larson to Win (+750)

The picks to win this week did not change from last week. This might seem strange or like a losing strategy, but Larson and Truex are great at the high horsepower, low downforce race tracks. Larson has developed a little bit of reputation for not being good at short, flat tracks, but that’s exaggerated and inconsistent analysis. He can race anywhere and the short, flat tracks are no different.

At the paperclip-shaped short, flat tracks, Larson finished seventh at New Hampshire and fifth at Martinsville earlier this season. At Nashville, Larson destroyed the field. “Nashville is more of an intermediate track,” the critics will say. Richmond has the same peculiarity. It’s a short, flat track with intermediate track tendencies and before the inaugural Cup race at Nashville, most analysts pointed to Richmond as the most comparable track. But forget about comparisons, just look at the Richmond stats — Larson won the 2017 fall night race.

The Hendrick cars have been unstoppable everywhere this season including Richmond — Alex Bowman won the spring race. Larson’s poor finish in the first Richmond race has created an opportunity for bettors. His odds to win are much worse than they should be. He has proven that he has the talent to win at Richmond, and the Hendrick cars are the best high horsepower cars in the Cup Series. His odds this weekend are an overreaction to a poor setup in the spring Richmond race. During the first pit stop, Larson’s team spent a significant amount of time on pit road putting in a packer. It happens, but it’s not likely going to happen again. The Michael Jordan of NASCAR should not have these kind of odds.

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Christopher Bell vs William Byron — Christopher Bell (-115)

The last short, flat track race was at New Hampshire. Bell won the Xfinity race that weekend and would have won the Cup event, but NASCAR called the race early due to darkness. In the Xfinity Series, Bell won three of his five races at Richmond and probably should have won four. In the spring Cup race, Bell finished fourth at Richmond. This package and this race track suit Bell’s driving style.

In converse, Byron is not perfectly suited for this package and he’s not good at this track. “To come home seventh at a track that I’ve struggled at is good for us. This is not a race that we had circled to do well, so it’s good to finish top 10 again,” Bryon said in an interview following the spring Richmond race. Bell is looking for a win and Byron is lucky to get a top 10.

Aric Almirola vs Kurt Busch — Aric Almirola (-125)

This is pretty simple — Almirola has been better in this package at the flat tracks than Kurt Busch. At New Hampshire, Almirola won convincingly and Busch finished 16th. In the high downforce, flat track race before that (Nashville), Almirola finished sixth and Busch finished eighth. Finally, at Richmond, Almirola finished sixth and Busch finished 13th.

Chip Ganassi Racing is building fast high downforce race cars — as Chastain has shown — but Kurt Busch is not producing results. Almirola has suffered through a lot of bad luck this season and it has taken Stewart-Haas Racing the whole season to figure things out, but they’re finally headed in the right direction and Almirola’s bad luck seems to be a thing of the past.

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All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.