There’s only one race left in the NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12. Following Ryan Blaney’s win in Talladega, the Cup Series grid returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway to race on the “Roval” layout. It’s the final road race of the season and offers a unique challenge to close the Round of 12. Here’s how the 2023 Bank of America Roval 400 odds break down:
Hendrick Motorsports Teammates Lead The Way
William Byron leads the Cup Series standings this week thanks to another excellent finish in Talladega. His second place there made it four top-10 results in five races so far in the playoffs. Teammate Chase Elliott’s been the best non-playoff driver in the postseason with four top-10 finishes as well. Both are +600 for victory in Charlotte on Sunday.
Byron’s been solid on road courses in 2023, with a win at Watkins Glen and a pole position in Austin. He started this race in second last year but dropped to 16th by the chequered flag. He’s yet to win but has two top-10 finishes on his track record, with sixth in both 2019 and 2020. Given his form in the playoffs so far, he’ll probably be fighting for a win.
Since the road course debuted in 2018, Elliott is the only driver with multiple wins, coming in 2019 and 2020. He’s one of the better road course racers in the NASCAR Cup Series, with top-five finishes at Indianapolis and Chicago this year alone. Seven of his 18 career Cup Series wins have come on road courses. After not earning a win in a rough regular season, he could finally get to victory lane in the postseason.
Fellow road course standout Tyler Reddick is next in odds at +800. The 23XI driver suddenly finds himself in danger of not making the next round of the playoffs after a strong start to the postseason. He finished second in Darlington before winning in Kansas. Since then, he’s struggled and finished 15th, 25th, and 16th in the last three races. He needs a good result to continue in the playoffs, and a road course couldn’t come at a better time. He led 21 laps in this race last year and finished second in 2021. He’ll be near the front again.
Kyle Larson and Michael McDowell are tied next at +900. Larson won this race in 2021, but that’s his only top 10 finish at the event in four races there. He’s been solid but not spectacular in road course races this year, highlighted by fourth in Chicago and eighth in Indianapolis. Historically, he’s been one of the better road course racers on the grid, but he’s also struggled lately with 31st- and 15th-place finishes in the last two races. He needs a good result to secure his spot in the Round of 8.
McDowell’s not too big of a surprise here following his win in Indianapolis. That’s his only win of the season and one of just two top-five results in 2023. The rest of the season saw him finish 20th or lower more often than inside the top 10. That Indianapolis result may be a one-off, but the NASCAR odds today consider it a sign of true pace.
2023 Bank of America Roval 400 Sleeper Picks
Christopher Bell (+1600) has just three races at the Roval in his Cup Series career, but he’s improved in each one. In 2020, he finished 24th; in 2021, eighth; last year, he won from eighth on the grid. He came close to a win in Bristol after taking pole position and leading the most laps. He’s third in the standings despite one win all season compared to Byron’s six and Denny Hamlin’s three. A win here goes a long way to ensuring he’ll be in the fight for the title in the next round.
Daniel Suarez (+2000) earned pole position and raced to third in Indianapolis. He’s finished 10th or better in the last two races as well. He started third in this race last year but finished 36th and five laps down. This is more of a bet on recent form than track record in Charlotte.
Blaney (+2500) won last week in Talladega. Could he make it two in a row? He’s won at the Roval before, with victory in the first race in the format in 2018. This year, he’s been solid at the later road courses, including 13th in Indianapolis and ninth in Watkins Glen to close the season. Last year, he finished 26th at this race, which was by far his worst result in the event. He could get back on track to the tune of a win here.
Alex Bowman (+3000) raced to fifth in Indianapolis for his most recent top-five result of the NASCAR schedule. Since the switch to the Roval format, Bowman’s got the best average finish of any active Cup Series driver (sixth). He’s finished in the top 10 in all four races he’s entered there, including second in 2019. While his Hendrick Motorsports teammates have shorter odds, Bowman is the better value pick here.
2023 Bank of America Roval 400 Picks
The final Round of 12 race throws a curveball into the oval-filled postseason. A critical point in the championship sees a different challenge and opens the door for some drivers to shine. This week, Reddick seems like the pick among the favorites. He needs a strong result and has the road course prowess to get it done. For a better payout, look to Blaney or Bowman.
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