NASCAR Picks: NASCAR Cup Series M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Best Bets, Odds to Consider at DraftKings Sportsbook

All tracks are not created equal. God bless him, but Pocono is Pocono. The only way to make this race entertaining is to kill the stages. That won’t happen and it probably won’t even work. Aside from enjoying the steel cylinders of a special sponsor, the only way to enjoy Pocono is to get in on the action at DraftKings.

As always, trust the spreadsheet but also trust your eyes. These are the best bets for the NASCAR Cup Series M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono, which begins on Sunday, July 24 at 3 pm ET.

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There is a chance Pocono is a good race, just a chance. The Next Gen car did not perform well in New Hampshire, and earlier in the week there was hope that the Magic Mile could rekindle the magic of the 2021 race. However, when the Group A practice session ended, all hope was lost. The cars looked like speedboats traveling down the straights. This has been a common look in 2022. The backends are lowered as much as possible to reduce drag and utilize the downforce created by the new rear diffuser. This leaves the nose of the car pointing up. That’s fine on a Q race or a practice lap away from traffic. The race is another story. The towering front nose is susceptible to dirty air. The car pushes hard (understeer) and the only way to get the front end to turn is to slow down. It is difficult to overtake cars while slowing down.

Fast forward to Pocono. The settings will probably be the same. Lowering the rear will free up the car and help it turn on high-speed flat corners. This will also drop the spoiler and reduce drag on Pocono’s notoriously long and boring straights. High speeds sound great, but these cars will be terrible in traffic and difficult to pass. That is very likely to lead to bad races, but there is always the possibility of chaos and strategy. Pocono seems ripe for chaos.

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Pocono tire test

Goodyear tested a tire at Pocono that falls off quickly. Tire management not only opens the door to overtaking, but more importantly, it opens the door to accidents. As the saying goes, precautions beget precautions. Possible tire wear is not the only spoiler for this Sunday. The Pocono track has aged. It is worn and potholed. That’s not good for the Next Gen car that relies on ground effect for downforce. It’s really not good when the backends are pulled down as much as possible. When a car comes out at the bend in the tunnel, it is gone. This was a frequent occurrence on earlier cars, and when going solo. Running side by side in the tunnel turn is a risky proposition, but it has become more common. The results have not improved much.

This race doesn’t have to be a wreck fest to open the door to long shots. Pocono just needs enough precautions. This race will have more than enough precautions.

Pocono Tire Testers

Three drivers participated in the Pocono tire test in May. This test may be the most important test of the season. It’s Pocono, so the test doesn’t really matter, but from the perspective of winning Pocono, it does matter.

This is a long race track. The practice is short. How many practice laps will the drivers log on Saturday? This race will look a lot like a race from the COVID era. Without practice, the teams guessed the settings through the simulator. These three teams don’t have to guess. The crew chiefs are closer to the winning setup and the drivers have a better idea of ​​the Next Gen car at this unique race track.

Christopher Bell +1500

Before his win last week, Bell said he had the fastest car in the JGR stable. He put his money where his mouth was, and he showed it on his best track. Before New Hampshire’s win, Bell was on a roll. He took down the road courses and slab track in Atlanta, and posted a top-10 finish in six straight races. Bell’s best finish at Pocono was fourth in the first Pocono race of 2020. That was the first of two “no practice, guess the setup” races.

Aric Almirola +2500

Pocono wasn’t great for Almirola last season, but he finished third and fifth in the 2020 doubleheader. His team went into that weekend guessing like everyone else and came out on top. This Sunday everyone will be guessing again, but not Almirola. He has a very good chance of qualifying near the front due to the knowledge gained through testing. Overtaking is going to be difficult, so Almirola should be able to hold his position on the track. From a likely spot in the top 10, Almirola won’t need a Hail Mary strategy to win. A subtle movement could be enough to visit Victory Lane.

Daniel Suarez +3000

First of all, Suarez needs to have a perfect race. He did it in Sonoma, so it’s possible. Suarez finally has a comparable car to the one he drove for JGR and SHR, but now he has a lot more experience. After winning the Xfinity Series championship and the sudden retirement of Carl Edwards, Suarez quickly moved up to the Cup Series. It’s taken a while, but Suarez finally looks like he belongs. It will take a perfect race, a great car and some luck, but that’s not out of the question this weekend at Pocono. In 2018, Suarez finished second for JGR at Pocono.

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Race Winner: M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400

Joey Logano +1200

Crew chief Paul Wolfe has won at Pocono in the past. He has won by strategy at Pocono. More importantly, Wolfe installed a fast race car at Gateway (WWT). That track has flat banking and long straight stretches like Pocono. The same can be said for New Hampshire, with Team Penske completely missing the setup across the board last week. The good news was that through practice and qualifying, it was clear that Logano and Ryan Blaney were not going to race at New Hampshire. Practice will be limited and less revealing this week, but again should provide a decent preview of what Logano has in store.

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All betting odds provided by Draft Kings sports betting and all odds are subject to change.

I’m a promoter at DraftKings and I’m also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and sometimes I can play on my personal account in the games I offer tips on. Although I have expressed my personal opinion on the above games and strategies, they do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) of DraftKings. and they do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All clients must use their own skill and judgment in creating lineups. I can also implement different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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