2017 JAG Metals 350 Race Predictions

Nov 3, 2017 by Nascar Wagers

2017 JAG Metals 350 Race Predictions

2017 JAG Metals 350 Race Predictions
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Betting Preview
Friday November 3rd, 8:18PM (EST) at Texas Motor Speedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

Later tonight the Camping World Truck Series will kick off a full weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway with the running of the JAG Metals 350. Last week Noah Gragson pulled out a surprise victory at Martinsville to the dislike of most bettors. I warned bettors prior to the Martinsville race that a surprise scenario may unfold and advised to use a low risk strategy. However, tonight things will be much different as the series returns to a 1.5 mile surface which has been our biggest success this year. Take a look as we preview tonight’s race and provide our 2017 JAG Metals 350 race predictions!

On the 1.5 mile surfaces, Christopher Bell has held the upper hand in the Truck Series this season. Bell has scored 3 victories on the 1.5 mile surfaces including a victory right here at Texas earlier this season. Kyle Busch is the only other driver with multiple wins on the 1.5 mile tracks this season with 2 while both Johnny Sauter (Chicagoland) and Ben Rhodes (Las Vegas) have also scored wins. If we go by season trends alone, Johnny Sauter is the only driver outside of Bell that has consistently been in contention on the 1.5 mile tracks all year.

On Friday, Sauter posted the fastest lap in the opening practice for the JAG Metals 350 and was also very solid in final practice. Meanwhile Christopher Bell posted the best 10 lap average in Happy Hour and clearly looked to have the most speed in comparison to lap over lap times. Therefore to little surprise, Bell and Sauter are your clear cut top two drivers entering tonight’s race. From the outside, it may appear that both drivers are pretty close on speed. However, I would disagree to a certain extent. I thought Bell’s lap times were excellent when he put together consecutive lap sequences. Therefore, I have Bell lasted as my clear favorite for tonight’s race.

Despite my confidence for the favorites, we saw last week that surprise winners are possible. In fact, I will go ahead and make the statement that surprise winners could be the new normal in the Truck Series going into 2018. The Truck Series has several young drivers that are flourishing with talent and capable of surprising given the correct circumstances. With Brad Keselowski Racing pulling out of the Truck Series next year, I think that will only make things tougher for certain teams to dominate in terms of speed. Surely the Kyle Busch Motorsports will be best but they will not have a Christopher Bell or William Byron behind the wheel. Therefore I expect the era of dominance by just 1-2 drivers, that we have seen in recent years, to come to an end.

In effort to get back on track to tonight’s race, let’s talk about the potential “outside” challengers. Matt Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek are considered to be the next biggest threats from an odds perspective. Last week, I stated I would not back Crafton due to his inability to get the job done this year. Despite my own words, I was forced to back Crafton when parlayables were not offered. Once again Crafton could not get the job done at one of his best tracks in Martinsville. Crafton like John Hunter Nemechek have not shown speed at the 1.5 mile tracks this year. Both trucks were down the leaderboards in terms of practices and I simply do not see either contending for a victory.

The trucks that may deserve to garnish some attention are the trucks from Brad Keselowski Racing. Despite their imminent upcoming departure, both Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric have performed really well in recent weeks. You could possibly argue that Cindric has been better than Briscoe from a consistency level. Cindric has scored 4 straight top 10 finishes since his win at Bowmanville. However, Briscoe has posted finishes of 2nd (Chicagoland) and 3rd (Las Vegas) in his last two starts at the 1.5 mile tracks. Both trucks are performing really well in terms of speed. I personally like Briscoe’s outside chances at 15-1 odds but Cindric can be considered as well.

Another pair of drivers that I believe deserves at least some attention are the trucks of Ryan Truex and Ben Rhodes. I made a comment earlier this year that I expect both drivers to get wins before the year ended. Rhodes earned his win at Las Vegas a few weeks ago but the time is running out for Truex. Honestly, I think the window of opportunity may have expired for the #16 team. Truex’s team found a lot of speed at the midway point of the season but they have regressed a bit in recent weeks. Rhodes on the other hand is very difficult to predict. The #27 has been hit or miss this season. However, they have been really good when they have been “on.” I did not really like the signs they showed in practices on Friday struggling with both handling and speed. Therefore, this may not be one of those weekends where the #27 team hits their setup.

2017 JAG Metals 350 Race Predictions

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Bet at 5dimes

Chase Briscoe +1500 (1 unit)
Ben Rhodes +1650(1 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Christopher Bell +185 wins JAG Metals 350
Team 2 – Open
Risking 1.25 units to win: TBD

H2H Matchups

Christopher Bell -125 over Johnny Sauter (2 units)
Noah Gragson -125 over John Hunter Nemechek (2 units)

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