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Yum! A four-race slate awaits. We had another positive showing last time out means ol' Uncle Mo(mentum) is on our side for this weekend. Here are my best bets for this Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 which is one of seven NASCAR Cup Series road-course events
ANALYSIS

Toyota/Save Mart 350 Predictions: NASCAR at Sonoma Race Preview and Best Bets

I'll tell ya, gang...work is terrible. I routinely write these articles at my desk during the week, since I'm already awake and I'd rather be handicapping sports anyway. You might like to think that you're tailing a couple of guys that are professional sports bettors with every resource imaginable at their disposal. We do have tons of data that most folks don't, but quite frankly my "real job" is trying to hold us back. The HR goons have recently blocked anything and everything NASCAR on the web browsers. I'm looking at you, Karen. Quite frankly, the books should pay us double for winning wagers going forward.

The parallels between my life and the movie "Office Space" couldn't be more evident. I think Peter Gibbons and I would get along super well. We both hate faulty office equipment and nine-to-fives. Gibbons may also bet on Nascar after he's done watching Kung-Fu marathons on channel 39. Either way, let's get down to business.

Sonoma, California is a 2.52-mile winding road course that is our puzzle this weekend. Although road-course racing is sometimes boring to watch, we have grown to love boring as it is usually a bit more predictable than the standard oval.

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Toyota/Save Mart 350 Predictions

Denny Hamlin to finish better than Ross Chastain (+105) (Bet $100 to Win $105)

*Odds Available at DraftKings at Time of Publishing*

"Eight, Bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. My only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired." ~Peter Gibbons

Ross Chastain may have hit more than eight cars last week, but we know for sure that Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin took offense to his aggressive driving style after he ruined their days. After watching the start of a new Nascar rivalry (or two) bloom last weekend at Gateway, we knew this Chastain/Hamlin head-to-head matchup would be available this weekend. It's no secret that Ross is one of our favorite guys on the circuit, but he won't be this weekend.

If we're using just 2022 speed metrics, Chastain is the obvious side here. He ranks first in average fast laps per race, second in average finishing position and fourth in overall driver rating. He even picked up his first career win at Circuit of the Americas, which is another road course. His pit crew is ranked 5th in the Series, and his raw speed puts him in contention every weekend.

Hamlin has had a roller coaster of a year so far, winning twice but posting an average finish of 20.6...25th in Nascar. Not ideal for a championship contender, and I think we just found out why this bet is +105. Hamlin is not thought of as a road course ace, but we figure him to be strong on Sunday, and the data agrees. Since the start of the 2021 season, there have been 8 road course races. He is third in average fast laps and laps led over that time and posted five top-10s. In fact, he's led in the last four road course races. Hamlin's average running position and average finishing position is five spots better than Chastain on road courses over this time period.

Comparing and quantifying Chastain and Hamlin's data over any other timeframe than the 2022 season would not be doing justice to Chastain's brilliance this year. His equipment has markedly improved as well as pit crew performance. There is a ton of pressure on the young gun this weekend after last week's dust-up, and we expect Hamlin's experience to cash this plus money wager.

Austin Cindric to finish better than AJ Allmendinger (+105) (Bet $100 to Win $105)

*Odds Available at BetMGM at Time of Publishing*

"What would ya say...ya do here?" ~ Bob Slydell

For those of you who haven't seen the movie, Slydell was one of the "Bobs" in charge of interviewing for layoffs. Maybe he was the guy that gave AJ the boot from the full-time Cup series ranks. But the "Dinger" is way too good on road courses to not moonlight, and our guy Austin Cindric will have his hands full.

The last time we saw the "Dinger," he was winning at the rain-drenched Portland Road Course last weekend in the Xfinity Series. His last run in the Cup series was at COTA and he was going blow-for-blow with Chastain on the last lap for the win before getting fenced and finishing outside of the top-25.

Allmendinger will be at a huge equipment disadvantage, and his pit team is one of the worst on the circuit. However, historically he is one of the best to ever do it on the road courses. His skill may be enough to offset the obstacles in his way. He has run a full slate of Cup Series road-course races since 2021, even winning in Indianapolis. He's turned 2.7 fast laps and led 1.8.

Cindric was one of the only guys who could hang with Allmendinger in the Xfinity Series on roadies. He's run 4 Cup Series road courses in his career and registered an average of 3.0 fast laps while leading 4.3. He also has a +4.7 closer rate, while Allmendinger is -3.3 for a new difference of 8 positions! Even though Cindric is a rookie, we know he will be impressive on Sunday.

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Toyota/Save Mart 350 Prop Predictions

"Ah, ah, I almost forgot... I'm also going to need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. We, uhhh, lost some people this week and we sorta need to play catch-up. Mmmmmkay? Thaaaaaanks." ~Bill Lumbergh

If you've been called into work, it's always a little bit better when you win something on the side. Here are some of our favorite props for Sunday.

Ryan Blaney to finish inside the Top-5 (+225) (Bet $100 to Win $225)

Kyle Busch to finish inside the Top-5 (+125) (Bet $100 to Win $125)

*Odds Available at BetMGM at Time of Publishing*

We're talking pure 2022 raw speed here. Busch is fantastic on every track type and brings the Series' best pit crew. Blaney's crew has seen an uptick in performance since Ryan Flores has moved over from the #2, and has finished in the top-10 in his last three road-course starts.

Looking for the best sportsbook offers? Check out the free bets page

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Phil and Steve are lifelong buddies from the Philadelphia area. They specialize in all things motorsports and turned in a 131.3 unit profit in 2021.

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