Wise Power 400: NASCAR betting odds, preview, and value picks
For the first time in nearly two years, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to Auto Club Speedway in California. Sunday’s Wise Power 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) will represent the final go-around at the two-mile oval, with the course being scheduled for a polar-opposite transition into a short track after this race.
Kyle Larson has been established as the +400 betting favorite, and his two-mile track prowess is certainly intimidating. However, his four wins on two-mile tracks all occurred between 2016 and 2017, and he’s winless in his last eight starts at Auto Club and Michigan.
We went looking for alternatives to the favorite and came up with these three value plays. Keep in mind that the odds could change after Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.
Wise Power 400
Sun, February 27 2022, 8:30 PM
Truex Jr, Martin
Kyle Busch clearly has the most compelling résumé of any current NASCAR Cup Series driver at Auto Club Speedway, so he’s an extremely logical second-choice in this race.
Busch is the only active competitor with multiple wins at Auto Club (four), and is the runaway leader in laps led (807, with Kurt Busch in second at 298) as well as Top 5s (11). He’s finished no worse than third in his last three trips to California, leading 196 laps in the process while scoring two stage wins and four additional stage placings in that sample.
After a solid showing in the Daytona 500, where he finished sixth despite racing with a damaged vehicle for most of the way, Busch will look to carry that momentum into the Wise Power 400.
If Kyle Busch doesn’t win, then perhaps Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin will be the one to pull off the upset.
Hamlin has finished no worse than seventh in each of his last three trips to Auto Club Speedway. He’s led nine laps in that span and recorded stage points in five of six opportunities.
The No. 11 Toyota driver frequently puts himself in a good position to win each week, and Sunday’s Wise Power 400 should be no different.
Brad Keselowski couldn’t have asked for a much better start to his career at RFK Racing, as he finished ninth in last week’s Daytona 500 while leading 67 laps.
While superspeedway races aren’t always the most predictive on the Cup Series circuit, the No. 6 driver’s performance suggests that he is not to be taken lightly in 2022. Factoring this in along with his stellar record at Auto Club Speedway, and Keselowski is a very live underdog in the Wise Power 400.
Keselowski has averaged a fourth-place finish in his last six trips to California, including a victory in 2015. He led 51 laps in that span, while placing in six of a possible eight stages.