2018 Hollywood Casino 400 Betting Odds & Predictions

Last Updated: 2018-10-16

Hollywood Casino 400 oddsThe final race in the Round of 12 is this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400. No matter what happens this week, the drivers are going to be very happy to be on a standard 1.5-mile track with a lot more certainty. As always, one big wreck happened at Talladega and threw everything for a loop, so much so that Aric Almirola is now guaranteed a spot in the final eight.

The second stop of the year at Kansas does project to be pretty status quo as far as NASCAR races go, which might be a good thing for the sport’s top contenders. The final race in the Round of 16 was on Charlotte’s Roval course. The last race was on the restrictor plate track at Talladega, which has now allowed Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola to punch tickets to the Round of 8. A few surprising names are on the chopping block this week with how these playoffs have set up.

There are 12 drivers still left in the playoffs. Almirola, as mentioned, won at Talladega. Clint Bowyer was second. Joey Logano was fifth. None of the remaining playoff drivers finished higher than 11th, though Kurt Busch led the most laps and won the first stage. Chase Elliott, by virtue of his win at Dover, is on to the next round as well and he ranks eighth in points. That means that Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, and Alex Bowman are basically in win or go home situations. Keselowski is 18 points behind Martin Truex Jr. for the last playoff spot.

That means we’ll see some aggressive driving from those four guys and they may end up getting some assistance from their teammates as well. After Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. dominated the regular season, Busch is the only one to win a playoff race so far and we’ve had five different winners.

This is a standard 1.5-mile race, which means that we have the rightful order back on the odds board. The usual suspects have run very well here, including a spring win for Harvick. But, drivers will have to take chances over the course of 400.5 miles this weekend and that will make the racing a lot more exciting than the one from early May.

Kevin Harvick is the favorite at +270 per 5Dimes Sportsbook. Harvick has made plenty of playoff noise, but hasn’t won a race in the playoffs yet. He was second at Richmond and has three stage wins, but he hasn’t been able to find the winner’s circle. He has now gone eight races without a win. The most he went during the regular season was seven. We talk about horse for course plays in golf. Harvick has a knack for this track. He won here in the spring. He has two wins in the fall. He hasn’t finished worse than second in the spring since 2013. He hasn’t been as dominant in the fall, but he’s got two poles and two wins dating back to 2013. Normally there isn’t a lot of margin on short prices, but he’s so good here that you have to consider it.

Kyle Larson is +375 in must-win mode. Larson hasn’t run well at Kansas in the fall. His best finish was second, way back in 2014. He was 29th, 30th, and 39th the three years after. He led the most laps and finished fourth at Kansas in the spring, but hadn’t finished higher than sixth prior to that. Larson has been a bit better on short tracks this year than in the past, but four of his five career wins are still on two-mile tracks. Just because there is an increased sense of urgency doesn’t mean much, especially if none of Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammates are going to run near the front and help him out. This is not a price worth considering.

Martin Truex Jr., on the other hand, is always worth considering on 1.5-mile tracks. Truex is +475 this week, so the price isn’t half bad either. Truex swept here last year by winning both races for his first two career wins at Kansas. Interestingly, Truex hasn’t been as great on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, with just a win at Kentucky to show for those events. He won at Auto Club on the two-mile track and on the even bigger track at Pocono. He also won on the road course at Sonoma. He was third with a stage win at Las Vegas to begin the playoffs and had several top-five finishes, but just that one win. This seems like a good time to get one, as he could use a points boost for the next round.

Kyle Busch is way down at +880 this week, which seems like a pricing error. Busch has finished 10th in his last two starts at Kansas, but he did lead the most laps in this race last year. In the three prior fall races, Busch was third, fifth, and fifth. In the spring, he won in 2016 and was fifth in 2017. He may not be in the best of grooves right now, but at +880, it’s very hard not to take him here.

Your best course of action this week is to do something like a full unit on Harvick, maybe .75 units on Truex, and then .5 units on Busch. Brad Keselowski is also +880 and in need of a win to advance, but he hasn’t won here since 2011 and hasn’t been very consistent this season. It’s hard to see a long shot taking down what is usually a very clean and fast race on the 1.5-milt track in Kansas City. With a setup like that, you’ll make about a half-unit if Harvick wins but better prizes if Truex or Busch win.

Coverage of the 2018 Hollywood Casino 400 will be on NBC with a 2 p.m. ET start time on Sunday afternoon.

Odds as of October 16, 3:30 p.m. ET:

Kevin Harvick +270

Kyle Larson +375

Martin Truex Jr +475

Kyle Busch +880

Brad Keselowski +880

Ryan Blaney +1100

Joey Logano +1650

Chase Elliott +1950

Kurt Busch +2200

Clint Bowyer +2200

Erik Jones +2750

Aric Almirola +3300

Jimmie Johnson +4500

Denny Hamlin +4500

Austin Dillon +9000

Alex Bowman +9000

Daniel Suarez +9000

Paul Menard +11000

Ryan Newman +22000

Jamie McMurray +22000

Ricky Stenhouse Jr +33000

William Byron +33000

Trevor Bayne +110000

AJ Allmendinger +110000

Chris Buescher +110000

Michael McDowell +220000

Regan Smith +220000

Ty Dillon +220000

Darrell Wallace Jr +220000

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