Nascar Picks and Predictions: EchoPark Grand Prix Best Bets
Nascar’s first road course race of the season is here and we’ve got some intrigue. They’ll be running the new downforce package on a road course, and for the first time since 2016, there will be no stage break cautions. There’s a lot to consider at the betting window so let’s check out my EchoPark Grand Prix Best Bets.
See the Opening Odds for Austin Here
As mentioned above, there are a few wrinkles to consider for Nascar’s third ever trip to COTA. The biggest being no stage break cautions which a lot of the field hasn’t experienced in the Cup Series before. How much this affects the results of the race are a mystery but it’s definitley something to keep in mind.
Practice and qualifying showed some serious separation between cars, at least on the short run. Tyler Reddick put to rest any doubts by posting the fastest single and 5-lap practice speeds. While William Byron once again blazed through qualifying, and will start on the pole.
EchoPark Grand Prix Picks
The top of the betting board saw some significant movement after practice and qualifying. Tyler Reddick is now the decided favorite sitting between +325 and +410 at sportsbooks. Xfinity race winner AJ Allmendinger qualifed 7th and is one of 8 drivers with odds of +1000 or shorter across the market. Neither outright made my card, but see who did along with my EchoPark Grand Prix Best Bet below.
Kyle Larson +750 (Caesars) Bet 1u to win 7.5u
Larson opened the week as the favorite and outside of a disappointing qualifying spot (13th) looked as advertised in practice. He had the second fastest single lap and 4th best 5-lap average.
Kyle has shown his road course might the last two seasons winning 4 times. Tied with teammate Chase Elliott for the most in the sport. And he finished runner-up here in 2021.
Hendrick has been the best team so far this year, and it could have easily been the no.5 with back to back wins in Las Vegas and Phoenix. This number is simply too good to pass on.
Other Outrights I like
Ross Chastain +1000 (DraftKings) Bet 1u to win 10u
Denny Hamlin +5000 (DraftKings) Bet .2u to win 10u
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Denny Hamlin Top 10 +160 (Caesars) Bet 1u to win 1.6u
It’s not often you get Hamlin at plus money for a top 10 but it’s for good reason this week. Outside of Tyler Reddick, no other Toyota had a practice lap or qualified in the top 10. That said, Denny had the 8th best 5-lap average during practice. And the last year with no stage cautions, 2016, finished 1st and 2nd at the two road course races.
Simply put, Hamlin and Toyotas were awful on road courses in 2021. But during the 19 road races from 2016 to 2021, Denny had an average finish of 8th and finished 10th or better 13 times. I think Toyota set itself up for the long run and also believe some of the old heads will benefit from the lack of stage cautions.
Check out my pre-qualifying bets HERE
Echo Park Grand Prix Best Bet
Martin Truex Jr. Top 10 +140 (Caesars) Bet 2u to win 2.8u
I’m really putting a lot of my eggs into one basket this Sunday but think the old guys will show out in Austin. Truex was at one time considered the top or debated as the top road racer in the Cup Series.
From 2011 to 2021, he had 18 top 10 finishes in the 29 road races. 12 of those were top 5 runs with four of them being victories. And Truex had his best road course finish of 2022 (7th) here at COTA last year.
As I stated within my Hamlin pick, Toyota was garbage on these tracks last year but I expect a rebound in 2023. And think the more experienced drivers have leg up strategically with no stage break cautions. It’s a risk but I’m not here to play it safe.
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Always remember that in addition to always trying to win, betting should be fun and done within your means. Good luck on all your wagers for this week’s race and Let’s cash some more tickets!
Featured Image credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images