The 2023 Nascar season is beginning to take shape and so is this week’s oddsboard. Phoenix is closing out the West Coast swing and debuting a brand new short track package in the process. Practice and qualifying are complete, and most markets have settled. It’s time for my United Rentals 500 Best Bets.
United Rentals 500 Picks and Best Bets
Drivers got to test the new aero package with a full 50-minute practice of Friday. And to nobody’s surprise, Young Money Kyle Larson still paced the field. He followed that up by blazing to the pole in qualifying; and has separated himself from the rest of the field. Larson is now a +350 to +550 favorite everywhere with the next closest driver sitting at around +700. Overall, there are a total of six guys with odds shorter than +1000 across the board.
United Rentals 500 Outrights
It’s always fun shopping for longshots but if they’re not starting up front, good luck. The pole sitter has won 3 of the last 5 in the desert and each of the last 5 winners, all qualified 6th or better. Check out the Qualifying Results Here.
Tyler Reddick +2200 (Caesars) Bet .5u to win 11u
If you think Kyle Larson rolls his practice and qualifying efforts into Sunday, by all means, smash that +350 number because he looks like the 2021 version of himself right now. Personally though, that’s just far too short for me to get involved with. Instead, let’s have fun and throw a dart on ole Red-dog Tyler Reddick.
Reddick hasn’t looked great in his first season with 23XI, but last week he showed signs of life. After not being able to practice or qualify Tyler started 34th, then made quick work of the back half of the field. He actually found himself up front for 3 laps during the race and showed top 10 speed throughout the day.
This leads us to Phoenix where he finally unloaded good. He posted the 4th best 15 and 20-lap averages during practice; and qualified 12th. Amazingly this is exactly where he started last Spring, and that day he finished 3rd.
Long run speed will be critical to staying up front here, and Reddick seems to have come out of the gates prepared for Sunday. This is a real longshot, especially with how great Kyle Larson looks, but ya never know.
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Placement bets for the Desert
There are always a few placement odds that present a ton of value and this week is no different. This is especially true when considering that 7 of the top 10 finishers during last Spring’s race all started outside the top 10. That was with a new car, and this year we have the new aero package.
Aric Almirola Top 10 +300 (Caesars) Bet 1u to win 3u
I know, SHR has looked like hot garbage to begin the season and this continued in qualifying. Even so, Almirola was running near the top 10 before hitting the wall last week in Vegas and he has a darn good history in Phoenix and on these types of tracks.
Aric finished 12th here last Spring; had an average finish of 9.5 over the four races from 2020 to 2021; and he has five Top 10 finishes over the last ten races here. Almirola has been one of the best on shorter flat tracks since 2018 and won his last race at similar New Hampshire.
His starting position of 31st doesn’t scare me as he worked his way from 32nd to 11th back in the Spring of 2021. Almirola was one of the few drivers to make a 30-lap run during practice and I trust he’ll have his car in a better place for raceday.
Denny Hamlin Top 5 +120 (Caesars) Bet 1u to win 1.2u
The FedEx car has been delivering good performances in Phoenix pretty consistently. Denny leads the Cup Series with six Top 5 results over the last ten races here and he’s already said, he loves his car this week. His 2nd place starting position doesn’t hurt this either.
Chris Buescher Top 10 +430 (Caesars) Bet .5u to win 2.15u
RFK has looked much better this season and Buescher has a Top 10 under his belt here last Spring.
Joey Logano Top 10 -140 (Caesars) Bet 4u to win 2.86u
This number is ridiculous and more than 3 full units better than at FanDuel! I understand he qualified poorly but he looked good in practice and as much as I avoid betting Joey, he’s been a Top 10 machine here. He’s done so in 7 of the last 8 races and the one he didn’t… he finished 11th.
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Matchups and props for Phoenix
Matchups and race props are always fun ways to gain more exposure to a race. Here are my favorites for Phoenix.
Ryan Blaney -120 over Joey Logano (DraftKings) Bet 2u to win 1.66u
Logano may have won the Championship Race here last year but Blaney was the best car that day. The no.12 was also the better of the two in the Spring when Ryan finished 4th to Joey’s 8th.
Blaney has looked like the better car straight off the hauler and is starting 8 spots ahead of his teammate. Blaney recovered better than Logano last week in Vegas and he’s off to a better start so far in Phoenix. Joey can still cash our Top 10 above and finish behind Blaney which should have happened twice last year.
Ross Chastain +350 Over Harvick, Bell, Truex Jr. (Caesars) Bet 1u to win 3.5u
Whay?! I can get better than 3 to 1 on a driver who finished both Phoenix races last year as a Top 3 car in a group? Hell yeah I’ll take that.
I get that Harvick is a beast here, Truex has a great history, and Bell is a rising star but c’mon. Chastain offers the highest upside among this group and with them all running the new package, whatever advantages the vets had should be mitigated.
Remember, we don’t need Chastain to win the race or even run near the front. All he has to do is finish better than these 3 drivers which is exactly what he did last year.
United Rentals 500 Best Bet
Tyler Reddick Top 10 +100 (FanDuel) Bet 5u to win 5u
Oh yeah baby. I’m surprised to this number after a solid practice and qualifying from Reddick. I get the reservations but he looked great here last Spring and he showed life last Sunday. The 23XI team as a whole had a very strong weekend in Vegas and got off the hauler this week in good shape.
Reddick was one of the strongest cars in practice and is starting in the same spot he did last Spring during his 3rd place finish. I could be way off in my assessment of Reddick this week but after seeing him blast through the field quickly and in person last weekend, I’m sold.
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Always remember that in addition to trying to win, betting on sports should be fun and done within your means. Good luck on all your wagers for this week’s race and Let’s cash some more tickets and our United Rentals 500 Best Bet!
Featured Image credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images