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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|John Hunter Nemechek||+185|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||+1400|
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Last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, we steered you away from heavy favorite John Hunter Nemechek at a very stringy price.
Sure enough, Nemchek’s car developed an oil leak in practice and couldn’t make a qualifying run. As expected, Nemechek charged through the field from the rear, but he couldn’t catch race-winner Riley Herbst and finished second.
The same situation is in play this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Nemechek is the oddsmaker's choice at +185 (DraftKings Sportsbook), and though his Xfinity-series-best seven wins this season may argue in his favor, he hasn’t raced at Homestead since 2019.
Nemechek finished sixth in his most recent start at the track after running third in 2018, but he has yet to win at the 1.5-mile speedway.
We simply can’t back him for a minimal return.
Though oddsmakers gave Riley Herbst no respect at his home track last Saturday, we recommended betting on the driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Ford to finish third (+1100) and fifth (+500), both via DraftKings.
If you took our advice, you were laughing all the way to the pay window. Herbst picked up his first career win at Las Vegas by 14.969 seconds—nearly half a lap.
Herbst may have a fast car this weekend at Homestead, but the handicappers have gotten wise to the possibility and offer Herbst at +1300 to win and +350 to finish third or better (both DraftKings).
We’re out on those propositions. In fact, we much prefer another sleeper, Daniel Hemric, to finish in the top three at +700 at DraftKings. Hemric finished fourth at Vegas last year, and the three drivers who finished ahead of him aren’t in the field this week.
You also might want to consider Dale Earnhardt Jr. to finish in the top three at +400. In the first of his two scheduled races this season at Bristol in September, Earnhardt led laps and ran consistently in the top five before a mechanical failure knocked him out of the race.
Sam Mayer, who ran fifth last year, is another good top-three bet at +550 at DraftKings.
Cole Custer likes it on top. In other words, he likes to ride the wall at Homestead-Miami Speedway. When the top lane is working, it can produce breathtaking speed at the 1.5-mile track.
Back in 2017, Custer picked up his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Homestead—by a whopping 15.405 seconds. The following two seasons, when Homestead decided the championship, Custer was second to back-to-back title winner Tyler Reddick.
Reddick, however, is running for the NASCAR Cup championship this season, not the Xfinity title, and we like Custer to win this week at +350 via DraftKings.
After all, in three starts with his current Stewart-Haas Racing team, Custer has a win and two runner-up results. We’re not concerned that he hasn’t raced at the track since 2019.
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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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