Saturday, April 9, 2016

Duck Commander 500 Betting Notes

Kyle Busch might be a good bet Saturday at Texas.
LAS VEGAS -- Martin Truex Jr. had the fastest single lap in both of the practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway in preparation for Saturday's Duck Commander 500, but he's got a major uphill to climb to erase the edge Jimmie Johnson has on the high-banked 1.5-mile layout.

What makes Johnson so great despite not having times this weekend close to Truex Jr.? How about owning a track record six wins, which include wins in the past three Texas races, four of the last five and five of the last seven. He's also led a track record 1,023 laps.

Johnson is on a completely different level from everyone else and if your questioning this being a new year, think again. On the three tracks that figured prominently with the new low downforce package, he won twice (Atlanta and Fontana) and was third at Las Vegas while leading the most laps. He truly is Superman and there has been no cryptonite for any of his competitors lately.

Kyle Busch on fire

Kyle Busch is one of the few drivers to break Johnon's Texas roll with a win in the spring of 2013, and he's on quite a roll lately dating back to the end of his 2015 championship season. He's finished fifth or better in nine of his last 10 starts, which include wins at Homestead's 1.5-mile layout and last week at Martinsville's half-mile. One of those top-fives was a fourth-place finish at Texas last fall, which made him fourth or better there in five of his past six starts. If your looking for the top contender to beat Johnson, the Las Vegan is it.

Dillon creeping closer

A Richard Childress Racing driver hasn't won at Texas since Jeff Burton in 2007, the teams only win there, but Childress' grandson Austin Dillon looks to be really close and his 30-to-1 odds look enticing. In Friday's final practice session, Dillon has the best 10-consecutive lap average which means he's going to be very fast on long runs. When cars start to slow, Dillon's car is going to be passing. He looks like a great play in driver match-ups, such as getting +110 at the Westgate against Chase Elliott.

Mr. Consistency
If your looking for a driver you can almost guarantee will have a top-10 finish this week, Brad Keselowski is your guy. For match-up bettors, they love consistency on a certain type of track and Keselowski's crew has it figured out on 1.5-mile layouts. He finished ninth or better in all 11 races on 1.5-mile tracks last season and has started the trend again this season by finishing ninth at Atlanta and winning at Las Vegas. The Westgate had -140 in a match-up against Dale Earnhardt Jr. and -130 against Carl Edwards. As for the possibility of winning his first Texas race, he's a good candidate at 8-to-1 to do so. He's finished fifth or better in his last three Texas starts and led 312 of 334 laps there last fall before Johnson passed him with four laps to go. Crazy! Even when Johnson doesn't have the best car he wins.

Roush duo worth a shot?
Roush Fenway Racing drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Greg Biffle are each 300-to-1 to win and while they're not quite in the win mode yet, they are showing signs of rapid improvement on the big horsepower tracks that a long shot play may be justified soon. Roush has a track best nine wins, two won by Biffle, but the last came in 2012. Biffle had the sixth fastest lap during Thursday's practice. Stenhouse Jr. has showed the best on these type of tracks and has gotten better with each chance. He was 17th at Atlanta, 12th at Las Vegas and fifth at Fontana, and will start fifth tonight.

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