Now that we have practice and qualifying in the books I’ve updated my Top 10 model with data from those events. My model still shows value on my two Top 10 bets from earlier this week at FanDuel. McDowell now shows value at +145, which is shorter than it showed value on Wednesday, and Gibbs is still hanging out at +430 which is value. I wouldn’t go under either of those numbers however.
My model is now showing value on another driver as well. Ryan Blaney will line up 38th this afternoon but that is misleading and has led to books mispricing him. The Penske Fords didn’t run a lot of laps in practice, but the laps that they did run were not bad. Blaney had the 12th fastest single lap time and 14th best five lap average. While those aren’t anything to write home about, if we dig deeper there is reason to like Blaney.
Blaney’s Practice Data
On Twitter Nick Giffen of the Action Network dug into the practice time data as logged by High Line Betting. It was notable that the Penske Fords has no fall off as the practice went on. In fact, Blaney actually got faster as the practice went on.
Nick also noted was that when adjusting for things such as the time the laps were logged (the track got faster as the practice went on) Ryan Blaney’s six laps put him eighth in speed.
It is important to keep in mind that this is a very small sample size, the fuel run today will be 26-30 laps, so a five lap run is only about 16-20% of the laps drivers will log in runs today. Its nevertheless notable that Penske at least appears to have their cars setup in a way that minimizes fall off.
Blaney’s Road Course History
Looking to Ryan Blaney’s road course history there is also reason to be optimistic about his performance today. Last year Blaney won the pole here at COTA and despite the chaos of that race still managed to finish sixth. In general at road courses Blaney has nine Top 10 finishes in 21 starts since joining Penske.
Last year Blaney logged 253 laps inside the Top 10 at road courses out of the 529 laps possible (47.83%). if we take out Watkins Glen, where the weather was a factor and he only ran 19 of 90 laps inside the Top 10 the percentage of laps inside the Top 10 jumps to 53%. In short, Blaney has been quite consistent at road courses and is historically a coin flip for a Top 10 finish.
The Bet: Ryan Blaney to Finish Top 10 +165
Taking into account everything above, my Top 10 model has fair odds on Ryan Blaney to finish inside the Top 10 at +150. This means that we have a nice edge with the odds of +165 being offered to us at the Kambi books (Barstool and BetRivers being the two biggest ones). The +165 price seems to be an overreaction to Blaney flatting his tires on turn one in qualifying which means he will line up 38th. Blaney will have some work to do in order to finish inside the Top 10, but I am comfortable betting this down to +160. I would not make this bet below that price.