Best Bets on Auto Racing's Big Day: Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 & Coca-Cola 600
Sunday will be pure bliss for racing fans, with three iconic races throughout the day.
The action starts early in the morning with the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, followed by the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 and concludes with the longest NASCAR race: the Coca-Cola 600.
Here is a breakdown of each race and betting picks to give you an added rooting interest.
Coca-Cola 600, 6 p.m. ET
The NextGen cars will have their endurance tested for the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway — the longest on the NASCAR Cup series schedule.
Kyle Larson is the betting favorite at FanDuel at +500 and is followed by Kyle Busch (+550), Chase Elliott (+600) and Denny Hamlin (+950).
Betting Pick: Elliott +600
I’m going to back Elliott for the second time this year. He cashed out as a winner for me at Dover, and I’m confident he can secure another victory at Charlotte.
Elliott has been downright dominant at Charlotte throughout his career.
In his last four races he’s won, took second twice and recorded a fourth-place finish.
His average career finish of 11.9 is the best among active drivers with at least 10 starts and would be even better if not for a 38-place finish in 2017 that was the result of a crash. In his last nine starts, he’s finished in the top 10 seven times.
Given his track history, Elliott figures to be at the front of the pack for most of the race, and that’s good enough for me to back him this weekend.
Indianapolis 500, 11 a.m. ET
Helio Castroneves has an opportunity to make history, becoming the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 five times.
He won last year and entered the race as a +3000 longshot, scoring a big win for bettors who decided to back him. Castroneves is +1700 at FanDuel Sportsbook to repeat, but starts this year’s race 27th.
Scott Dixon (+650 at FanDuel) is the favorite after qualifying for pole and posting a record average lap speed of 234.046. It’s the third straight year Dixon is the favorite for the race.
Betting Pick: Dixon +650
Dixon has been one of the most consistent finishers in this event, recording a top 10 in 11 of his 20 starts.
His lone Indy win came in 2008 when he started on the pole and he has shown the speed necessary to give him his second win at the iconic race.
Monaco Grand Prix, 9 a.m. ET
The race is on Sunday, but Saturday’s qualifying session might decide the outcome.
Given the narrow Monaco street circuit, there are few places to pass on the track. Really, if you’re looking for a nap on this long day of racing, you could fall asleep during this race and wake up in time feeling refreshed for the Indy 500 and you probably wouldn’t have missed much in Monaco.
That’s why qualifying is vital, specifically pole position when it comes to the two top teams, Red Bull and Ferrari. The pole-sitter will have a massive advantage and can dictate the pace and race strategy.
Charles Leclerc is currently the favorite at -105 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but the Monaco Grand Prix has been a bit of a cursed event for the hometown driver.
Last year he put the Ferrari on pole but crashed during his final qualifying lap and didn't start the race because of the damage he suffered.
In 2019, he fell on the wrong side of strategy during qualifying and was eliminated in the first session, forcing him to start from the back. He eventually crashed trying to make up ground. His first Formula 1 race at Monaco wasn’t much better. In 2018, he suffered a brake failure and crashed into the back of another driver.
But given Ferrari’s speed through the corners this season, and Monaco’s layout, Leclerc opens as the betting favorite. He was able to put a worse Ferrari on pole last year and could do it on Saturday in a better car.
Betting Pick: Lewis Hamilton +2000
The major issue with Mercedes has been the porpoising of the car that has taken away its top-end speed. That shouldn’t be an issue at the winding Monaco.
Hamilton showed improved race pace last week, finishing fifth at the Spanish Grand Prix after an early collision put him in last.
With Mercedes’ deficiencies not as apparent at a track where driver skill is paramount, I like taking a shot on the seven-time champion this week.
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