2021 NASCAR Cup Series Predictions: Kyle Busch High-Value Odds In Instacart 500

Phoenix Raceway will celebrate a half-century of NASCAR Cup Series events when the 2021 Instacart 500 makes its way to Avondale, Arizona, on Sunday, March 14.

A sponsor was only recently confirmed for the 500-kilometer meet in Phoenix, but while the name on the banner is new, Kyle Busch gets our nod as the best bet to make good in familiar territory. Busch, a +800 pick for Unibet customers, has won twice in his last five races in Phoenix and managed fourth or higher in nine of his past 11 appearances. 

That’s a ridiculously prolific record for a driver who falls fifth in the odds this weekend and is worth around 50 percent more to bet than +550 favorite Chase Elliott. Busch’s most recent victory in Avondale came in the 2019 TicketGuardian 500, where wins in Stage 2 and 3 of the race charted a path for him to take over at the top of the Cup Series standings:

Currently 14th in the points table, the two-time NASCAR champion and Joe Gibbs representative can’t hope for such heroics this time around, though the fact he’s yet to win this season is sure to be a source of motivation. In fact, Cup Series winners have been nigh impossible to predict so far in 2021, with Michael McDowell, Christopher Bell and William Byron making for a very unexpected trio of first-place finishers after the opening four races.

  • Date: Sunday, March 14
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, Arizona
  • Laps: 312 (318 miles)
  • TV Info: FOX

Speaking of those less expected stars, it seems only right to shine a light on at least one potential sleeper who could make the jump in Phoenix, the honor of which goes to Erik Jones of Richard Petty Motorsports on this occasion. His +12500 price means only a small wager is recommended for those who agree Jones could be ready to build upon his first top-10 finish of the 2021 season in the Pennzoil 400 last Sunday:

Jones has four top-finishes in nine starts at Phoenix Raceway, including an all-time best of fourth at the Can-Am 500 in 2017. This was a track where the 2017 Cup Series Rookie of the Year tended to succeed as part of the Xfinity Series, when he finished fifth or better in five of his seven appearances and never placed outside the top 10.

If the 2021 schedule has been anything to study from to date, there’s every chance a bolter will emerge from the shadows to steal the limelight from our usual favorites. Jones is averaging a finish of 22.5th so far this year, which is exactly the kind of nonsensical form that could lead to a win from a driver high on confidence after a sterling display in Las Vegas. 

Prediction: Kyle Busch to win (+800)

Sleeper Pick: Erik jones (+12500)

2021 Instacart 500 Odds Leaders

Team

Winner Odds

Chase Elliott

+550

Brad Keselowski

+600

Denny Hamlin

+650

Kevin Harvick

+650

Kyle Busch

+800

Joey Logano

+800

Kyle Larson

+900

Martin Truex Jr.

+1100

Ryan Blaney

+1400

William Byron

+1800

Odds via Unibet NJ

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