Saturday, September 1, 2012

Final 2012 Atlanta Advocare 500 Driver Ratings Following All Practice Sessions

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Advocare 500
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, September 2, 2012 -  4:46 p.m. (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds        Practice 1   Qualified    Practice 2   Practice 3

 1. Denny Hamlin 8/1                 16th             7th               7th              3rd 
Best finish of third-place in 2008; strongest overall in Saturday practices; great on long runs.
 2. Matt Kenseth 8/1                    7th             4th               2nd             1st  
Runner-up in 2010; eight career top-5 finishes; using Brickyard 400 chassis this week.
 3. Greg Biffle 8/1                        8th             2nd               1st              5th 
Finished fourth or better on similar sister tracks in 2012, including win at Texas in April.
 4. Jeff Gordon 12/1                   22nd            5th               6th              2nd 
Five-time winner, including last year; best 10-consecutive lap average in final practice.
 5. Kyle Busch 8/1                       2nd             3rd               8th              4th 
2008 winner; good practices and gets high marks for third-place finish at Charlotte in May.
 6. Tony Stewart 8/1                    3rd             1st              14th             7th 
Three wins, the last coming in 2010; won on sister track at Las Vegas; using All-Star race car.
 7. Jimmie Johnson 6/1              17th             8th              9th             21st 
Three-time winner; finished second and third in past two starts; using runner-up Texas chassis.
 8. Kasey Kahne 12/1                  5th            11th             11th            28th  
Two-time winner; struggled in Saturday practices, but won at Charlotte; using Brickyard car.
 9. Martin Truex Jr. 25/1              1st            28th               4th              8th 
Signed to a new 3-year $16 million extension on Friday and has been fast in all practices since.
10. Brad Keselowski 12/1            4th            21st             10th             6th 
Sixth-place finish last season; fast average speeds in Saturday practices; using Pocono car.

Note: The sister tracks of Las Vegas, Texas and Charlotte all provide a great information that is applicable at Atlanta due to similar high banking on the 1.5-mile layouts.

Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7. 

Betting Notes
Denny Hamlin looks to have the best car in the field this weekend, but as we know to be true almost every week, the best car doesn’t always win. The drivers I would key on this week outside of Hamlin are Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.

Kahne good value in matchups (Getty)
Martin Truex Jr. also offers a nice opportunity to cash in at large odds. I’ve been saying that all year and have come close, but my pocket is still empty with return on investments.

I was a little puzzled to see Gordon so strong in final practice while all his teammates finished 20th or worse on the charts. Gordon was better than Hamlin in the 10-consecutive lap average department. The later practice they ran was cooler making it more similar to the night conditions they’ll run tomorrow. The temperatures are still off from what they’ll be when the green flag drops tomorrow night, but it makes me feel justified in a wager.

The main thing with Stewart is that he looked strong in practice, which is a rarity, making him someone to definitely take notice of. No one has been better than Stewart over his last 20 Atlanta races and he has three wins over that span, including 2010.

Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth were dazzling in practices, but have never won at Atlanta. They’ve always been competitive there, but have come up just short.

Because of poor practices on Saturday, Kasey Kahne should have odds stacked against him in matchups. He’ll be good Sunday night, just like Charlotte, and should present lots of plus-money opportunities.

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