2018 STP 500 (Martinsville) Odds

NASCAR makes a cross-country trek for this weekend’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, and with the change of scenery there is also a drastic change in weather. Last weekend’s race in California saw fans in shorts and t-shirts, but this week there will be a lot of heavy jackets as temperatures are not expected to get much higher than 40 degree Fahrenheit. Adding to the potentially tricky weekend is the fact that snow is in the forecast for much of Saturday, though it is supposed to let up well before Sunday’s race. The cold temperatures and weather are certainly going to make the drivers’ lives a bit more difficult, but there is no real concern that it will have any major impact on the race overall.

Another point worth mentioning is the size of the track. Auto Club Speedway, which hosted last week’s race is 2 miles in length. Martinsville, on the other hand, is just over .5 miles, so it will be interesting to see how drivers and teams strategize for the first short track race of the year.

The Favorites

Kyle Busch (+375)

Kyle Busch being the favorite in this year’s 2018 STP 500 should come as no surprise for a few reasons. For one, Busch has finished in the top three in each of the last three races. In fact, out of five total races, Busch has managed to etch his name in the top 10 on four occasions. In addition to this, Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing team will be looking to avenge last year’s 2nd place finish at Martinsville at the beginning of the season. Though he did exactly that, by winning the second race at Martinsville last season, you know that second place finish is going to linger. Throughout his career, Busch has been a consistent top racer at short tracks, and it takes no more than looking at his 2017 results to understand this. In addition to his 2nd place finish at Martinsville, Busch managed to win at New Hampshire, Bristol, and, as was mentioned before, Martinsville on his second go around.

Brad Keselowski (+450)

No matter where NASCAR is racing, you can bet that Brad Keselowski will more than likely be amongst the favorites to end up in Victory Lane. Despite a strong start to the 2018 season—finishing in the top 10 in three of five races—Keselowski and his team will be fully aware of the fact that they have not won a race since Talladega last October. He has the car, the experience, and the crew chief to get him the checkered flag, but this year’s field is one of the most competitive we have seen in a while, so nothing is guaranteed.

WCI Dark Horses

Kyle Larson (+2200)

At +2200, the oddsmakers aren’t giving Kyle Larson much in the way of a chance of winning the STP 500 at Martinsville, but the young driver put on an awesome performance last week that cannot simply be ignored. Another reason he is being given a fighting chance to win by us is his performance at short tracks in 2017. Larson managed to place top 10 at Martinsville in both races and on two occasions finished in second at New Hampshire. With one more year of experience under his belt, we think there is a decent chance that Larson is able to turn those top 10s into first places. If nothing else, a bet on Larson to finish top 3 seems like a good one.

Joey Logano (+675)

Joey Logano is another driver that put in a solid performance last week in California, finishing fifth. Logano was not able to muster much at the 2nd Martinsville race of 2017, but in the first he surprised everyone by finishing in 4th. He does not have many wins at shorter tracks, but his record will show you that he consistently is fighting for victories at places like Bristol, Martinsville, and Richmond, where he finished 2nd. Like Larson, I think Logano is another decent bet if you are picking him to finish top 3.

Betting Odds for STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Kyle Busch #18+375

Brad Keselowski #2+450

Denny Hamlin #11+550

Joey Logano #22+675

Chase Elliot #9+800

Martin Truex Jr. #78+800

Kevin Harvick #4+850

Jimmie Johnson #48+1200

Clint Bowyer #14+1300

Kyle Larson #42+2200

Erik Jones #20+3300

Ryan Blaney #12+3300

Aric Almirola #10+4400

Jamie McMurray #1+4400

Kurt Busch #41+4400

Ryan Newman #31+5000

Alex Bowman #88+7700

Austin Dillon #3+7700

AJ Allmendinger #47+10000

Daniel Suarez #19+125000

David Ragan #38+12500

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #17+15000

William Byron #24+17500

Kasey Kahne #95+20000

Paul Menard #21+25000

Trevor Bayne #6+40000

Chris Buescher #37+50000

Ty Dillon #13+55000

Darrell Wallace Jr. #43+75000

Matt DiBenedetto #32+150000

Michael McDowell #34+150000

Landon Cassill #00+150000

Cole Whitt #72+200000

DJ Kennington #96+200000

Gray Gaulding #23+200000

Ross Chastain #15+200000

Harrison Rhodes #51+200000

JJ Yeley #55+200000

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