NASCAR Betting Guide: Auto Trader EchoPark Automotive 500

Ross Chastain has had race-winning speed at 1.5-mile tracks all year long. Can he claim the checkered flag in Texas on Sunday?

There are both pros and cons to betting on this week's race in Texas.

The pro is that it's a spot where speed reigns. It's a fast, low-wear track, meaning the teams with the most horsepower are the teams that'll contend. At this point in the year, we know which teams that'll be.

The con? Sportsbooks know this, too. And as a result, value is thin in almost all markets.

Because of this, we're going to slow-roll things a bit this week. We'll start off with just a pair of bets where I'm showing value for the Auto Trader EchoPark Automotive 500, and then we'll cross our fingers that more value pops up after qualifying.

Luckily, these are two spots where I'm in agreement with my numbers. So let's dig into some early-week bets based on the Texas NASCAR odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Ross Chastain to Win (+1300)

I thought we'd have to wait until after qualifying to bet Ross Chastain this week. He opened at +1000, and I wasn't showing value there. I wasn't too annoyed because Chastain typically qualifies poorly and lengthens later on.

But now that he's lengthened to +1300, I'm locking him in now.

There are two key things pushing me to bet this early. First, Chastain has slayed the 1.5-mile tracks this year. He was a threat to win in Vegas, led 153 laps in Charlotte, and had a top-eight average running position in both Kansas races.

Second, Chastain actually bucked his trend and did qualify well in Kansas a few weeks ago. He was fast in practice and qualified fifth. I thought I'd be able to bet him post-qualifying there, but he shortened to +700 to win. He didn't win the race, so it wound up being fine, but it got my attention.

Because of the speed, my model has Chastain's win odds at 7.8% to win, up from 7.1% implied. Even if he does qualify poorly, the model should still like him because qualifying isn't a massive factor. So at this number, you can count me in on a mid-week Chastain outright.

Erik Jones to Finish Top 10 (+280)

This number was +320 earlier in the week, so we're betting into an already-attacked market. You can still get some lingering +300s out there, as well, so shop around before betting it. But Erik Jones is a value even at +280.

Similar to Chastain, we know the speed will be there. Jones nearly won Fontana, which is a massive track. That one features heavy tire falloff, though, so it's fair to cross it off. But even if we look at just Pocono and Michigan (other big, fast tracks), Jones had race-winning speed there, as well.

Texas was a good track for Jones back in his Toyota days. He had a string of 3 straight top-5s at one point, and he has finished top-10 in 6 of 10 races here. Even in his one race with Petty, he finished 12th, and we've seen him far more competitive at tracks like this in the Next-Gen car.

My model has Jones at 32.1% to finish top 10, up from 26.3% at this shortened number. Value is value, so as long as you can find Jones in this range, he's worth a bet. If you're feeling frisky, I'm also showing value on Jones' outright (2.9% versus 1.4% implied).