This week the Sprint Cup series heads to the road course at Watkins Glenn for the Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen. Sunday’s race is scheduled to get underway at 9:00 a.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Veteran Sprint Cup driver Jeff Gordon
was on the outside looking in for this year’s Chase, but that all changed last
Sunday with a victory in the rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono. Kasey
Kahne finished second and Martin Truex Jr. was third. Our value pick at 10/1,
Dale Earnhardt Jr. had transmission trouble and finished a distant 32nd
after starting eighth.
NASCAR Betting Preview- Finger Lakes 355 at the Glenn
The following is a look at a few of the favorites to watch on Sunday afternoon along with our value pick according to their current odds to win as provided by WagerWeb.
The fact that Watkins Glenn is a road
course changes everything when it comes to the odds to win this race. For that
reason alone, Marco Ambrose has been
opened as the odds-on-favorite to win on Sunday at +385. He is buried in the
Sprint Cup standings in 18th place with very little chance to make
this season’s Chase. The No.9 race team has only finished in the top 10 in five
of the first 21 point races, but it did finish eighth at Sonoma, which is the
other road race on the schedule. All the value in Ambrose’s odds lies in his
past performance in this race. In four career starts at Watkins Glenn the
former open-wheel driver has two third-place finishes, a second-place finish in
2009, and a victory in last season’s race.
The second-favorite to win on Sunday at
+600 is another driver with extensive road course experience, but also happens
to be one of the best stock car racers in the world. Tony Stewart is right in the thick of this season’s race to the
Chase with three victories and six other top-five finishes that have him in
sixth place in the standings. The No. 14 car is in perfect position to
successfully defend last year’s Sprint Cup title and in perfect position to be
the first team to notch four wins this season given its past performance at the
Glenn. Stewart finished 27th in last year’s race, but he has won
this race five times and has an average finishing position of 7.1.
There are three drivers opened at +700
to win this race, but the best value in these odds has to be Jeff Gordon. His win last Sunday
elevated him into the second wildcard spot for the Chase after it appeared that
he would be on the sidelines for this year’s 10-race playoff. He also knows
that a win this week would go a long way towards ensuring the No. 24 car is
part of the 12-car field that will compete for this season’s title. A bit of
the value is lost in light of Gordon’s recent performance in this race, but
over the course of his career, he has won here four times and has an average
finishing position of 14.5.
Another driver at +700 that adds some
value to his odds is Jimmie Johnson.
He is a threat to win anytime he gets behind the wheel and comes into this race
in excellent form with three victories and five other top-10 finishes in his
last 11 races. The No.48 car is currently fourth in the standings with 736
points, which is just eight points out of the lead. Some of Johnson’s value is lost
given his recent performance in this race. He finished 10th in last
year’s race and his best finish in the past eight races here was third in 2007.
Top Value Pick
In all likelihood Juan Montoya will not be in this year’s Chase unless something
crazy happens over the next five races. He is currently 21st in the
standings and has only managed two top-10 finishes this season. The reason he
is our value NASCAR pick to win this week at +1000 to win on Sunday is his proven ability on road
courses. As a former open-wheel driver, he has already had his share of success
in this race. Last season the No. 42 car finished seventh after taking the
checkered flag here in 2010. Overall, Montoya has finished in the top 10 in
four of his five career races at the Glenn.