|Kevin Harvick is co-favored this week to win at New Hampshire.|
The stakes are big now for all the other drivers looking for an automatic Chase bid. Maybe it's Chase Elliott that finally cashes in with his first career Cup win Sunday, or perhaps it's Dale Earnhardt Jr's turn to get his first win of the season which would also be his first win on New Hampshire's flat, one-mile paperclip layout. Both are listed at 20-to-1 this week.
The first thing you want to do when handicapping this race is look at the results from Phoenix (March 13) and Richmond (April 24) earlier this year. The distances are similar on each, but the layouts are vastly different. The thing that makes the three tracks correlate well together is because they're all flat. If a crew chief gets the perfect balance of his car for one race, it transfers well to the two other tracks. Three drivers finished in the top-five at both Phoenix and Richmond this season and six finished in the top-10.
It's a strong correlation and an angle to be respected just as much as Saturday's final practices.
Here's a look at all the opening odds posted at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook:
ODDS TO WIN NEW HAMPSHIRE 301
SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016 - 1:46 PM ET
Kevin HARVICK 5/1 - He deserves to be favored because of his dominant Phoenix win in March, but its still a stretch for a driver that has only one win this year. His only New Hampshire Motor Speedway win came in 2006, which not so coincidentally also saw him sweep the season at Phoenix — his first two of a record eight — and he'd also win at Richmond during the year. He's actually the perfect example of a driver doing well on all three going back to the days of Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Burton. He also finished fifth at Richmond in April leading 63 laps.
He's finished third in two of the past three NHMS starts and has a 13.7 average finish in 30 starts. He's a great play in most driver match-ups and an excellent start in fantasy with his series leading 8.9 average finish this season, but taking these low odds to win isn't one of the better bets on the board.
Kyle BUSCH 5/1 - He's one of the three to have top-fives at both similar tracks with a fourth at Phoenix (led 75 laps) and runner-up at Richmond (led 78 laps). He has three wins on the season, but none since early May at Kansas. Seven races have passed and Brad Keselowski has passed him as the series leader in wins. Kyle won this race last season giving him two on the track. His 37th last fall ended a stellar five-race NHMS run of three runner-ups, an eighth and a win. Never say a driver is due as a reason for betting, but Kyle is.
Read More Here....complete list of odds & driver-by-driver breakdown on TheLinemakers.com