|John Hunter Nemechek||+2500|
Noah Gragson to win the race at +250
AJ Allmendinger to finish in the top three at +250
Trevor Bayne to beat Justin Allgaier head-to-head at +120
Why? Because the top Playoff drivers sport excellent records at the 1.5-mile intermediate track. Favorite Noah Gragson, for example, boasts six top fives in seven Las Vegas starts, with a runner-up finish in the 2022 March race.
Ty Gibbs won the March race in his second start in Sin City. Should he complete the season sweep on Saturday, he’ll become the second Xfinity Series driver to accomplish the feat, joining current Cup Series Playoff driver Chase Briscoe (2020).
Regular-season champion AJ Allmendinger can point to a victory and an average finish of 5.7 at the track. Justin Allgaier has eight top fives and 13 top 10s in 16 Vegas races, with an average finish of 7.9.
In this ultra-competitive environment, we like Gragson to find Victory Lane this week, based on his recent performance and the season-long speed in his car. We recommend betting on the driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Camaro at +250 via DraftKings Sportsbook.
It’s undeniable that the Kaulig Racing Chevrolets haven’t been able to match the speed of the JR Motorsports cars this year, but that hasn’t prevented AJ Allmendinger from finding a way to win with what he has.
Admittedly, four of the Dinger’s five wins this season have come on road courses (and, yes, we picked him correctly in last Saturday’s race at the Charlotte ROVAL). But Allmendinger and Kaulig appear to be closing the performance gap as the Xfinity Playoffs head toward a conclusion.
The driver of the No. 16 Chevy picked up an oval-track win at Las Vegas last year, and though we don’t like him to repeat on Saturday, we think he’ll finish in the top three.
The good news is that it pays the same as Gragson to win (+250).
When Hailie Deegan takes the green flag in her Xfinity debut on Saturday, she’ll be the 23rd female driver to compete in the series—and she’ll have a chance to make history.
Shawna Robinson holds the record for the best finish for a woman in an Xfinity debut; she ran 15th at Orange Country Speedway in Rougemont, N.C., in 1991. Danica Patrick is the highest female finisher in an Xfinity race all-time, having run fourth at Las Vegas in 2011.
Deegan will have decent equipment. Her No. 07 SS Greenlight Racing Ford will have support from Stewart-Haas Racing. Even so, Deegan will be hard-pressed to match Robinson’s 15th-place inaugural run.
We can’t find a bet involving Deegan that’s worth making. But we do like heavy underdog Trevor Bayne (+120) to beat Justin Allgaier heads-up. Though Bayne hasn’t run an Xfinity race at Las Vegas since 2014, he has never finished worse than eighth there and sports an average result of 5.4 in five starts at the track.
|Race||Alsco Uniforms 302 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Location||Las Vegas Motor Speedway|
|Time||Saturday, October 15, 3 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||NBC|
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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