By David Caraviello | | 4 mins
Toyota Save Mart 350 Odds & Picks for NASCAR at Sonoma
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Chase Elliott is the greatest NASCAR road racer of his generation, taking the checkered flag in five of the last six Cup Series events on road courses. But should NASCAR betting fans back the reigning champion on a road course where he has never won?
That’s the conundrum they face this weekend, when NASCAR returns to Sonoma Raceway in the hills of Northern California wine country for the first time since 2019. Watkins Glen, Daytona road, Charlotte Roval, most recently Circuit of the Americas — Elliott has won on all of them.
Of road courses on which he’s previously competed, only Sonoma has eluded him. In four races there, his average finish is 17.5 and he has led a total of three laps.
Granted, Elliott didn’t get the chance last year, when Golden State coronavirus protocols scrubbed NASCAR’s annual visit. However, unlike hard-on-the-throttle road courses like Watkins Glen, COTA, Daytona and Charlotte, all with blisteringly fast straights, Sonoma is more of a rhythm track with hairpin turns. Still, Elliott is the clear NASCAR odds favorite for Sunday's Toyota Save Mart 350 at +225 with the top sportsbooks, and he’s running exceptionally well now with top-three finishes in three straight starts.
Toyota Save Mart 350 Odds
|Driver||Win||Top 3||Top 10|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+400||+110||-530|
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Toyota Save Mart 350 Expert Picks and Predictions
Kyle Busch to Win, +700
It took a while, but we’re finally seeing some chemistry between Busch and new crew chief Ben Beshore, and the finishes have improved as a result. Outside of an engine issue which led to a 27th-place finish at Dover, Busch has been great the past five weeks, with a win at Kansas and third-place results at Darlington and Charlotte.
He also has always been sneaky good at road courses, with a pair of wins at both Watkins Glen and Sonoma. His average finish over his past five Sonoma races is fourth, which includes a runner-up result in 2019. With no practice this weekend and a two-year layoff since the last Sonoma race, it’s hard to resist a driver with decent value who has been there before.
For more great expert NASCAR picks for the Toyota Save Mart 350 from our team of handicappers, check out bookiesEDGE:
Toyota Save Mart 350 Betting Tips
Indeed, Elliott can be tough to ignore on road courses. But this weekend, perhaps the favorite to take is No. 2 odds choice Martin Truex Jr., who won the past two NASCAR races at Sonoma in dominating fashion, leading 62 laps in 2018 and 59 in 2019. Again, there’s no practice, so teams will be leaning hard on what’s worked before, and Truex has plenty of institutional knowledge to fall back on.
Could this be the week that Kevin Harvick finally breaks through? He’s still winless in 2021, but he has a really nice record at Sonoma (no finishes worse than sixth since 2015) and carries phenomenal value at +2200 to win with many sports betting sites.
Ryan Blaney (+2000) is another sneaky-good road racer, with a third at Sonoma in 2019. And mighty mite Matt DiBenedetto might merit some top-10 consideration at +225, given his fourth-place run in wine country two years ago.
My top three would be Busch to win at +700, Truex top-three at +110, and Harvick top-three at +550. For all of Elliott’s road course greatness, he simply doesn’t offer bettors much value.
And beware some usual contenders who historically haven’t been great at Sonoma: Kyle Larson has never been better than 10th there, Brad Keselowski has just one finish better than 12th since 2012, Joey Logano has double-digit finishes in each of his last three, and Alex Bowman and William Byron have one top-10 between them.
Toyota Save Mart 350 Time, Date & TV
When: Sunday, June 6 at 4 p.m. ET
Where: Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway