NASCAR Betting Guide: Bank of America Roval 400
Road courses are always tricky to bet. Not every team is gunning for the win, opting instead to get stage points early on. Then you add in extra chaos with teams turning left and right for 2.5 hours.
This week is extra tough.
The Bank of America Roval 400 in Charlotte is the final race of the second round of the playoffs. This means you've got some drivers who know they need a win to advance. Others have even more incentive to get stage points, giving themself flexibility should they run into issues late in the race.
It's a lot to handle, and we need to weigh it in for our betslips.
That doesn't mean we cross off the drivers who could race for points, though. It just means we need a larger gap between the market and our thoughts to justify pulling the trigger.
That's the case for me with an outright this week. And I'm okay diving in.
Let's start there, outlining my favorite outright based on FanDuel Sportsbook's NASCAR odds for Charlotte. Then we'll dig into a couple more bets where I'm showing value.
Ross Chastain to Win (+1900)
(UPDATE: Chastain crashed in qualifying and will start in the back of the field. Thus, his win odds have lengthened to +2100. I am still showing value at the new number, but there are enough elements negatively impacting Chastain that I wouldn't bet him if you haven't already.)
As of now, Ross Chastain is in good position to advance. He's 28 points above the cutline, meaning he needs just a ninth-place finish to clinch his spot. Thus, if he can get stage points, it may not matter where he finishes.
I'm expecting Chastain to race for points, at least in the first stage. But even with that assumption baked in, I have a hard time passing him up at +1900.
Without accounting for playoff scenarios, my model has Chastain winning 7.5% of the time, up from his implied odds of 5.0%. So, we'd need to lower Chastain about 33% in order to not show value here. I can't quite get behind that big of a move.
Chastain has struggled the past two road courses, but he has a win at COTA under his belt, and he had top-nine average running positions at both Sonoma and Road America. He's a good road racer, something he showed even before his breakout this year.
Besides, it's not even a certainty Chastain will points race. If playoff drivers have trouble early, Chastain could build a bigger cushion and go for the win. I'm assuming that won't be the case, but I can't see enough here to talk me out of Chastain at such a generous number.
Michael McDowell to Win (+3000)
(UPDATE: McDowell has lengthened to +3100 despite qualifying 11th and having solid speed in practice. My model has him at 4.7% to win, so I'm fine adding him despite the lengthening.)
Michael McDowell isn't in the playoffs, so he gets to just gun it this weekend. As we've seen this year, that means he could threaten for a win.
Across five road-course races, McDowell has four top-eight finishes and has had a top-10 average running position in each of those. That includes a podium at Sonoma and a Watkins Glen race where he legitimately had a shot at the win. That was aided by rain, which won't happen Sunday, but it's an indicator of his skill on this track type.
The Next-Gen car has massive flaws, but it has allowed teams like Front Row Motorsports to keep up with the big dogs, and McDowell has taken advantage. That's in the form of top-10 runs elsewhere, but he has had upside on road courses. I don't think that's being considered enough at this number.
My model has McDowell winning 4.5% of the time, up from 3.2% implied. Once you add in that he can just go for the win, I feel even better about plugging him in at +3000.
Cole Custer to Finish Top 10 (+300)
(UPDATE: Custer has since shortened to +170. That's 37.0% implied. My model has him at 38.0% to finish top 10 now, so most of the value here is gone.)
This number is down from an open at +370, so be sure to check around to see if you can get a lingering longer number. But even at +300, there's value in Cole Custer to finish top-10.
Custer has shown skill at this track before. He finished ninth as a rookie despite starting 28th in a race where there was no qualifying.
There will be qualifying this week, and Custer has performed well on Saturdays at road courses. He has started inside the top 10 for three of five races, meaning there's a good shot he shortens even more from this number.
In the two races where Custer didn't qualify well, he still rallied for finishes of 9th and 11th. He's a good road racer, even if he doesn't have that reputation.
My model puts Custer's top-10 odds at 31.1%, up from his current implied odds of 25.0%. It's not the 10 percentage points of value we had earlier in the week, but it's still a big enough gap to justify betting it.
Post-Qualifying Addition: Daniel Suarez Over Joey Logano (-102)
My model is showing a decent amount of value on Daniel Suarez to win the race at +1300. I'm hesitant to pull the trigger there as he's supremely likely to race for points.
That's not a concern here, though, with Joey Logano likely to do the same. This allows me to bet Suarez without having to fret strategy.
Logano won the pole, which is why he's -126 in this market. But Suarez was fast on Saturday, too, ranking third in five-lap average, one spot ahead of Logano. Suarez will also start just one row behind Logano in third.
Suarez has been the better driver on road courses this year. He won Sonoma and has had a top-11 average running position in the three other road-course races since. That's a mark Logano has hit just once this year.
I don't mind the outright on Suarez if you're confident in his passing abilities. But this is my preferred route for exposure at FanDuel.