Nascar OddsEven with NHL playoff betting starting up, it doesn’t hurt to check out this week’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the first race for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup cars with the new spoilers designed to keep them from going airborne. Here’s a team-by-team breakdown of who should challenge.

Hendrick – Jeff Gordon (+600) beat Jimmie Johnson (+500), but overall, Johnson is better at the fast 1.5-mile track with a 9.9 average in the spring race. Gordon should probably have at least two wins, but late-race cautions haven’t been kind to the No.24 driver. If you have to take a Hendrick driver, Johnson is the easy choice.

RCR – Jeff Burton (+1800) is the guy to take in your sports book here, as he won the first race at Texas in 1997, and then again in 2007. The No.31 driver has cooled off after a good start, but he hasn’t finished higher than 20th in three of his last four races. Kevin Harvick (+1500) and Clint Bowyer (+1800) haven’t fared that well here in the past, but the RCR cars are much better this year, so they could be in line for top-10s.

Roush-Fenway – You would think that Carl Edwards (+1200) would be the best choice here, as his three wins are the most at Texas (he won in his rookie year of 2005, and then he swept the 2008 races), but only one of those wins came in the spring. But we’re taking Matt Kenseth (+1000), who won here in 2002 and he has six top-10s in 10 spring races at Texas. Kenseth was a part of a thrilling duel with Johnson at the end of the 2007 fall race, when his two tires failed to hold up against Johnson’s four Goodyears in one of the best finishes in recent memory. Edwards hasn’t looked like winning for about a year now.

JGR – Kyle Busch (+800) has just one top-10 in five spring races at Texas, but maybe he can carry over some luck from the Nationwide Series on Saturday as he’ll be aiming for his fifth straight Texas win in that series. Denny Hamlin’s (+1500) 7.5 average is the best among active drivers, but he’s only had four spring races here, and with his knee bothering him, we’re skeptical to make him a sports betting pick. Joey Logano (+3000) improved from 30th in the spring race to 19th in the fall, and he’s been JGR’s best driver this year.

Other – Kurt Busch (+800), Tony Stewart (+1200) and Juan Pablo Montoya (+1500) are the top choices here, and Montoya’s 11.3 in three spring races is the best in this group. Stewart (2006) and Busch (2009) have both won races in the fall here.

Pick: This is one of Kenseth’s better tracks, and he’s been on the verge of a Texas win for years now. Go with the No.17 in your NASCAR betting picks.

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