Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR preview and best bets: Tyler Reddick makes a splash

NASCAR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick (8) comes across the line as the winner of the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, July 31, 2022.
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My favorite track of the year — Homestead-Miami Speedway — is the venue this weekend. With the Round of 8 down to two races, and three spots left for the championship, this is a pivotal race. Aside from being pivotal, it’s also a race that perhaps is the best judge of a driver’s skill of any on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Given what we’ve seen at this track in the past and what we’ve seen from the Next Gen cars at intermediate tracks, Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 will be a sight to see.

We’ll have NASCAR picks and predictions all season long!

Homestead-Miami track layout and betting strategy

The last intermediate track of the year for NASCAR is arguably the best one on the schedule. It’s a perfect oval, 1.5-mile track that has multiple grooves for racing and a good amount of tire wear. That’s a setup for great racing. Add to that how the Next Gen car has performed at this distance of track and it’s another check in Miami’s direction. In the past races here, we’ve seen drivers be able to make green flag passes for the lead a few times a race; that should continue this year. We’ve also seen relatively few cautions a race on average with just five stoppages an event. For betting that means we can target the drivers with the best speed and track histories confidently and we don’t have to bank on chaos or avoid it. When we’re looking at prop bets, this isn’t a track position track either so drivers can, and will, move up through the field on their own volition during the race rather than needing pit strategy to gain spots on track.

Dixie Vodka 400 Outright Winners

Odds available DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing.

Tyler Reddick (+700)

Reddick has been spectacular at this track. He’s raced it twice in the Cup Series and finished no worse than fourth. This track suits his driving style to an absolute tee as he loves the high line and slipping and sliding through the corners. That’s exactly what Homestead-Miami offers; especially with these Goodyear tires. At intermediate tracks this year, the 8-car has been lightning quick as well, having run very well at Kansas and Darlington, two comparable tracks to Miami.

Joey Logano (+1000)

Logano is coming off a win at Las Vegas last week which only improves his average finish at intermediate tracks this year. While he’s been fast previously at Homestead, including winning the title here a few years ago, there’s something more recent that’s in his favor. Goodyear ran a tire test here about a month ago and Logano put up nothing worse than the second-fastest lap average in that test, in a Next Gen car. If he can win this race on Sunday, he’ll also make at least two drivers have to point their way into the championship race at Phoenix as well.

William Byron (+1200)

Byron won here last year, granted it was a bit of a surprise win. However, that should give him some level of confidence coming back here this year. The 24-car team has also been running well at the most recent intermediate tracks with top-10 finishes at Darlington, Kansas, and Texas as well as starting in the top-10 at those plus Las Vegas. Byron is six points below the cutoff for the championship four right now and the Dixie Vodka 400 might be his best shot to lock his way in.

Chase Briscoe (+2500)

Briscoe desperately wants to get back to Phoenix with a shot at the title. He dominated the Phoenix race earlier this year. In order to get back there he needs to either win one of the next two races or have a far better race points-wise than a few other guys. We’ll lean on a win this week. He’s coming in here having finished in the top-five in the last two intermediate races (Texas and Vegas). He’s been picking up his game during the playoffs and we’ll look to that burgeoning speed this weekend.

Longshot: Brad Keselowski (+8000)

What? What is he doing here? Well, in fairness he is listed as the long shot to go with his odds. It hasn’t been a great season for Keselowski but the hope here stems from not only his track history but also the Goodyear tire test that happened about a month ago. Keselowski ran P4 on the first day of the test and P2 on the second day. He’s also posted three top-10 finishes here in the last five races at the track. Don’t put more than a fraction of a unit on this one.

Best prop bets for Dixie Vodka 400

Chase Briscoe top-5 finish (+350)

As stated above, he’s posted back-to-back top-five finishes at intermediate tracks coming into this one. He also should top-10 speed at the tire test for what that’s worth. A top-five finish here and some chaos behind him should help him get closer to getting to Phoenix still alive for the title.

Group A Winner: Tyler Reddick (+220)

This group is full of heavy hitters with Denny Hamlin (+250), Ryan Blaney (+290), and Joey Logano (+300) but Reddick is my pick of the bunch. Not only has he run very well at this track previously, but he’s also run top-six in three of the last four intermediate tracks this year. The only blemish in that run was a tire issue at Kansas. At tracks with high tire wear, Reddick has been better than this group consistently as well, other than Logano’s win at Darlington.

Denny Hamlin top Toyota finisher (+200)

This really shouldn’t be a shock of a pick here. He’s been the best Toyota all season with an average finish of 11.3 across 12 intermediate tracks. The only other Toyota driver that comes close to that is Kurt Busch who only ran half of them before his career ended with a concussion. While both Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch have better average finishes here than Hamlin, both have been snake bit this year in terms of finishes.

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