Instacart 500 Odds, Picks & Complete 2021 Betting Preview
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Though difficult to characterize as an upset, Kyle Larson’s victory last Sunday at Las Vegas was the fourth in as many races this season where the winner carried odds of +1000 or higher. Two of those events were on traditional tracks, so it stands to reason that the pool of potential winners in NASCAR is getting deeper — which is good news for NASCAR betting enthusiasts.
That means more options carry more value, especially among less-heralded drivers in first-rate equipment. Christopher Bell and William Byron, winners at the Daytona road course and Homestead respectively, showed hints of staying power with finishes of seventh and eighth in Vegas. The sport’s elites are still 0-fer heading to Phoenix for this Sunday’s Instacart 500. You have to go back to the 2014 season, when seven different drivers won the first seven races, to find this degree of parity.
So expect more winners carrying favorable odds. Eliminating practice has leveled the field, forcing teams to develop setups based on computer simulation, and what works is more evenly spread from car to car. The likes of Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch once had a decided edge thanks to hours of seat-of-the-pants feel in practice. No more. Other drivers, and bettors, are reaping the rewards in the NASCAR Cup series.
2021 Instacart 500 Odds
|Driver||Win||Top 3||Top 10|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1100||+325||-200|
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Instacart 500 Predictions & Betting Tips
Ryan Blaney To Win
Why not keep the run going? Blaney, who gets overshadowed at Penske Racing by champion teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, absolutely fits the mold of the type of driver who has broken through this season. His recent stats at the D-shaped Phoenix oval are very good — two results of third in the past four races on the 1-mile track, and sixth there in last season’s finale.
After a crash and two mediocre finishes in the season’s first three events, Blaney picked up some needed momentum with a fifth-place result at Las Vegas. Also, his +1400 odds to win Phoenix are tough to resist. If you’re not feeling quite that bold, taking him at +400 for a top-three finish would make a fine hedge.
For more great expert NASCAR picks for the Instacart 500 from our team of handicappers, check out bookiesEDGE:
Instacart 500 Betting Tips
Phoenix ranks alongside Darlington and Pocono as one of the quirkiest tracks in NASCAR and some drivers just have a knack for the place. Harvick (+650 to win) has won there a ridiculous nine times, though just once since the track underwent a 2017 reconfiguration.
Kyle Busch (+800) went back-to-back in 2018 and ’19, and Denny Hamlin (+650), Ryan Newman and Logano (+800) are also among those with multiple victories at Phoenix. There hasn’t been a real surprise winner at Phoenix since Bobby Hamilton in 1996, though it certainly feels like anything is possible this season.
Odds favorite Chase Elliott (+550) won the most recent event at Phoenix last November, clinching the Cup Series championship and becoming the first Hendrick Motorsports driver in five years to reach Victory Lane in the desert. Vegas winner Kyle Larson (+900) has finished sixth or better at Phoenix in six of his past eight starts and he’s in superior equipment now with Hendrick.
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have won four of the last seven, most recently Hamlin’s triumph in 2019. And be sure to take note of starting positions when considering your wager — 10 of the last 13 winners have started in the top 10 at Phoenix, a narrow layout where it’s easy to get pinned back in traffic.
Instacart 500 Time, Date & TV
When: Sunday, March 14, 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.