Your betting guide to the NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas

Nick Bromberg
·3 min read

Who’s going to beat Kevin Harvick at Texas?

It’s a question without a clear answer entering Sunday’s race. Harvick has won the last three fall races at Texas and is the heavy favorite again in 2020.

With Joey Logano locked into the title race because of his win at Kansas and Harvick holding a healthy lead in the points standings, a fourth-straight win by Harvick at Texas isn’t the worst result for the six other drivers trying to make the final four.

Why? Harvick is effectively occupying a spot in the final four with Logano. Harvick is at least 21 points ahead of every other driver remaining in the playoffs. Barring a catastrophe at either Texas or Martinsville, he’s probably going to make the final four even if he doesn’t get a win in either of the next two weeks.

If Harvick simply maintains his points lead through Sunday’s race and a driver like Alex Bowman (60 points back) or Martin Truex Jr. (64 back) wins, there could just be one spot realistically up for grabs at Phoenix among drivers like Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott.

If Harvick wins on Sunday he simply officially clinches the spot we’re all expecting him to occupy. And that clinch officially opens up two spots for the final four entering Martinsville. That’s potentially big news for drivers like Keselowski and Elliott.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - OCTOBER 18: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's Ford, walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series  Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 18, 2020 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Who can beat Kevin Harvick at Texas? (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Playoff standings

1. Joey Logano (win at Kansas)

2. Kevin Harvick, 4,115 points

3. Denny Hamlin, 4,094

4. Brad Keselowski, 4,082

5. Chase Elliott, 4,074

6. Alex Bowman, 4,055

7. Martin Truex Jr., 4,051

8. Kurt Busch, 4,009

Texas

Sunday, Oct. 24, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

The favorite: Kevin Harvick (+260)

Odds via BetMGM

Best bets among the favorites

Kevin Harvick (+260): Going with the favorite is typically not the way we roll but it’s incredibly hard to pick against Harvick at this point. That’s why his odds are so much better than everyone else’s. Denny Hamlin is the No. 2 favorite at +500 and then Joey Logano is at +700. Much like Chase Elliott at the Charlotte Roval, it’s hard to ignore Harvick until he gets beaten.

Martin Truex Jr. (+1000): Truex has not finished outside the top 10 in a fall race at Texas since 2014. While he’s struggled in the spring races at Texas — especially after the track was reconfigured — he’s a great bet to get another top 10 again on Sunday. And who knows, maybe he could win the race.

Best bets among the longshots

Aric Almirola (+2500): Almirola is still looking for his first win of the season and has been really good at Texas recently. Almirola has five top 10s at Texas in 19 total starts and four of those top 10s have come in the last four races. He was second in this race a year ago to Harvick and could easily run there again.

Alex Bowman (+3500): Bowman has the worst odds by far of any playoff driver. You might as well take advantage of that while you can. Bowman has just one top-10 finish at Texas in 10 starts, but that fifth came in the fall race a year ago. He’s been very good at intermediate tracks in 2020 and should probably have better odds.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

More from Yahoo Sports: