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Dixie Vodka 400 Picks

Homestead – Miami Speedway – 267 laps / 400 miles

Winners/Top 3 Finishers:

Kyle Larson (+700): Larson has never won at Homestead. He was having a great race his last outing here until a blown engine caused a DNF. His last five races at Homestead resulted in: DNF, 13th, 2nd, and 5th. He also has the sixth best driver rating out of all active drivers at this track. +700 odds isn’t spectacular value, but like I said last week, this guy is too good to not win one sooner rather than later (please be sooner because I can’t bet on you every week).

Matchups:

I had three potential fades this week: Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, or Chase Elliott. I only pick plus money on matchups because I don’t think there is any value in matchup favorites. With Bowman and Ku. Busch being the 10th and 15th favorites to win, respectively, finding any good plus money against them is just about impossible. That leaves me to fade the second-favorite-to-win Chase Elliott.

Fade Elliott: Chase has a pretty good track record at Homestead (pun), but his overall track record on 1.5-mile tracks is not great. In fact, everyone in the top 10 of odds-to-win today, besides Bowman, have a better average finish and driver rating than Elliott at 1.5 mile tracks. Like I’ve said on Twitter, I put a ton of weight into lineup position and pit stall position. Elliott has a sub-par pit stall of 21, and is starting 11th in the lineup today.

Kevin Harvick over Chase Elliott (+125): Kevin Harvick is starting 4th in the lineup and has a favorable pit stall of 14. In the past three races at Homestead, Harvick has a better driver rating (106.7 to Elliott’s 96.8) and has two top 5 finishes to Elliot’s one. While Elliott has a better average finishing position than Harvick, the driver rating difference suggests some bad luck may be the cause of Harvick’s lower finishing position. On a track where pit strategy is key, I’ll take Harvick and his team over Elliott any day.

Martin Truex Jr. over Chase Elliott (+130): Martin Truex Jr. is starting 9th in the lineup but has a pit stall of 29. Truex’s driver rating of 112.9 is favorable to Elliott’s and he has an average finish of 5.33 in the last three races here while Elliott has an average finish of 8. He has also led 123 laps compared to Elliott’s 27. A win for Truex is well overdue and he is the king of 1.5-mile tracks, so the value of +130 is incredible.

Kyle Larson over Chase Elliott (+110): Kyle Larson has a favorable pit stall of 16 but is starting 17th in the lineup. Let’s not forget Larson was out of the Cup Series last season, and his last race at Homestead resulted in a DNF after engine failure, which really hurts his average finishing position. With that aside, he has the sixth best driver rating here and is currently running the best equipment of his career being a part of Hendrick Motorsports. I expect Larson to be the best Hendrick driver today.

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