Road course racing is back as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Sonoma for the Toyota / Save Mart 350 (4 pm ET, FS1).
Earlier this year the NASCAR Cup Series raced at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), with Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez leading the whole first stage, and teammate Ross Chastain winning at 40-1 odds.
COTA is probably the best comparable track for Sonoma as its average green flag speed is the closest.
Thus, I’ll be using Sonoma history, and this year’s race at COTA, to evaluate this week’s best featured matchup to bet.
NASCAR at Sonoma Picks
* Odds as of Tuesday afternoon
Joey Logano +130 over Kyle Busch
I have this matchup between the two drivers that battled for this past Sunday’s win at Gatway as essentially a toss up, and one that could even favor Logano.
If we look at each driver’s Sonoma results in the Gen-6 car (2013-2021), we see a perfectly even 4-4 split in head-to-head matchups.
While Busch came out on top in average driver rating (96.8 vs. 86.8), that was largely a function of two reasons.
First, Busch started up front more (9.1 vs 11.3 average start). Second, in the stage era, Logano went on the sub-optimal strategy of two of the four races. That relegated him to a spot deeper in the field for a longer portion of the race.
With two wins in the bag, Logano can opt for the optimal strategy to maximize his chances of winning.
If we go beyond driver rating and look at average green flag speed, we see a much truer picture. Kyle Busch averaged 90.4 mph at Sonoma in the Gen-6 car, while Logano averaged 90.3 mph.
Now let’s throw in this year’s race at COTA. Neither driver ran a clean race, but both completed all the laps. So while Logano did finish behind Busch, we shouldn’t use that as our measuring stick.
Instead, let’s look at average green flag speed. Here, Logano easily takes the cake with an average green flag speed of 90.4 mph compared to 89.6 mph for Busch.
With a matchup that should be in the tossup range, the +130 being offered at BetMGM means we should be taking this underdog price.
The Bet: Logano +130 over Busch | Bet to: +115
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