NASCAR Instacart 500 betting guide 3-14

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Hosted by
Terry Collins

Y’all didn’t just think I was a college basketball gambler with a pretty face did ya? No sir, another pleasure of mine is watching(and driving) fast cars race against other fast cars. Although I just wrote a college basketball betting guide, I’m back in the saddle giving you a NASCAR Instacart 500 betting guide on the beautiful 1 mile track at Phoenix. So grab an ice cold Busch Light, throw in some Copenhagen Wintergreen, and bet some dollars on this fun redneck shit with me.

Quick lesson for newbies

NASCAR is a different breed in itself for gambling. Although there are odds for drivers finishing in places like “top 3”, I don’t really dabble in that. The majority of bets are for the outright winner of the race. This isn’t a type of gamble where you just pick one racer and cross you fingers. Well, you definitely can do that, but I don’t. Imagine betting on NFL futures where you have bets on 3 or 4 teams to end up winning the NFC. Obviously not all of them can win, but you bet on multiple to spread out your risk to multiple contenders. You give yourself the highest chance of a ROI. So find a couple racers and betting odds you like, and let it rip baby.

How to spot favorites

Not every race track is made equal. If you don’t really watch NASCAR then I should point out that not every track is the same distance, not every corner is banked the same, and each track gives distinct advantages to certain drivers racing style. The more you watch racing you’ll see that some guys have much higher success rates at super speedways such as Daytona, or Talladega. On the other hand some have higher success on road courses, shout out Chase Elliot. What I’m getting at is even tho racing is in some ways shot in the dark because of how random crashes, tire issues, pitting issues, and just other trouble is, you can give yourself much higher of a chance of winning bets if your homework.

Unlikely winners thus far

So far in the 2021 season we have seen the likes of Michael McDowell, Christopher Bell, William Byron, and most recently Kyle Larson win the first four races. Kyle Larson is not exactly a surprise, and William Byron is not a nobody. But not seeing Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliot, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and other powerhouse drives win yet is extremely interesting. The reason I love racing so much is for reasons like this. The lesser known drivers can absolutely compete with the ultra famous and successful drivers on any given day. Sometimes it’s just lucking out and missing a wreck that can change the outcome of a race. I love that.

Today’s race at Phoenix is a 1 mile track. It doesn’t lend itself to dark-horse winners because we don’t usually see pile ups or front of the pack crashes. This is much more a finesse track, where pitstops can absolutely be the factor that dictates the finishing order.

Bets I’m interested in

*Kevin Harvick +600 Kevin Harvick as been dominant in Phoenix with 9 wins, and 15 consecutive top 10s with most of those being top 5’s. I don’t understand how on Earth he isn’t the favorite here. His starting spot isn’t the greatest, but his track record is too good to pass up here.

*Denny Hamlin +650 Not a race goes by that Denny isn’t a serious contender for the win. The guy just knows how to win, regardless of the track. Having this many races go by without a Hamlin win is definitely surprising. It won’t go much longer before he finally cashes in. Denny and his Toyota are one of the fastest cars every week, and I think he’s hungry for the win. He can pull it off.

*Joey Logano +900 Here we have a guy who has been fast ever since he first sat in a racecar. I personally am not his biggest fan, but I can’t deny is ability. The first four races of the year we’ve seen a steady dose of Logano battling at the top at some point or another. He’s finished top 5 once, and top 10 twice. With 26 career wins, 3 of which came last year, we are getting a driver who has a track record of making it to victory lane for a very attractive price. His last four races here he have all been top 10 finishes, including last year. He won the race in March, then finished 3rd in November.

Kinda long shots, and really long shots to keep an eye on

Martin Truex Jr +1200One of the most under appreciated racers on the circuit in my opinion is Truex. He’s well known in the racing community, but he consistently gets left out of the lists whenever talking about the best right now. Every week this guy is putting down blazing fast laps times and battling in the top 10. At plus 1200 I feel like he is once again being undervalued.

*Ryan Newman +8000 The two time winner here is coming in at extremely long odds, and I love it. Newman is a very experienced driver who races as hard as anyone on the track. He also has the equipment to make things interesting. Do I necessarily think he’s going to win? No, but I think getting a driver of his caliber, at a track he knows well, for those odds is too good to not toss a bet on.

*Rickey Stenhouse Jr +15000 Rickey doesn’t necessarily come into this race having a ton of success at Phoenix having an average finishing position of 20th, but he has had respectable finishes here before with places in the top 15, and 10. He hasn’t won a race since 2017, but had sort of a resurgence to speak last year with 3 top 5’s and 4 top 10’s respectively. This is by far my biggest shot in the dark pick, but getting an experienced driver, who has potential, and the skill to maybe luck into a win at +15000 is just to tempting to pass up for me.

Checkered flag

As I finish this blog off, at 4 am Sunday morning because I’m just so damn dedicated to the blogging and betting life, I feel important that just because I have all of these guys listed I make one thing clear. Even tho I will personally have some amount of money on all of these guys, and maybe one or two more, betting on racing is extremely high variance.

The amount of tiny, or huge, things that can change the outcome of a race is extremely high, so even though we use stats on prior races to help us gauge the likely outcome, this is not like a sport where you can deduct a logical, or probable outcome. If you are a first time better and see your guy in last place with 100 laps to go, don’t worry too much because all kinds of crazy shit can, and likely will happen at the end. Good luck everyone, now let’s make some money and retire early.

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1 comment
  • Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.

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Episode 265