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Pennzoil 400: NASCAR Preview, Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 3/3/19

Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

We make our first of two scheduled trips to Las Vegas for the Pennzoil 400, a race that started in 1998 and has already seen six multiple winners. Each of the last nine years, this race has finished under three hours, so this is a quick way to possibly make some money on a Sunday afternoon. We weren’t able to follow up our Daytona 500 victory last week, but two of our five listed drivers led a good portion of the race before dropping off. We’re in a good spot early in the season.

Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. 

Martin Truex Jr., +650 - Martin Truex Jr. fell just short last week in Atlanta, as it looked like he was going to catch Brad Keselowski in the final few laps. Still, Truex has now finished fifth or better in four of his last seven races. Truex won this race 2017 and has finished fourth or better in four of his last five appearances overall at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After what we saw last week, you have to like Truex’s chances of becoming the seventh driver to win this race at least two times.

Kevin Harvick, +500 - It looked like Kevin Harvick was going to cash for us last week at +420 odds, but he fell apart late and was forced to settle for fourth place. The good news is Harvick has been wild consistent with top-five finishes in four of his last five races, so you can back him again with confidence. Harvick has also won two of his last five appearances at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which includes winning this race last year. Harvick also has many good runs in Las Vegas during the NASCAR Xfinity Series, so there’s a clear history here. There’s also the fact that Harvick has won at least one race within the first month of the season in four of the last five years.

Erik Jones, +2500 - We’ve listed Erik Jones on the card each of the last two weeks and he’s produced an average finish of fifth place. It’s not a victory to put cash in our pocket, but Jones is somebody oddsmakers continue to make an afterthought, and all he’s done is finish eighth or better in six of his last nine races. Consistency is key, and when I can get a driver who is in the running week after week with odds of over +1000, I’m going to take it. It just takes one win to make it all worth it. Jones is a play simply based off the value alone.

Brad Keselowski, +750 - Brad Keselowski came out of nowhere last week to close the deal on Atlanta for the second time in the last three years. Expect another solid showing this week in Las Vegas considering he’s won at this track in three of his last six appearances. In fact, Keselowski is averaging a finish of 3.4 in his last seven appearances at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Keselowski is going to be the favorite to win this race, but you can’t start a card this week without putting him on it.

Kyle Larson, +650 - It’s been a while since Kyle Larson has tasted victory lane, but he’s quietly put together back-to-back good performances and has finished no worse than 13th in eight of his last nine races. In his last three appearances at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Larson is averaging a finish of 2.3, and that’s without mentioning a victory and runner-up finish at this track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Larson really enjoys Sin City, so don’t be surprised if the drought comes to an end this week.

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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