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Best bet to place on the Hollywood Casino 400 before practice and qualifying

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Over the past several years the number of 1.5-mile “cookie cutter” tracks on the Cup Series schedule has gone down. Despite this, the 1.5-mile tri/oval remans the most common track type on the schedule. In 2022 the Cup Series ran six events at this track type. The Cup Series visited Las Vegas and Kansas twice and made single trips to Charlotte and Texas. This year there have already been three such races, including the AdventHealth 400 here at Kansas Speedway in May.

It has been a while since there was a race at one of these tracks. The most recent event was the Coke-A-Cola 600 at Charlotte on Memorial day. However, there is still plenty of data for us to rely on when handicapping this race. We have nine races at 1.5-mile tri/quad ovals in the Gen 7 car. In addition, recent races at the intermediate tracks of Pocono, Michigan, and even last week at Darlington can help tell us how teams are generally performing in the intermediate package.

Once again though, books are being tight with odds and when value has presented itself it has been bet down quickly. As such its once again important to remember that you don’t need to bet simply because odds are available. If you can’t identify bets that are good value, its better to not bet at all. Sometimes the best bets are the ones you don’t make. I plan on going into the weekend light on bets, but will be ready to pounce after practice and qualifying if, as we have seen the past few weeks, value appears after the starting lineup is set.

William Byron Top 5 | +125 (Bet365)

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

William Byron dominated the 1.5-mile tracks in the spring. He won at Las Vegas, where he was inside the Top 5 for 98% of the race. In May he took the pole at Kansas. Unfortunately, in that race he had an early incident and scraped the wall. Then he sped on pit road, which meant that by the end of Stage 1 he was two laps down. Despite this, between stellar driving and good strategy by Byron crew chief, Rudy Fugle, he managed to get back on the lead lap. He ultimately finished third. At Charlotte he finished second while logging nearly 84% of his laps inside the Top 5.

If we add in the six races at 1.5-mile tri/quad ovals from 2022 Byron’s stats remain incredibly strong. He has Top 5 finishes in four of nine races. Only Denny Hamlin has more Top 5 finishes with five. Byron has completed 47.44% of his laps inside the Top 5 at those 9 races. Only Kyle Larson, at 48.36%, has a higher percentage of laps inside the Top 5. He also has the third best average running position across the nine races at 8.81.

Byron has continued to show speed recently as well. Last week at Darlington he finished fourth. He completed 61.58% of his laps inside the Top 5. At the end of the race he was chasing down the dominate cars of Kyle Larson and Tyler Reddick.

This number is around +100 or +110 at most books and I only expect it to get shorter. In addition to his pole here in the spring Byron qualified second at Las Vegas and won the pole at Pocono. He has just one start outside the Top 10 all year in the intermediate package. I have one unit on this at +125 and would bet it down to +115.

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