Betting Advice and Analysis For the EchoPark Grand Prix
Ross Chastain cashed the biggest prop bet for us this season with his third consecutive top-three finish, paying out at +700. With the speed he’s displayed this season, it’s only a matter of time before he secures his first win.
Now the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas for the first road race of the season at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the EchoPark Grand Prix on Sunday. This will mark the first time the new NextGen car is at a road course and is just the second race for the Cup Series at COTA and will likely be the first dry one. Last year’s race was held in a monsoon with extremely wet conditions that won’t assist with handicapping this season’s event. Sunday’s forecast is projected to be sunny with the temperature in the 80s and no chance of precipitation.
It remains a bit of a mystery as to how the NextGen cars will react to a road course. There was a test held at Charlotte last season, but even those cars that were tested at the Charlotte Roval are now different than the current NextGen edition.
“I don’t think any of us got a ton of time with it, but you know these cars, really a lot of the design pieces come from a road race background – some of the things they (NASCAR) see on the IMSA side of things,” Chase Elliott told the press this week. “I really think they’re probably going to suit road racing well. I think they’ll be fine, and I don’t know that the race will look a ton different, honestly. I think the cars will drive fine.”
Chase Elliott to win +300 BetMGM
If the best road racer anticipates no major changes and his early thoughts are he’s comfortable with the new car on a road course, I’m fine with backing him at these low odds at BetMGM Sportsbook.
Elliott has won seven of the past 15 road races since 2018 and has a team that has put an emphasis on its road racing program. In 2021, Hendrick Motorsport won five of the seven road course races, including last year’s race at COTA with Elliott winning the rain-shortened event.
Elliott is only 26 but his seven road-course wins rank him third on NASCAR’s all-time road course winners rankings. His average finish of 7.89 at road races ranks best among active drivers and is third all-time with drivers having five or more starts. Elliott is also the only driver in Cup history to win on five different road courses. He’s the most dominant force at these tracks, and I don’t mind taking him at this number.
Alex Bowman Group 3 Winner +310 FanDuel
For this prop to cash, Bowman needs to beat out Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain and Joey Logano. Bowman currently has the longest odds at this prop, but given Hendrick’s dominance at road races and Bowman’s consistency last year at these types of tracks, this prop at FanDuel Sportsbook is worth a look.
At last year’s Daytona road race he started 36 before recording a 10th-place finish. He also took ninth at Sonoma and 10th at the Charlotte Roval. Blaney and Logano have legitimate shots to win, while Chastain has three straight finishes inside the top three. But this is more of banking on Hendrick’s success at this number.
Hendrick has won 25 road races, almost twice more than any team in history. Hendrick also holds road-course records for poles (21), stage wins (12), top fives (74), top 10s (130) and laps led (2,020) at road races.
Bowman could find himself in contention and +310 is a solid number for him to win this group given his and his team’s success at road courses.
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