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Kyle Larson already knows he’ll race for the NASCAR Cup Series championship on the first Sunday of November, having held off Christopher Bell to win last Sunday’s Round of 8 opener at Las Vegas.
The victory gives Larson a ticket to the Championship 4 contest at Phoenix, and he comes to the 4Ever 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with lots of momentum, lots of speed and no pressure to win.
That seems to be a perfect recipe for the 2021 series champion, who likes to run the wall at progressively-banked tracks like Homestead.
The only thing that bothers us about Larson is the price. For any driver in NASCAR’s most competitive series, odds of +250 (DraftKings Sportsbook) just don’t provide enough reward for the risk.
Hence, we’re steering away from Larson this week in search of a better value.
You’ll have to look far down the board to find AJ Allmendinger’s name this week, and that shouldn’t be the case.
No, Allmendinger isn’t an elite driver on 1.5-mile intermediate speedways, but last year, in the debut season of NASCAR’s Next Gen Cup car, the driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing finished third at Homestead.
"We have really good memories from last year at Homestead-Miami;” Allmendinger said. “It was probably one of the most fun races in the Cup car. I think, with this car, you don’t necessarily have to rip the fence the whole time. You’re able to maneuver to use the bottom, middle, and top of the race track.
“It was really cool to have a shot at the win last year and get my best mile-and-a-half finish. I’m looking forward to going back. I gained a lot of confidence last year at this track, and I think we can have a solid run again this year."
With the history and the positive outlook, it’s surprising that The Dinger is posted on DraftKings at +20000 to win, +5500 to duplicate last year’s performance (or better) and +2000 to finish in the top five.
We’ll be conservative and recommend the last of those three wagers.
Tyler Reddick comes to the 4Ever 400 sixth in the NASCAR Cup Playoff standings, 16 points outside the top four.
After the Oct. 29 race at Martinsville Speedway, the Playoff field will be cut to four. Accordingly, a victory at Homestead would be very useful to Reddick, in that it would provide an automatic ticket to the championship race.
Reddick has been under the gun at Homestead before. In 2018 and 2019, he won NASCAR Xfinity Series titles as an underdog, when the season finale was contested at the 1.5-mile venue in South Florida. He won both races to clinch the championships.
In three Cup starts at Homestead, Reddick has two top fives—a fourth in 2020 and a second in 2021. He qualified seventh last year but crashed out in 35th.
Reddick loves to run the wall at Homestead, and that’s where the speed is. We like the driver of the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota to win Sunday’s race at +550 via DraftKings and keep his championship hopes alive.
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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