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NASCAR value picks for the FanShield 500

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

March 6th, 2020

The fourth Sunday of the NASCAR season has the drivers at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona for the FanShield 500.

Kyle Busch, the race favorite at +300, and Kevin Harvick, second-choice at +500, have dominated recent races at this oval (three combined wins in the last four events), but we’ll try to think outside the box and look for three live longshots in search of their first win in 2020.

Odds to win the FanShield 500

DriverFanShield 500 Odds
Kyle Busch
+300
Martin Truex Jr.
+500
Denny Hamlin
+600
Kevin Harvick
+600
Brad Keselowski
+1000
Joey Logano
+1000

Ryan Blaney (+1100)

Ryan Blaney was well on his way to a second top five finish in three weeks, before he was forced to make an emergency pit stop inside the final three laps at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday.

The youngest of the three Penske drivers has led at least one lap in each of the first three races of the season — neither Harvick nor Busch can say that. Blaney finished third in both the March and November races at Phoenix in 2019, and started from the pole and won Stage 1 in the former (94 laps led). There’s lot to like about Blaney at a square price Sunday.

Kyle Larson (+1500)

Kyle Larson might have had a top 10-worthy car at California last week, but an accidental bump with Denny Hamlin that sent him into the wall put the No. 42 driver behind the eight ball, en route to a 21st-place finish. However, Larson finished in the top 10 in each of his first two races in 2020.

He has quietly done well at Phoenix in recent races. He has finished no worse than sixth in five of his last seven visits to the Avondale oval.

Aric Almirola (+3000)

Aric Almirola will seek his second straight top 10 finish, after an eighth at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday. The pilot of Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 10 Ford saw signs of encouragement, along with correctable mistakes, last week.

“I think we have a lot of potential," he told KickinTheTires.net. "We ran in the top 10 most of the day, but I feel like, with track position and a few other things going a little better — a little smoother — we could have had a lot better result.”

Almirola has done well in his last five trips to Phoenix Speedway, where he's finished inside the top 10 four times. Longshot players could do a lot worse Sunday. 


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