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NASCAR Picks: Motorsports Odds, Best Bets to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for the NASCAR Cup Series Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the NASCAR Cup Series Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix, which starts on March 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

After starting in the back and wrecking, Tyler Reddick finished in seventh place, but that was two spots behind William Byron in fifth. The Best Bets “Featured Matchup” picks went 2-2 at Las Vegas, and the season total now sits at 12-4.

Let’s get it rolling again by looking through the data while being cognizant of context. Trust the spreadsheet but also trust your eyes. Here are the best bets for the NASCAR Cup Series Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix, which gets underway Sunday Mar. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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Ruoff Mortgage 500 Winner

Joey Logano (+800)

The Next Gen package is out of control and the racing has been great. Drivers are tested on every lap. The endless examination of the drivers’ skills has resulted in a record breaking amount of wrecks to start the season. Phoenix is the flattest track yet and presents a delicate balance between on-throttle and off-throttle time. It’s safe to assume that there will be plenty of spins, wrecks and cautions this Sunday. Not to mention, the last Phoenix race had multiple tire failures on a well-tested tire.

With the assumption that this race is filled with cautions, the pick to win must reflect that. Martin Truex had the best long-run car at Phoenix in 2021, but this race is unlikely to end on a long run. It will finish with a two-lap shootout. A long shot could sneak away with the win (Ryan Newman 2017), but the smarter bet is to target fast drivers that tend to set up for short runs. Logano had plenty of speed at Phoenix last spring, but he could not hold off Martin Truex on the long run. Also, Logano has a top-10 driver rating in each race this season. The No. 22 team has successfully adjusted the setup for the Next Gen car at three different tracks and Phoenix will likely make four.

Featured Matchup: Alex Bowman vs. Christopher Bell

Alex Bowman (-115)

It’s easy to dismiss most of Alex Bowman’s wins because he rarely wins a race wire to wire. However, not many drivers do. That is a very lofty standard that is often stacked against Bowman but not others. Bowman did not magically go from a 20th-place driver to a race winner. In his wins, he runs upfront and waits to make his move when the time is right. This is racing. It’s not a stick and ball sport. Only the last lap is scored. Those that dismiss Bowman do so through a myopic understanding of racing. Bowman was inside the top 5 with only a few laps remaining at Fontana when he hit the wall. He didn’t hit the wall at Las Vegas, and once again proved that he is one of the best late race restarters in the Cup Series.

While it might be debatable whether Bowman truly deserved his win last week — that’s a stretch because he had the second-best driver rating. What is not debatable is the fact that Bell has spun in each of the last two races. The No. 20 JGR car is fast and Bell is talented, but he’s stepped over the line more often than Bowman. Finally, Bowman has run inside the top 5 for 38% of the laps this season (third), while Bell ranks 15th with 10%.

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Featured Matchup: Aric Almirola vs. Ross Chastain

Aric Almirola (-175)

Ross Chastain’s car was hooked up last week, but this is Phoenix. What worked at the intermediate track, won’t work at Phoenix. Besides the setup differences, the skills needed are different. Phoenix has not been a good track for Chastain. One last point on Chastain. Most of his movement was made on pit road and via some aggressive restarts early in the race. Chastain enjoyed clean air for a large portion of the race, and that may have exaggerated his speed.

Almirola has finished 13th or better in eight of the last nine races at Phoenix with an average finish of eighth. Last season, Almirola excelled in the low-downforce car. He won at New Hampshire and finished fourth at Nashville — a flat track with short track and intermediate track tendencies (Phoenix is a comparable hybrid track). Almirola hasn’t been great this season, but he’s found a way to overcome challenges in every race, and he’s the only driver to earn a top-10 finish in each race this season.

Featured Matchup: Denny Hamlin vs. Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. (-120)

This is a no brainer. Hamlin lost the championship race in 2020 and 2021 at Phoenix. Despite two great seasons, Hamlin was never a contender in either race. He was always up front with the lead pack, but he was never in control of the race.

Truex’s struggles at Phoenix never made sense. It’s a track that suits his strengths, and it finally clicked for him at Phoenix last spring. He had the best car in both races because of James Small’s clever setups. Last week, Small’s genius was again on display. He set up the car for colder temperatures betting that possible cloud cover would tighten up Truex’s loose race car, while making his opponents’ cars too tight. That’s exactly what happened. Truex may have won if not for a caution in the final laps.

Featured Matchup: Kevin Harvick vs. Brad Keselowski

Kevin Harvick (-155)

Both of these drivers are showing their age. They wanted a racing package that put the racing back in their hands. Be careful what you wish for. The engineers can no longer cover for Keselowski and Harvick’s depreciating talent. So far this season, the two drivers have made numerous mistakes. It’s unlikely that either driver is mistake free this weekend. It may come down to the driver that makes the smaller mistake. If that’s the case, then it’s easily Harvick because Keselowski has made a big mistake in every race this season.

Another deciding factor is the equipment. It’s hard to judge the RFK cars because Keselowski keeps wrecking, but it’s likely that the SHR cars still have an edge. Furthermore, if either of these drivers are to improve, then it will likely be due to their crew chief’s setup. The smart money is on Rodney Childers (Harvick) finding something in his notebook.

Place your NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

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

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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.

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