NASCAR Betting Guide: Xfinity Series EchoPark 250
For the second straight NASCAR Xfinity Series race, we get a field devoid of Cup Series regulars. On Monday, it led to a fantastic race with abundant late-race action. We should hope for the same on Saturday.
This time, the Xfinity Series is in Atlanta for the EchoPark 250. Even though there are no Cup Series ringers, we still see super short odds on some drivers at FanDuel Sportsbook. Chase Briscoe is +250, and Justin Allgaier is +350, so there are some clear-cut favorites out there.
Allgaier leads my model, and Briscoe is fourth, so the numbers aren't bad. They're just too short for me to pull the trigger, especially with the gap between Allgaier and the rest of the field being minimal.
With Briscoe's and Allgaier's odds being short, the numbers for others aren't too bad. With that in mind, who stands out most from a betting perspective? Let's dive in now and see where we can turn.
Harrison Burton (+850)
This will be Harrison Burton's Xfinity Series debut at Atlanta, which is concerning given that there's no practice time. His first laps on the track in this type of car will come when the green flag flies. That may not be a massive deterrent on Saturday, though.
In general, this isn't a field that's overflowing with relevant experience in Atlanta. The 37 drivers in the field have combined for two top-fives at Atlanta over the past four seasons, one by Allgaier and the other by Brandon Jones (+850). Not many drivers have experience here, and even fewer have had success. That helps us come around on someone like Burton.
Burton has also faced this same obstacle in both Charlotte and Darlington since the end of the COVID-19 layoff and has still been fine. He was top-10 in both of those races, something he has done in all seven Xfinity Series races this year. Burton has put together top-five runs in five of those, including a fifth-place finish and sixth-place average running position at another 1.5-mile track in Las Vegas.
There are causes for concern with Burton due to the lack of experience on this track. But he's in fast equipment, starting fifth, and has performed admirably all year. That consistency very well could pay off in the form of a trip to victory lane.
Noah Gragson (+1000)
Noah Gragson is fresh off his second win of the season, one he had to move his teammate, Allgaier, to get. His fortune carried over into the starting position draw as Gragson drew the pole position, allowing us to go back to the well once again.
Adding in the Bristol race, Gragson has now had a top-five average running position in four straight races. Both Allgaier and Briscoe have three top-five average running positions in six post-Daytona races, and Gragson has exceeded that number in a smaller sample.
The other plus of Gragson is that he does have experience at this track. He finished ninth in the Xfinity Series last year, and he led 43 laps en route to a runner-up finish in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2018. Sportsbooks seem hesitant to buy into Gragson despite his two wins this year, meaning we can continue to scoop him up at respectable numbers.
Justin Haley (+3200)
Sometimes in betting NASCAR, you want to seek out drivers who have had tough luck recently, trying to buy low before the regression hits. There may not be a driver in this field more primed for positive regression than Justin Haley.
Haley's finishes recently have been bad. He has just one top-15 finish in three races since the end of the layoff, and he's yet to finish better than fifth this year. That's not race-winning material.
But the average running positions tell a different story. There, we see that Haley had a sixth-place average running position in Charlotte before finishing 29th. He had a fifth-place average running position in Bristol but wrecked late and finished 17th. He has had a lot more speed than you'd think by looking at just his finishes.
Like Gragson, Haley does at least have experience at this track with an eighth-place finish last year in the Xfinity Series and a truck race on his resume in from 2018. If he can put a full race together, Haley's going to contend for a win eventually. With no Cup Series sharks in these waters and Haley's odds being this long, we should be inclined to give him a sniff on Saturday.