Toyota/Save Mart 350 Predictions, Odds, Best Bets (Cup Series)


If you’re not independently wealthy at this point, it’s your fault, not ours. Last week, we gave you the winner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland (AJ Allmendinger) as well as the winner of the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at WWT Raceway at Gateway (Joey Logano).

In addition, we advised betting on Kurt Busch to finish in the top three and top five at Gateway, as well as to beat Aric Almirola heads-up. We cashed all three of those winning tickets. Hope you did, too.

Now we turn our attention to the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in California wine country. It’s a highly technical 1.99-mile road course, where Sunday’s race will be contested over 110 laps (218.9 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 25 and 55 laps.

Kyle Larson won last year’s race from the pole on the way to the 2021 series championship.

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New Car, New Track Configuration Can’t Slow Kyle Larson at Sonoma Raceway

On Sunday afternoon, Kyle Larson will start a NASCAR Cup Series race from the pole at Sonoma Raceway for the fifth straight time. He earned pole positions during time trials in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and started from the top spot last year on metrics, with no qualifying held.

On Saturday, Larson made it five straight pole starts at Sonoma, edging Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott for the top grid position. (Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was no race at Sonoma in 2020.)

Clearly, neither the introduction of NASCAR’s Next Gen car this year nor the decision to eliminate the carousel in favor of the chute between Turns 4 and 7 on the Sonoma course had an adverse effect on Larson’s superior speed.

Oddsmakers seem to think this race will boil down to a two-man show between Elliott and Larson, who are posted at +380 and +400, respectively, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Though Elliott’s prowess on road courses is well-known, we favor Larson to win on Sunday at a track for which he has a special affinity.

Michael McDowell Deserves a Lot More Respect Than He’s Getting This Week

When the odds opened for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350, DraftKings Sportsbook listed Michael McDowell at an insulting +7500.

After McDowell qualified fourth during Saturday’s time trials—fourth, mind you—the odds on the driver of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford shortened to +5000.

Have the handicappers not been paying attention? McDowell has finished in the top 10 in four of his last seven Cup races. Last Sunday at Gateway, he led 34 laps—more than he had led in any previous year in his career.

Though we don’t expect McDowell to beat Kyle Larson, we advise placing bets on the 2020 Daytona 500 to finish in the top three (+1200) and top five (+600).

As a matter of fact, we also advocate making those same bets at identical odds on Chris Buescher, who qualified third, and Cole Custer, who will start sixth. They have excellent speed in their cars, and the oddsmakers aren’t taking them seriously enough.

Despite His Success, Kurt Busch Is Still Heavily Discounted for Sunday’s Race

As we predicted he would, Kurt Busch finished third in last Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

Back in May, Busch earned his first victory of the season at Kansas Speedway. He won at Sonoma in 2011 and has recorded eight top 10s in his last 10 starts there,

Nevertheless, Busch is posted at +2000 to win via DraftKings, +550 to run top-three and +250 to run top five. Busch ran only one lap in qualifying and barely missed the top 10, but that means his tires are superior to those of every driver starting ahead of him.

As we noted last week, Busch is a reasonable bet across the board. In an upset, we also like Circuit of the Americas winner Ross Chastain to beat Chase Elliott head-to-head at very favorable odds (+160).

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How to Watch Toyota/Save Mart 350

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Information Race Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race Location Sonoma Raceway Time Sunday, June 12, 4 p.m. ET How to Watch FS1

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