The NASCAR Cup Series continues this weekend as it heads to one of the biggest spectacles in all of racing. Who has the best Verizon 200 odds to wind up in Victory Lane and whose team will kiss the bricks?
Unlike the traditional running of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, drivers will take on the Indy Road Course. It’s over a distance of 200 miles. Part of the track is the traditional oval, particularly one of the straightaways before making a turn into the infield.
The layout of the road course has been used for other styles of racing, such as Formula One and IndyCar racing. Stage 1 will consist of 15 laps and Stage 2 20 laps before a 47-lap final stage.
Resolving Last Week
It made front-page news in the NASCAR world last week when winner Denny Hamlin and second-place finisher Kyle Busch were each disqualified following a post-race inspection of their cars. That made Chase Elliott, who crossed the finish line third, the winner.
That put sportsbooks in a tizzy. A majority of books had already cashed the tickets for Hamlin to win. DraftKings cashed both Hamlin and Elliott after the news was made official.
If that were to happen again, a majority of books have come out and said they pay out based on the unofficial results, or the results before post-race inspections, while other books do wait until inspections to declare the winner.
Who are the Favorites?
If you’re looking to bet on the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, it’s important to know who does well on road courses vs who might be a tad weaker than usual on road courses.
In 15 races on road courses, Elliott has 16 top-10 finishes, 13 top-five finishes, and an astounding seven wins. They’ve only had one Cup Series race on the Indy Road Course and Elliott finished fourth last year after leading 14 laps. Currently, atop the Cup Series standings, it would likely come to the surprise of nobody if Elliott was the one heading to kiss the bricks this weekend.
Next on the odds board is Elliott’s teammate Kyle Larson. Larson finished third at the Indy Road Course last season and led 28 laps. Like his teammate, Larson thrives on road courses as well. While he may not have the dominance of Elliott’s numbers, he’s had some great results. He has 10 top-10 finishes and seven top-five finishes. He’s second among all active drivers since 2019 with three wins on road courses. The odds of +600 certainly stand out a bit.
Next on the odds board with +650 odds is Ross Chastain. Chastain’s rise has been undoubtedly one of the main stories of the NASCAR season, He’s seemingly come out of nowhere and is contending for the Cup Series Championship. He currently sits second only behind Elliott. He’s also running in the Xfinity Series race after finishing 29th here last season. However, his overall track record on road courses has been solid, as he’s finished seventh or better in six of his last nine road-course races. He won at Circuit of the Americas earlier this season and with the extra track time the Xfinity Series will provide, Chastain is certainly a viable candidate to kiss the bricks.
Also on the board in the single digits is Austin Cindric at +800. Cindric has had success on road courses starting back in the Indy Road Course race last year when he finished ninth. He finished eighth at Circuit of the Americas in March, fifth at Sonoma in June, and seventh at Road America in early July.
Daniel Suarez and Tyler Reddick each enter at +1000. Reddick won at Road America earlier this season and finished fifth at COTA. He’s finished in the top 10 in half of his road course races. Suarez won at Sonoma in June, likely why we see his name associated with odds like this. Other than his win, he’s only placed in the top-10 and top-five once before.
Where’s the Value?
As we mentioned above, when the Cup Championship moves to a road course, the odds can change drastically compared to a typical track. Some guys move up further than they possibly should be in the Verizon 200 odds. At the same time, it creates good opportunities to wager on other drivers.
Right now, there are three drivers with odds we likely won’t see this low again for some time.
The first is Ryan Blaney at +1600. He finished second at Indy Road Course last season. He finished sixth at both Sonoma and COTA earlier this season and barely missed out on a top-10 finish at Road America. His average finish of 12.2 over 22 raches is second-best among all active drivers. He has 12 top-10 finishes and five top-five finishes on road courses through his career and won at Charlotte Roval back in 2018. If the outright odds for Blaney scare you off, consider a top-10 bet at -125 or find a driver matchup you like.
Also at +1600 is Kyle Busch. Road courses haven’t been kind to Busch lately, as he hasn’t finished better than 28th on any of the road courses this year. Prior to this season, however, Busch had finished in the top 10 in five of the previous six races, with the lone exception being a 20th-place finish at Indy Road Course last season. In four of the six races over that span, he finished in the top five. Busch’s four wins are tied for the second most among all active drivers. You’ll likely never get odds like this for Busch the rest of the season. Again, consider a top-five bet at +200 if the outright odds scare you off.
Lastly, we have Busch’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. There used to be a time when the Cup Series would go to a road course and Truex Jr. would be among the top names on the odds board. In 42 road-course races, he’s finished in the top 10 in half of them and in the top-five 13 times with four wins. That hasn’t been the case as of late, however. In his last four races at road courses, he’s finished in the top 10 only once. If you believe his road-course prowess is still there, he’s got the same odds as Busch for a top-five finish and the same as Blaney for a top-10 finish.Follow us on Twitter